Hi ho! It's off to school I go!

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August 24th 2011
Published: August 29th 2011
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Thanks to the Jet Lag, I am early to bed and early to rise this week. Honestly, I'm thankful. By 7:20 I had left the hotel and by 7:46 I was on the train to Shiogama!

The first school I decided to visit was "First elementary school." A really great school (as they all are) with very genki students and equally genki teachers. While I was sitting in the Principal's office waiting for the Vice Principal/Head teacher (hereon referred to as "kyoto-sensei") I noticed my schedule for the morning. Oh boy. I was scheduled to visit every class in the school! (Grades 1-6, 2 classes per grade = 12 classes.) Usually I would be more enthusiastic about this but as I mentioned earlier, I was still Jet Lagged...
I did gain a bit of energy though as the morning went on. Every time I walked into a class, the students showed some kind of surprised and/or happy expression, so it was not hard to not to be a little genki. I was surprised that not only did they all remember me but some even remembered my favourite food and colour! Most of the classes were fairly straight forward. I would talk to them a bit in English, explain why I was there, and then they could ask me any question. But when I went to the grade 3 classes the teachers changed it a bit and had some of the students mention their experience with the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. From what I understood, the students were very surprised by the earthquake and were confused about the tsunami. Some didn’t believe the tsunami was happening or that it was that big, others simply had no idea what was happening. Despite the experiences that they had, however, all the students seemed very energetic and happy. A few of the teachers said they might be damaged mentally because of the experience, but I don’t believe I saw much of that today. They seemed like the energetic, and a bit wild, students that I taught a year ago. I guess time will tell how much it really affected them.

In the afternoon I went to Tsukimigaoka Elementary school but because of a special schedule I was only there for one period and a bit of after school activities. The students there were exactly as I remember them, so I was very pleased.

After school, I went to visit my former kimono teacher with another teacher friend of mine. It was so nice to see her again! Her house was not affected by the earthquake or the tsunami, which was a relief because she has so many handmade kimonos, I would have hated to see them ruined. We sat and had tea for about an hour or so, just talking like we always used to.

Today was a bit of a shock for me because I thought upon returning to the schools and visiting friends, things would have changed but in fact, it all felt the same as it did when I lived here.

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As soon as I mentioned "shashin" (photo) I was swarmed by a bunch of girls who wanted to get a photo with me :)

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