On a Wednesday in June was my junior high school’s Sports Day. The weather started off a bit rainy, got somewhat cloudy/clear, then couldn’t decide what it wanted to do the latter half of the day, but overall despite the rain here and there it was a good day for sports! Also I took a good 1200 pictures, so I’m just going to choose a few random ones to post:
Getting pumped up for the day
The new school year started after spring break too quickly for me to really get over jet lag from Europe, but overall there weren’t too many changes. One of my JTE’s changed schools, but I knew the incoming one from a previous school, so there wasn’t really anything I needed to get used to. I had all new students at Onishi Hoikuen, but at Mikabo two of my old students came back… the rest went on, so I suddenly had a VERY small class there.
And despite the peak of the cherry blossoms happening while we were in Europe, I still managed to catch some decent pictures of the tail end of the season, which was nice. So all in all despite how tired I was, the school year was off to a good start!
The day after coming back from Europe was the opening and entrance ceremonies for Onishi JHS.
About a week later I headed to Mikabo Hoikuen, and after that Kenji and I went on a motorcycle ride to see the Koi-no-bori hanging around. Actually, these pictures might be from two separate bike rides, I can’t remember. Whatever:
Every year the schools and the ALTs do “kakizome”, or first calligraphy of the year. The kids do it at school the first day they get back from winter vacation, and they choose the best one in a contest. The best of the school is displayed along with other art in Fujioka for everyone to come and see. Since my second year, Kenji, Brandt and I also participate by heading to Mr. Katayama’s house (also where we go in November for the Mishima Jinja festival every year). He is really good at calligraphy, and graciously opens his house and helps us with choosing what to write and how to write it. Our work is also displayed as well. Although I’m not very good at it, I really enjoy calligraphy and look forward to the opportunity to do it!
Onishi’s jimusho or office worker showing off her mad skillz. She speaks Chinese really well, so she wrote the characters Chinese style
All the kids writing in the gym. At bigger schools only the third grade students do, but Onishi is small enough that everyone fits! Also, I forgot my camera that day, so I had to use one of the schools crappy point-and-shoots, hence the pictures not being very good…
At Katayama-sensei’s house. My choice this year was “kachou fuugetsu”, literally flower, bird, wind, moon but when put together means something like “experience the beauties of nature and learn about yourself”. Or something. Anyway. Also, Brandt looking up possibilities on his iPhone, and Kenji showing off his finished as well.
Other work is also displayed… I always love these, the pictures represent what the kanji actually mean. Can you guess? The left one is “wa”, which means in essence, Japanese taste. The left one is “uma” or horse.
I wonder what I’ll choose for a slogan next year!
The end of the second semester was, as usual, a busy time. My JTE, Ms. Sekine, and I went to both of the Onishi Elementary schools to give example JHS classes so they can see what their English classes will be like, and then it was Christmas classes, and before we knew it, the Closing Ceremony and that evening the enkai. And then… WINTER VACATION! WOO!
Onishi Elementary School… I forgot to get pictures of the other one! But these are my future students!
Anyway, short post, more coming!
First up, various Halloween activities from last month, including the ECC party, Halloween girls class, and Halloween classes at school:
Kids and ALTs at the ECC Halloween Party
Next up is my kids Bunkasai. It was a Friday, which meant I missed most of the morning because I teach at hoikuen on those days, and I leave early on Fridays so I missed most of the afternoon too Basically I got to see the band play, the hallway decorations, and to sing the teacher’s song, and that was it.
Hallway decorations, the kids calligraphy exhibits, etc.
Finally, some general fall type pictures… Cosmos flowers, trees full with Kaki fruit, rice drying in the fields, etc:
I had tons of fun taking random flower pictures
So that was that for the last weekends in October, i.e. nothing much…
I have three new schools this year, one junior high school and two day cares. They are all small schools up in the mountains, and while it is a bit of a long commute, how rural they are is really appealing! I’m really loving my time here so far 🙂
Some views of the JHS
So I go to that school Monday through Thursday, then on Fridays I head to either Mikabo Hoikuen (day care) or Onishi Hoikuen. Both schools are also out in the country, Mikabo being the smaller one with only 7 kids!
This is Mikabo Hoikuen, the furthest school for me this year.
Fridays are so nice, I love the younger kids, and I really enjoy the drive out even though it is a long way. Also, I only teach for an hour, and right before lunch for the kids, so I can sleep in, have a nice drive and easy class, then be finished for the day… it’s pretty great!