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Friday March 13th was the official date of graduation for all the sannensei this year. I had my last classes with them that same week, which at this point was nice because I hadn’t seen them very often since the new year. Thursday I helped the school prepare for the ceremony, and they had their last lunch, as Friday was finished as soon as the ceremony ended.

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The special rice with red bean served at special occasions such as this. This lunch was GOOD!

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Printing out and helping put together some of the big banners used in the ceremony. It doesn’t make a picture until you put it all together and view it from afar!

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Nishi’s sign in the entrance way, with a tacked on “congratulations!” conveniently added!

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Flowers lining the pathway to the gym where the ceremony would be held

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Ninensei help with gym preparations and goof off!

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The tent for sign in

The morning of was pretty cold. Got to school at the normal time, and the ceremony began at 9:30 but we went in before then to sit around. The kids were pretty bored already, as they’d pretty much gotten to school and went strait to the gym.

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In the teacher’s room. The music teacher wears traditional clothes (as does the female sannensei homeroom teacher), and the sannensei talking to her wears a purple flower.

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Before the ceremony

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The program

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Banner outside the gym

The ceremony itself was pretty boring, mostly because I didn’t understand any of the speeches or what was going on. There were a lot of speeches, several songs, and a few tears here and there. The students also went up one by one to receive their diploma. In Japan, education is required only up till junior high school, so this graduation is very important. I don’t even really remember my middle school graduation. We didn’t wear anything special, and I don’t remember getting a diploma of any sort. Since high school graduation is most important in the states, middle school is downplayed a bit I think.

After the ceremony, the sannensei had their last homeroom meeting. Meanwhile, all the ichi and ninensei stood outside from the student’s entrance to the gates in two lines to say goodbye to the sannensei. This is apparently a Nishi-specific thing, as I asked Kenji if his school did it and he said no.

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Student’s lining up

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The first of the graduates!

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One of my favorite pictures of two of my favorite students goofing around!

After all the sannensei walked through, it dissolved into mass chaos of students taking pictures, saying goodbye, and generally messing around so they don’t have to leave XD It took a good hour or so for most people to go. I just hung around, posed for pictures, and took some of my own until I finally noticed all the teachers had left to go eat.

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A mass of students!

The teachers had mostly all ordered bento, but I had been confused about the timing since I normally don’t eat lunch on Fridays at school, and didn’t realize it would be a super nice lunch with all the teacher’s eating together. So I hadn’t ordered one, and as a result was a little disappointed. At least I know for next year to order! Instead I picked up something at KFC as a treat and ate at home.

Now, I only have 8 classes a week because the sannensei are done until the new school year. Some of them email me a little, and school is much quieter without them! Next week is the last week of school, then Kenji and I go to Korea, so I will update more a bit later!

Also, HAPPY ST.PATRICK’S DAY! Kenji and I celebrated with a Guinness last night (he’s half Irish so we had to do something even if it is a school night!), and we’ll be joining a lot of other JETs at a pub in Maebashi to celebrate Thursday night. Cheers!

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