Japan 2012; an epic adventure post 16 1/2

From the journal of Christopher Sanford Beck on October 25 2012 NOTE: this day is very long so I have split it into two parts.

This morning I set an alarm for 6:30 in the morning and woke up buzzing (no pun intended!). I couldn’t wait to go to school, it was going to be an incredible experience but I was still quite nervous as well. After getting ready and having breakfast, we set off for Ayako’s mansion. In Japan, people who live in an apartment complex don’t call it a suite, they call it their mansion. I’m not sure why! Anyways, shortly after I got there, I headed off to school with Yuta and Sayune’s walking group. It was about a five minute walk and lots of people talk to me, though it was hard to understand what they were saying. The school was a four story high complex in a U shape, with a large field(gravel) with a soccer field, race lines, a pool, basketball nets, and a jungle gym in the middle. It was a lot different than a school in Canada because of the size and the amount of students. Changing into our special indoor shoes, Yuta took me to his class where I was swarmed by people! I got to meet all of his classmates, (though I don’t remember names, there were so many!) and they got to meet me. I also met his teacher, the Sensei, who was very kind and she spoke a little English. Through out the day I could tell that she went out of her way to make things as pleasant for me as possible, and she did an amazing job of it! A bit before school started, Ayako came to the school and introduced me to the principal. We then came back to the class and shen”helped me to introduce myself in front of the class,
“Boku wa, Kurisatafaa. Canada kara kimashta.” Translation-“My name is Christopher. I live in Canada.”
After Ayako left, the class had a bit of time to hang out and I showed some kids my magic tricks. I was having a great time already! Soon after, David. The English teacher, came to teach. It was a basic counting/money lesson. Using US dollars.the exercise was that we where all handed a shopping list and some money. We then had to go to the “store” at the front of the class, and buy the items on our shopping list. It was very easy for me, but had it been the other way around, with me learning Japanese, it would have made a great way to teach the lesson! One difference that I was already starting to see, was that everybody in the class participated respectfully!!! We where only one period in and I was already loving it.
The next class was math. Math was my least favourite subject in school, but here it didn’t seem as bad! The lesson we where learning today was geometry. We all took out our math books (the teacher had lent me one) and looked at the shapes in the book then, punching out triangles from one of the back pages, we made the shapes. It was a lot of fun and I finished quickly. After everyone was finished their shapes, the other kids had to solve a series of equations. I’m not sure why not, but I didn’t have to do the equations, which was quite all right with me since they looked very challenging! Once everyone was done, the girls went into a different class room and everybody, including me, changed into shorts and a T-Shirt. Once everyone was changed, the girls came back in and we all went outside for gym. To warm up, we did some stretching and ran two laps around the school yard. (The school yard was huge!) it turned into a race and I started at the very end of the line and came in 3rd place. After the race, we got basketballs from the equipment shed and lined up. The teacher separated us into two groups and each group got one basketball court. For about ten or fifteen minutes, everybody played together and just practiced passing and shooting but after that time was up, we where divided into two teams, all of the balls except one where put back and the game begun! I love playing basketball and Yuta and I where the best goal scores on our team, winning both games. It was great, friendly, competition and everybody had fun and everybody participated. Geez, I thought to myself, if this was what school was like back home, I doubt I would be homeschooled! The next class we had was music class. The upper grades (including my class) where all practicing for an upcoming concert, so I got to sit back and enjoy the show. The music I that they played was beautiful! I think that they are as good as most professional bands!! But Catherine says that they are one of the less musically talented schools. I could not believe that. Lunch time was drawing near, half of the day was already gone, but I couldn’t wait for the next half!

Thus ends part one of this day, please tune in tomorrow for the last half and as always, thanks for reading.





2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jacquee on March 10, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Chris I am blown away by the inventiveness, respect & teamship that is shared by the teachers & students!! It’s amazing the effort that is put into the balance between exercising the body & exercising the mind! Do they have basically the same subjects as we have here? I would LOVE to hear about their art classes. Do the younger grades learn about origami & Japanese script painting? Am looking forward to hearing about your afternoon there. J


  2. Hey! I was blown away as well! They do have very similar studies as here, but also different ones! I went to a grade six class, so I can’t answer your question on that, but probably!


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