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Closing Ceremonies

JAPAN | Friday, 17 July 2009 | Views [775]

Last week I got a written memo from my vice principal that had the times for the closing ceremonies at elementary and junior high. 9:20 and 10:45 am respectvely.

So today, when I was sitting at my desk at 8:43 I was confused when he rushed over to me, gesturing and saying I had to go. I said, yes I know, it's at 9:20. Then he really confused me by agreeing, yes, yes at 9:20, BUT the ceremony at 8:40!


What?

So I rushed out, forgetting my carefully written speech in phonetic Japanese, and got to the elementary school 10 minutes late (it's very close). I then had to fumble my way through a terrible speech in broken Japanese and wait around for the principal to finish the ceremony. He presented me with a photo album with pictures of staff and students (should have done that as part of the ceremony really), then I could go.

The whole thing was over and done with by 9:20. So what was the point of the note? I am at a complete loss.

Then I was back in time for the very last English class of the year, where true to form I was told 8 minutes before class that I'd be doing the last reading test. This is actually pretty good, 8 minutes is far more warning than I usually get, sometimes it has been as I am walking to class, meaning I have to run back and find/print out the necessary paperwork.

After class we had the ceremony at junior high, this time I had my speech printed out, but I welled up and had trouble reading it, there are photos of me with very red eyes. I didn't actually lose control though so it was ok. A couple of students then presented me with a book and a letter. Kano, the girl who read the letter and handed it to me was shaking so much she couldn't put it in the envelope. I like to think it was because she was so sad to see me go, not because she was nervous talking in front of the school.

Well, all that aside, I got a lot of notes from the students. It seems they had to do them in class, a lot of them were exactly the same, copied from the board I suppose. From first grade there were a lot that ended with "Catch you later alligator". A phrase that I haven't heard from them before.

Some students went above and beyond though, and I got a few more personalised letters with photos, a phone strap, a sketch etc. Mainly from the third years, their English is much better of course.

Now it's kind of downhill, no more actual work at all. Just sorting out shipping stuff home and cleaning the house etc. Have to sell the bike and so on. All the boring but essential things.

Harry Potter is playing of course, have to try and get there this weekend.

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