Every few months they have an open period where parents are invited to come watch a class. Monday was one of those days. We don’t always go, but we decided to go to this one because it’s the last one before we leave Japan.
We didn’t understand much of what was going on beyond the methodology—it was a Japanese class where they were reading a story—which involved reading, interpretation, and explanation. There was also an activity where some of the students acted out part of the story, but I couldn’t really follow it.
In any case, my lack of understanding didn’t stop me from taking pictures.
Today we had a fire drill. I’d known about it for a few weeks, since it was on the month’s events schedule, but I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect since it was my first one in Japan. Lia had told me what they were like at her school so I was somewhat prepared for how different they are from what I was used to in Canada.
I’ve been initiated into the grand Japanese tradition of gathering wild seasonal foodstuffs. Or rather, I’ve initiated myself into the tradition. At least every couple of days for the last few weeks I’ve seen one or more people picking plants, fruit, or flowers on public land. There have been broad-leafed greens in shaded woods. Japanese fiddleheads. Edible wild grasses. And so on.
We had another earthquake today. It woke us up sometime between six and six-thirty this morning. Not being a morning person, I don’t recall the exact time but the news reports tell me that it started at 6:11. It didn’t feel as strong or last as long as the one on March 20th.
I’ve been told that the quake was centred around the same area as the one from March 20th, and had a magnitude of 5.7 (update: some places are reporting 5.3). There’s a map here. I tried to go back to sleep, but there were a number of aftershocks that kept interrupting. Under different circumstances I’d have appreciated the full body massage.
I didn’t think I had time to write a long post today, so I was going to just post some photos I took at school during cleaning time. But I got sucked into the writing vortex.
What is cleaning time? At my school it’s the half-hour or so after the last period of the day, when the students “clean” the school. They sweep and mop the floors, take out the garbage, clean the blackboards, sweep up the grounds, and generally tidy up. I say “clean” because it seems like all they do is move the dirt from one corner to another and back again.
As I said in another post, April is the beginning of the school year in Japan. Today we had the ceremony for new students. Sort of a reverse graduation ceremony. Only the new first-year students—equivalent to Grade 10 in Canada—and a handful of second- and third-year students who had duties assigned for the ceremony, came to school today.
I took quite a few pictures of the new students, but today I’m just going to show pictures of the sakura (cherry blossoms), which are at their most beautiful today.