Monday, November 30, 2009

Cat among the Pigeons

青空の下だろうが何だろうがなぁ、どこ行っても授業なんかできんだろう。 教師と生徒さえいれば。そういうのをな、教育っつーんじゃねーのか? [鬼塚英吉]. GTO ドラマ版

"Whether it's beneath the blue sky or somewhere else, you can have class anywhere. As long there are teachers and students. That's what we call education, right!?", Onizuka Eikichi, GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka)

Monday I rushed back after class back to the kaikan, as I, together with 5 other JLCC students, had a presentation at the Fukuoka Municipal Kashii First Junior High School ("Fukuoka Shiritsu Kashii Daiichi Chuugakkou") about our own countries. Because the school is so close to the kaikan (Kyushu University International Students House), they occasionally have foreign kids there, so the school tries to invite international students every year to give presentations about their own country to let their students learn more about the world.

People who have had the pleasure of seeing me struggling through do a presentation, might laugh if they realize that a Japanese junior high school class consists of 40 people. Which, disregarding certain accidents, means 80 Japanese eyes looking at me. While I talk in Japanese. Suffice to say, I was quite insufferable that morning.

But in the end it was quite fun, especially seeing the faces on every student, who had all been to Huis ten Bosch, when I started the presentation saying we really don't wear traditional clothing and wooden shoes all day, nor is the Netherlands full of windmills. After my presentation, I was treated(?) to a moonwalk by one student, and a monomane of a crab and Kojima Yoshio. Yes, it was strange. Then we finished with a game called Fruits Basket, which was err... interesting. After our classes had ended (being addresses as sensei constantly was very strange and discomforting though), the students apparently had a class where they write their thoughts about the presentations, which we'll receive later.

Then we got a tour through the school, which was quite nice. Music class looked interesting, with koto classes being offered (while looking impressive though, the teacher mentioned repeatedly they're just leased). Lots of interesting stuff was hanging around the school and classes like cooking were quite surprising. The funny thing was that my image of a Japanese junior high school was solely derived from popular media like manga and anime, and it really all turned out to be true. The school chime tune? Check. Strange class rooms with retractable windows looking out at the corridor? Check. All the teachers working in one room with chaotic desks? Check. The nursery room where there always is a person with a fever or something? Check. It was sorta surreal, seeing all those images confirmed.

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