Day 95 - Really Expensive Cat

Thursday, May 12th, 2016
Smog Level: 3/3 Mountains

Class Procedure

At the beginning of class, the kids have to line up in the hall. One line for boys, one line for girls. They gain entry, one-by-one, as they answer a question in English. It used to be based around our Oral English unit, but that’s been abolished

So... I just kind of wing it. They then gather their things and have to stand behind their desks until they answer yet another question in English. After that, they can finally sit. Through this, I’ve gotten some interesting insights. A few of them had said that their favorite weather was “rainy” and “cold.” Well, those 8 kids will be happy today!

It’s dropped down to the teens and was thundering all last night. 

Reading Table

This week has gone fast, but today has gone slooooow. I can see why Josh can’t stand the reading table. You’re trying to get them to focus on the most boring stories, which are hard for you, the teacher, to focus on. Not only are the stories boring and often nonsensical, but the kids are reading them at a very slow pace. Also add in the fact that you have to go through the same stories 4 times every week. This is the last 35-40 minutes of every class we teach. But hey, if that’s the worst part of the job, this is a cake walk.

A mini-pool they had set up, not sure why
One-on-One Mandarin Class

After eating lunch with the regulars, I chance upon a lucky day for Mandarin Class; one-on-one lesson because my partner cancelled, and Helena still wanted to do it. I ask for review, since I haven’t learned half of what we’ve been taught. I do horribly, and my headache isn’t helping.

We start running scenarios, which start on script but immediately derail: 

  • Her: What are you looking to buy?
  • Me: Something.
  • Her: What kind of something?
  • Me: A gift for my mother
  • Her: What does your mother like?
  • Me: Oh, she likes cats.
  • Her: What color of cat?
  • Me: An orange one
  • Her: How much are you willing to spend?
  • Me: I think… ¥4000 is good.
  • Her: ¥4000! You don’t need to spend that much, only ¥300-500!
  • Me: What, is my money no good?!
  • Her: Aren’t you concerned about quality?
  • Me: That’s why I want to spend so much!
And so on. I’m often a smart ass, and give stupid responses on purpose. This helps with general conversation, but can really bite me in the ass when a situation calls for function. Then again, I find it helps me retain things better, and get a grasp on the grammar. 

Routine Interrupted

Stumbling home through the very bright day and the throbbing headache, I lay down and relax, waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in. I wanted to go to the gym, but I’m tired and disrupted my schedule. I start thinking: Maybe I just won’t go today.

I can’t go tomorrow or the next day. 2 days off is more than enough! I really don’t want to go right now, but gather my things and leave. My only goal is to walk down the steps of the building, hoping that the momentum of habit will kick in. It does, and the rest is a piece of cake.

I hustle through showering, editing, and writing, so that I can meet Bob to run a private thing for my character. I’m gong to steal the King’s Scepter.

[Game On: Stealing the King's Scepter]

So, last we left off, hell broke loose in the town just after we killed some disguised Drow (evil underground elves) in a tavern. Shit's going down all over town, and I see the perfect opportunity to follow up on a challenge thrown down by the thieves guild: steal the king's scepter.

I break off from my party, take to the sewers, and arrive near the castle’s barracks. They’re being really vigilant, and protecting the king, so I have to use the advantage of darkness to slip between the troops.

On the other side, I have the choices of jumping in the shark-infested sewer-water moat again… or taking this little-known passage that I discovered. Tough choice...

The passage leads to the Queen’s quarters. Seems she likes to have, uh, “late night visitors,” shall we say. The place is a ghost town - save for the 8-10 guards in front of the King’s chambers. From what I can tell, the King's chambers are immediately to the left of my room, and the treasure room - my goal - is just to the right. Plainly in the line of sight for the guards.

I think of everything I can to pull them away, but nothing seems likely. King’s life kind of takes priority over investigating a noise, and with the two likely-high-level magic people... I'm kind of out of options.

Well, I don’t want to die, so let’s see what I can find in the Queen’s room. Can’t let it be a total wash, right?

And it’s not! Through my searching, I find a pearl necklace, an expensive dress, two royal wedding rings (my character isn’t the most moral),  a scroll of darkness (can make the lights go out whenever I want!) and a wand of magic missile. Sick, this wasn’t a complete waste of time.

And off I go on my merry little way, no one the wiser.

[Game Off]

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
dōng xī
[d-oh-ng she]
chéng / chéngzi
[chung / chung-zz]

Editing Music
In the Hall of the Mountain King
Edvard Grieg

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