Friday, February 1, 2008

Japanese version of muck up kinda day.

So the other day, i was asleep in the office at school (slow week)when one of the teachers came in to tell me that i should go to the gym to watch the performances to farewell the 3rd years (yr12s). Any students could perform. One girl played the harp, it was awesome. And a couple of 2nd years (yr11s) got up and sang some popular J-pop songs. The girls went crazy when these two boys were singing. There was also a group of third years who danced dressed as animals and the middle dancer was a boy in a skirt. It was quite funny. Then the school dance club danced for a long time. It was awesome. The costume changes were so fast and the boys were really good. Something we dont normally see in schools in western countries. Then the third year teachers presented a video to farewell the third years. It was a collection of the teachers doing Romeo and Juilet. They had also done skits on the school camps over the years. While the Japanese was very fast and i couldnt understand much of it, it was really funny. I especially liked watching the third year girls giggling. The teachers made it a very enjoyable experience cause they were silly in the movie. Also all of the third year teachers recorded a good luck message for the students. The last thing was a powerpoint presentation of the third years. There are ten classes so there were lots of photos. But i sitting in amoungst the third years so i got to hear the comments and laughing etc. Many cried cause this was their last day at school.

The reason this was so foreign to me was because of the horror we allow students to engage in called muck up day in Australian schools. I participated in mine but was only responsible for the toliet papering of the school. The cat food in lockers and flooding of dorms are two examples of muck up day gone wrong. Muck up day serves only to allow students to wreck the school that has given them the education and opportunities of the last 6 years. While some students may argue that the school is not a good one and it was a waste of time, i would remind them that many kids dont get the opportunity to go to school at all. And that finishing High School opens so many doors to them. Muck up day at my high school and the school i started my teaching career at, served only to disrupt the day and does not unite the school in a celebration of these wonderful kids. The assembly i witnessed at my school here in Japan was outstanding. The whole school came together to farewell the seniors. It was a school spirit building experience and much more positve than the muck up days in Australia.

I am slowly entering a phase of my time here where i am settled enough to see the good and the bad of Japan. And i think some Australian schools and students could learn alot from this 'muck up day' Japanese style.

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