03/20/2007: "Kanagawa High School Visit"
I have been helping on a somewhat regular basis with open houses here at Temple. Because of this, another student and I was asked to visit an all girls high school english club and practice conversation with them. We had an absolutely awesome time and I was really looking forward to another high school visit (for first visit, see archives). That opportunity finally rolled around this past week. This time, we were going to visit a public high school in Kanagawa near Yokohama city. The students of this English club/class were soon leaving to visit England and wanted a chance to practice their English before they left via presentations about their culture.
So the trip started off normal enough. We met at Temple's nearest train station and boarded a train heading towards Kanagawa. Kanagawa is the prefacture directly south-west from Tokyo where Yokohama is located. Also, the Navy base is in Kanagawa.
Here I am being moody cause I can't find a place that charges less then $30 for a men's haircut.
Here are the other two people in my party. Steve, on the left, is a veteran of this sort of work and has a part-time job working in OIS (Office of International Students). He is soon graduating and is looking for work here in Tokyo. On the right, is Chizu, our leader and representative from Temple. She is making a presentation to the high school about Temple and joining in for the English club presentations.
It takes about an hour and 10 minutes to get to the school's station from Temple. I especially liked the Kanagawa area, it reminded me alot of San Francisco in the weather and style.
The school was massive in size . I was told that this was actually two public schools joined together. When thinking back on my high school, it pales in comparison. I mean jeez, this school a damn sky-scraper practically.
Entry gate to the school. This school is especially different in the fact that it doesn't require students to wear a uniform. Probably the only school I've heard of thus far that does this in Japan. Students are free to wear whatever they like much like high schools in the states.
Japanese in general really really love baseball. That and footbal (a.k.a. soccer). Almost the entire athletic grounds were dedicated to baseball fields and practice areas. To the right in the above picture you can see this.
Here we are walking into the main entrnace. Oh boy exciting!
First thing to do was check in with the main office, which by the way looked exactly like every office I've ever seen in a Japanese TV drama or anime. Inside, the English teacher awaited our arrival.
When we arrived in the room, about 10-20 students were waiting. Later on, about 10 more students coming from other classes showed up to join in. Also, a new teacher from Brisbane, Australia came in to watch. Pretty cool guy who seemed very excited to start working here. Heck, I would be too.
As we went through the presentations we learned alot about the culture from the Japanese point of view. Subjects like oragami (see above), Kabuki theatre, and even creepy Otaku, was discussed.
In this particular presentation a student was talking about a yearly festival where the student body split up into different teams based on shirt color and compete. I kinda wish I had an opportunity to experience Japanese high school life like some of the other Temple American students.
I don't really remember what this group talked about but that guy on the right was the only male in the entire group of 30 or so students. Lucky guy.
Oh Dang! Group photo.
Students getting up to leave and head home.
View of Yokohama from the window in the classroom. Really amazing view. My classroom view in high school was overgrown grass and an undermaintained baseball field .
Time to go. Gotta wave goodbye to the English teacher. This English teacher is actually a graduate student at Temple.
Here is that anime/tv drama office I was talking about. eerie isn't it?
Temple's mascot is an owl, not very intimidating I know. This high school also has an owl, apparently with a lazy eye, displayed in the courtyard.
Here we are heading out finished up for the day. Every high school visit is a blast. I hope there is time left for one more before the semester is over. Thanks for reading!