02/08/2007: "Trip to a Japanese all girls high school"
Two weekends ago the school asked me if I wanted to participate in an open house they were putting on. My job was to make an introduction about myself along with a couple other students to give the Japanese prospective students an idea of what the student body was like. In addition to that, I was supposed to talk to the students and give tours. I guess it worked out pretty well because they asked me to return for similar outings.
The next one they asked me to go on was a trip to a Japanese high school to visit an English club. We were to act as a sort of panel while the students got to ask us questions about our home country and backgrounds. The day we left I also found out it was an all girls high school ..... Awesome.
Here we are heading out in a taxi to the school. The man you see in the back is Steve. Steve is a veteran TUJ student and is graduating this semester. He also hold an important position in the OIS (Office of International Students). His Japanese also pwns most all foreigners. Needless to say, his abilities in the language hurt my feelings. The JDM guy on the left is our taxi driver..let's call him BOB
Cruising through one of the richest areas of Tokyo. The school we're going to visit is a private school and has boatloads of cash that they bathe in. The school is the oldest all girls school in Tokyo. An interesting note that the english club leader later told me is that the school's founder lived to be 103 and taught classes up until 2 weeks before she died....damn.
When we reached the school we switched into stupid slippers and walked to the English club room. Inside, 3 Jr.High club members met with us. Their job was to take us on a tour of the school and reach prompts to help explain to us what they were showing us in English. High school students were coming later but at the time were busy with some testing.
This is the average Japanese classroom. Nothing too exciting, but I'd seen enough anime to be interested to see one in person. The next stop was a commons area where the student proceeded to show us art that their classmates had been working on. Quick to a photo opportunity, I had Chizu, our fearless leader, take a picture of us and the students.
This is the view from the 6th floor of this U shaped school. As you can see, this school is rooted deep amongst the very urban landscape of Tokyo. Believe it or not, under the tennis courts you see in the courtyard down there, there is a full sized gymnasium with a raised track and volleyball courts.
We visited it but I failed to take pictures of the class in session. After the gymnasium we went to the dance room where we saw a PE class that was split into several groups to develop an original dance to go with music.
While we were being shown around many student seemed very surprised to see us (being both gaijin and male). They seemed excited to wave at us and say greeting in the little English they had learned. It was kind of fun but I couldn't help feeling a bit like a circus freak being paraded around. The girls in the tennis courts seemed especially interested in us because everytime we'd pass by the windows on our way to another section of the school they would stop and wave vigorously to say hello.
The students seemed very startled when I came in and took pictures. I imagine running in saying "Surprise! AMERICA *click* *click* *click*" added to the suspense. I asked them to perform the dance they were working on and I recorded it.
While they sucked....bad, in all fairness they were doing way better before they noticed we were there (nervous I would imagine). I imagine they wouldn't want this video of them dancing on here but I'm gonna go ahead and bet these kids will never find this site.
This was a very Japanese thank you note I found in one of the classrooms that I felt compelled to share with all of you.
When the tour finished we returned to the English club room and met with the high school students. We talked about many things such as movies, hobbies, etc. It was alot of fun I must admit. It was kind of funny though because all the student were so nervous and shy to speak to us cause we were native speakers.
The left three are some of the high school students and the right three are some other Jr.High club members. It was such a blast that the 2 hour expedition flew by. When the time came to leave the all escorted us out and waved by to us in front of the school and asked us to return again. If we are given the opportunity to do it again I think it'd be awesome to return on another visit. There are other high school expeditions further in the semester and since this one went so well I'm looking forrward to the next one.
> Shoot I'd be somewhat nervous too if I had to approach a native speaker of a foreign language. Then again I'm not naturally timid like the Japanese and wouldn't care if I made an ass of myself trying to figure things out.