junior high school

Last Day

My darling students,

I want you to know that anything is possible. Until I was 9 years old, I couldn’t speak a single world of the English language. Now, I am standing before you as your English teacher, delivering my goodbye speech in English. There is no better proof than this.

I also want you to know that the world is a big big place. There is so much to see and do out there. I promise you that if you persevere, you can experience things you’ve never even imagined. Believe me, I am speaking from experience.

ありがとうございました

PS the third picture, is my face carved out of an ERASER! Can you believe that? My goodness. I am officially a super sensei. Today was hard. Though I have been ready to move on for a while now, I am not heartless. I will remember these guys and the sweet memories we shared forever. My only wish is that I positively impacted their lives in some way, just as my own teachers, for me, did.

Actually, my favorite teacher was Mr. Payne. I remember wanting so bad to be his favorite student and getting super jealous when he paid other students attention! That’s how much I loved him! I remember the day we ate McDonalds together whilst running an errand, and I remember the day he told me he knew that at High School I would become Head Girl or if not, that I’d be successful in whatever I did. Some 15 years later, and his belief in me is still one of my sources of encouragement.  image[3]
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“Those of the Elven-race that lived still in Middle-earth waned and faded, and Men usurped the sunlight. Then the Quendi wandered in the lonely places of the great lands and the isles, and took to the moonlight and the starlight, and to the woods and caves, becoming as shadows and memories, save those who ever and anon set sail into the West and vanished from Middle-earth.”  ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Hello Kitty Slippers And More

Yesterday I experienced my first Japanese JHS graduation ceremony and it was really interesting. Here are my thoughts:

What they wore:
So the students just wore their school uniforms with an identical pink corsage on the left chest. As for the teachers and parents, this is where things got interesting! So as per custom, everyone was dressed in formal black suits with white shirts and an elegant tie or corsage but the thing is, in Japan, people don’t wear shoes inside, they wear slippers. So here were 100+ adults in formal formal suits and Hello Kitty slippers. Or panda slippers. So so cute and strange and random. I wished so bad for another nonJapanese to have seen it with me! In addition to the black suits and corsages, all the women wore pearls. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the memo.

How it panned out:
I was there for the practise and planning of the whole thing so I know just HOW much effort went into it. So everything from the distance between the chairs to the carefully ironed table cloths to the immaculate bouquet displays were carefully organised prior to the event to be flawless. And I mean that in the strongest sense of the word. Just perfect.

This was also the case with everything else. So like, there was a lot of rehearsed marching. Both from the students and the staff. Everyone bowed, walked and conducted themselves in an identical manner. It was all just so so organised. Speaking of bowing, there was much of that. Almost too much. My back hurt. Without sounding rude or offensive, I think we must have looked like a room-full  of canaries. Again, super cute or kawaii. So it was really well done but in my opinion, a little too ordered. I wish there had been a little less stern faces, a little less seriousness and a little more smiling and jokes!
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