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Although we had the graduation ceremony for all the sannensei, the younger grades still had to go to school for those remaining two weeks until the closing ceremony. And after graduation, closing was a bit anticlimactic. It was the same as most other ceremonies I’ve been to: extremely cold (or hot in the case of summer ceremonies), long, lots of awards and speeches, then everyone gets to leave early. I also had Friday off, which was super nice, so all I could think about that day was packing for Korea and things to do the next day!

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Singing the school song

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That’s the song, but I’m always on the other side of the gym, too far to read it…

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Teacher’s in the back

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Kocho and Kyoto sensei

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Lots of awards

So that was pretty uneventful. One interesting thing to mention is that when the new school year starts in April, many teachers will have moved to a new school. Japanese public schools go through rotations, so a teacher wont stay at a school longer than a few years (which is SUPER weird to me, and no one seems to like the system, but there you go). So both my Kocho and Kyoto sensei’s (Principal and Vice Principal), two of my three JTE’s, and several other teachers were leaving. All the teacher’s knew who was going, but it isn’t technically official until April 1st, so they couldn’t tell the kids. I expected a sort of leaving ceremony, or even just acknowledgment of who was leaving, and was surprised until they explained to me.

Anyway, that night was the school enkai, which despite having lots of packing and stuff to do for Korea, I went to because it was a last chance to see a lot of my teachers.

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Kyoto-sensei, me, and Kocho-sensei. I’m going to miss them both, they were SUPER nice to me!

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Nagano-sensei, my English teacher. Kishi-sensei, the other leaving English teacher, took this picture. I’m sad I didn’t get a picture with her, but everything was a bit hectic when we left, since many people were going to the second party (which I attended since I’d missed my last train anyway!). I’m going to miss her a lot!

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Bunch of teachers at the end

With the influx of new teachers, desks and jobs are moved around, there are tons of new people to meet and names to memorize, and so even though I had Monday technically off (today), I decided to come in in the morning anyway to meet people and find my desk. And since I have nothing to do, catch up on entries all day!

Also, I GOT A NEW CAMERA! I started looking for one since I thought it might be good to get one in Korea. However, once I found what I wanted I went ahead and got it so I could have it before going! And good thing I did, because the model is only a month old and therefore twice the price in Korea! Anyway, it is a Casio Exilim Z400 and I LOOOOVE it! Here it is, taken with my old camera:

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It is gorgeous! So of course, I had to go try it out. So on Friday Kenji and I drove to Maebashi to a big park to see if any of the cherry blossoms had started blooming yet. They hadn’t, but it was still a good opportunity to try different settings and get used to the new camera! You should expect a bunch of flower pictures from here on out!

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First stop was a combini for snacks, close to which we checked out a cute little Inari (fox god) shrine. It was at the front of a GIANT bolder that was pretty cool.

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After that, we ate and hit the park for pictures. These white flowers may be in the magnolia family though they don’t smell. They’re BIG flowers!

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This flower was pretty cool… I’d seen the pink variety, and the red variety, but these were a mix of the two! Very interesting!

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A lake in the middle

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We actually did find the one blooming cherry (we think?), of a different variety and therefore an earlier bloomer

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And catching the sunset in Fujioka before heading home

So I got used to my camera before Korea, and had fun as well! Next up is Korea!

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