Hello, this is Simon.
The other day was my daughter’s first school production (Happyoukai) at her daycare center. The school productions, like her sports days, had also been cancelled for a couple of years in a row because of COVID-19 restrictions. So, just as with her her sports day, I was really looking forward to it.
I had no idea what they were going to do, other than she was going to play a ghost. Apparently, the girls were given the choice of being a princess or ghost, and after a long deliberation my daughter settled on ghost. When I heard that, I chuckled to myself thinking, “Ever the tomboy“.
Again, I wondered how she would fare standing in front of so many people she didn’t know. “Would she clam up? Would she become intoxicated with all the attention and perform her own unique dance, completely oblivious to her classmates? I had seen the full range of children’s performances in the many “Happyoukais” attended though my work. Either end of the spectrum could be possible knowing her personality.
Fast forward to the day, and the curtain opened. Out marched all the princes, princesses and ghosts. This time my little ghost stayed in her line and didn’t wander of on her own little mission. Cue the music, and they all began to sing. They were so cute as they put their all into it. My daughter began to jump up and down as she seemed to be enjoying herself so much. They came on for three acts and gave us parents a really entertaining performance.
It all seemed to be going very smoothly, so to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I have always enjoyed three-year-olds’ performances the most because they are unpredictable and something quite unexpected and entertaining usually happens. Unfortunately, it seemed it wasn’t to be.
At the end of the final act, all of the ghosts exited stage left, except for my daughter, who just stood in the middle of the stage. “Oh dear.” I thought, “What are we in for now?”
She then turned to face the ghosts who had left the stage and started shouting “What are you doing? Come back!” The other ghosts all started to sheepishly file back on stage one by the one, and then proceeded to finish the performance. It seems they had exited too early.
I was shocked. At the sports day she was the only one doing what she wasn’t supposed to. This time she was the only one doing what she was supposed to. She was I even referred to as “Onesan” by some parents and teachers. It made me laugh because she can be quite bossy around the house, but this time I actually saw her bossiness being put to good use.
“Ever the tomboy”
The phrase “ever the…” means something like “he/she/I will forever be… “ (e.g. A: have you heard from Tom recently? B: Yes, he’s traveling alone around the Amazon. D: Ever the adventurer.) A “tomboy” is a girl who likes or likes doing boyish things.
“how she would fare”
The verb “fare” means to perform in a certain way (e.g. How did you fare in the tests?/He didn’t feel very well in his last interview.)
To “clam up“ means to suddenly become silent, often because you are embarrassed, very nervous or under stress (e.g. I asked Joe what the problem was, but he just clammed up. I couldn’t get a word out of him.)
Being “intoxicated“ is usually associated with drinking too much (e.g. The driver appeared to be intoxicated, so the police took him back to the station.) However, it can also mean a feeling of excitement or euphoria to the point that you start to lose control of yourself. People can become intoxicated with power, praise, fame or any number of things.
“they put their all into it”
To “put ones all into” something means to try your very hardest at that particular thing (e.g. The sprinter put his all into the final 10 meters of the race.) Another similar expression is to “give it your all“ (e.g. I gave it my all and that last exam.)
“exited stage left”
This is the literal meaning of “exit stage left“ which means to leave the stage on the left-hand side. This is actually also an idiom which means to depart in an orderly and organized way (e.g. The ruling party exit stage left, which usher in a new era.)
If someone is “bossy”, it means that they enjoy telling people what to do (e.g. He is very bossy sometimes. He acts like he is in charge of everyone.)
In this blog I tried to highlight some words and expressions that you may not be so familiar with. I hope they come in handy.
Have a Happy New Year!
Hello! My name is Simon.
I am from New Zealand, and have been living and teaching English in Japan since 1999.
My hobbies include movies, playing the guitar, gardening and hiking.