Happy Birthday Dad!!!
I made it to my first day of school----I have to take a bus and a train and then walk to school. It takes about 30 minutes, which isn't bad at all.
I had to give an introductory speech in Japanese to the teachers during their daily morning teacher's meeting. After the teacher's meeting, I presented in front of the entire school of 400 students for the opening ceremony. And then a 3rd year student (9th grade) came up on stage and spoke in English and in Japanese to welcome me to their school. Everyone seems very happy to have me there. Then there were a lot of speeches that I did not understand :-) Many of the teachers complimented me on my Japanese skills, which was very nice considering I don't know the language all that well. I think one of the teachers told me that my speech was very sexy, but I'm not sure if that's what she said or not!
After assembly, it was cleaning time. It's announced over the intercom and then cleaning music is played for about 15 minutes while the kids sweep and scrub the floors and desks and clean the bathroom. I walked around with Kimura-sensei and talked to all of the children. Then I pitched in and cleaned some of the desks. The kids are so cute!!! Some of the more brave kids ran up to me and spoke to me in English and other kids just ran the other way afraid that I would talk to them!
The school is very hot, but the teacher's office has a/c. The kids were getting ready for tests for tomorrow, so I just hung out in the office and studied Japanese, talked to the various teachers, worked on my schedule for the year. I also requested a picture of the teachers and then I photocopied it and wrote all of their names next to their photo, so I could try to remember everyone.
Kimura-sensei is one of four English teachers and my main contact, she's wonderful. She has spent a lot of time with me helping me to understand where I need to go, what my schedule is and what to do in general. All of the teachers are very nice. Some are shy because they don't feel comfortable speaking English.
For my computer geek friends out in cyber land, I was actually able to help one of the teacher's with their laptop. Some how this teacher ended up in the bios section and it's all in English, so I helped them to get out of it. Everyone has a PC or laptop and works with microsoft, but it's in Japanese.
I think the next couple of weeks will be relatively slow because the children are preparing for "Sports Day", which is on 9/18. Not sure exactly what Sports Day entails, but I do know it's a big deal, that it's on a Sunday. I have work both Saturday and Sunday, but I get several days off the following week to compensate for my time. Plus there's a couple of holidays, so if I take 1 day off, I will have the entire week off.
The students are so sweet and cute!!! The teachers are super nice. I'm really looking forward to interacting with all of the kids. Tomorrow, I'll probably just study Japanese. Also, I will check out "club activities" after school....more on that later.