Friday, March 7, 2008

Graduation Ceremony Practice - wait till you see the videos

Conducting the school song
Sleeping students were everywhere
Learning how to sit
1st and 2nd yrs
Teaching students how to sit

Checking skirt lengths.

Okay so i bet you are thinking that this is not such a big deal. Just like our practices. NOT!!!!!!!

Firstly, all 1000 students had to go and practice. The first years (yr 11) had covered the gym floor with plastic stuff so that normal shoes can be worn in there. And put out all the chairs. This whole younger so the crap jobs should be put in place in Australia. Anyway, so all the students sit in their classes. The graduating class sits at the front, parents and teachers on the side and other students at the back. It was quite boring to start with. BUT that changed very quickly.

First came the sitting lesson from one of the teachers on the stage. The video i took is priceless. He shows them what not to do and what to do. Then he shows them where to put their hands. Boys in fists on their knees and girls crossed in their laps. There is no leg crossing here in Japan. All sit with their legs together and back straight. It was amazing to see 1000 students moving to get into correct sitting position. Then came the skirt length talk for the girls....and then they had to get up and change them back to long skirts. They roll them up to make them short.

Then came the best bit ever.....the practice of standing correctly. That's right you heard me correctly. The same teacher gave a demonstration of the way not to stand up and the appropriate way to stand. So when they say please stand....all 1000 students stand at the same time in the same way. It was incredible. I was above them with Sasaki Sensei who was laughing at me with another teacher cause i was so amazed. It was incredible. I will post videos later. And they even practiced it several times....i cant even imagine Australian students actually doing would take forever....but here it took just 10 or so mins to get it right.

Then came alot of boring stuff. Then they announce the third year (yr 12) students who have never had an absent day in three years. And one of them was in a car accident and couldnt come to school for one year and then came back and never had a another day off in the three years. I thought this was quite strange to acknowledge but i guess that shows commitment. It is a very Japanese thing to do i think.

Then they sang their school song with another teacher conducting them from the stage. I dont know if he does that tomorrow but it was incredible. So much like the military. The song even sounds like a military song. Then they sang Alde Lang song (whatever it is called). The new years song. They of course sang it in Japanese. All these little song sheets appeared out of their jacket pockets. Not to be seen until necessary. It was all so precise. It was amazing. I cant wait to see the real thing tomorrow. I am not going to sit in the gym though i am gonna go up near the band. Above the rest of the people so i can video etc. Plus it is really long and i am not good at sitting still for that long. So i will need to move around which i can do up there.

Another great learning experience in Japan.

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