My manga club met today. We haven’t met much this year because of so many bad weather cancellations. In fact, this was only the second time I’ve met with them. I was able to recruit another teacher to work with us and she did see them a few times more than me. She has a sister who is autistic and the thing that fascinates her is Japan and all things Japanese. She came to one the of the clubs and taught the students about some of the culture.

So, I got to meet with them today. I wasn’t 100% looking forward to it. Some of my plans were falling through and I just wasn’t in sync. But, when something is the right thing to do it just works out. The kids–all boys except for one girl– came in and started trading cards, reading books and drawing. It’s so wonderful how this literature relates to them and their talents in so many ways. I had them tell the group about what was in their hand and share good news and bad news. The worst bad news? “I haven’t seen my mom in 6 mos. We don’t know where she is.” The best good news? “I’m off punishment.” Yeah, we needed to meet! I think what impresses me the most about these students is their willingness to explore and try new things. Once, I stopped at an international store and took them some Japanese snack food. I didn’t do the dried minnows, but I did do wasabi peanuts and something with tofu. They all tried everything! Teens I know don’t typically do that!  I shared some of the items I brought back from Japan, taught them a few phrases of Japanese and played a game to introduce some characters to them. I keep reminding the group that I don’t read manga or watch anime so, they discussed and voted on what series I should read to draw me into the genre. The vote was between Bleach, Fruits Baskets and Death Note. Though there was no clear winner, I think they sold me on Bleach. We’ll see if I like it!

I’ve pretty much decided that these kids really need to go to Japan. We’ve talked about it before and I can’t think of any better opportunity for them. This would justify their dreams and solidify their existence and world citizens. Now, I have to work on making this a reality for them! If we go next summer, we may be able to pull it off!

All this because of books!