Today was the first day back to school. Despite being cold, half awake and having a headache left over from yesterday, I still remembered to take my camera to school today. Good thing too, because it was a beautiful clear morning and I could see Mt. Fuji from the bus windows. So here are a couple of bus window pictures! :-D
There were of course no classes today. Just an opening ceremony and then some cleaning. Then kids do club activities and teachers have some meetings.
Here's a little taste of a Japanese opening ceremony. (yeah, there are ceremonies for everything in Japan. They love them.)
Here the kids are all gathered and waiting for the official ceremony to begin. They are lined up according to class and are separated into alternating lines of boys and girls. Of course they have to wear their uniforms for the opening ceremony. (other times they are generally allowed to change into their jerseys, which are of course, all the same.) We had the ceremony in the gym. It was pretty cold. I could see my breath the whole ceremony! I felt sorry for the kids! I was wearing at least 3 layers plus my fuzzy fleece.
The vice principal starts the ceremony with the opening remarks, which roughly translated was, "The opening ceremony for the third trimester of the 2009-2010 school year has now begun." Simple, and to the point. Love it.
The kids are of course enthralled by the speech. (actually they do a pretty good job of sitting quietly. much better than in class.)
Next comes the school song, all three verses. Yeah, they are just as excited as American Jr. High kids here when it comes to singing the wonderful school song. On a side note, the accompanist is always a student!
Finally we get to sit down and listen to the speeches. *fun* and *cold*. Can't beat that! This is what I woke up at 5AM and traveled an hour for. Better than sitting at my desk though. Well, I did a lot of that too today.
After this was some cleaning of the school. In Japan students clean the school themselves. Well, kinda. They often play around instead.
Then the teachers had a lunch meeting, welcoming us back. It was fun and interesting. Then all the other teachers went to meetings and I sat at my desk playing with my new electronic dictionary. Eventually the teachers come back, and do whatever it is that teachers do to get ready for a new semester. I just sit at my desk.
Oh yeah. I did get a Christmas present from the school. They passed these out at the party that I couldn't go to. Here's my present! What is it???
Hello Kitty ear plugs of course! Just what I wanted! Standard equipment for any Jr. High teacher. Now I can use them in class when the kids get too loud. j/k
But actually the case is really cute, so I might find a use for that. :-D