Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Japanese school:

So in Japan everyone has to wear a uniform. There is no makeup, no dyeing of hair, no jewelry, no hair accessories, no cell phones, you have to be home by 5 unless your at a school related event, you are not allowed to spend the night at another persons house unless it is a special event. The school decideds when its cold enough to wear mittens or a scarf on the way to school and if its raining you wear the school designated raincoat to and from school.  These are all rules set by the schools. But whacking each other with towels while the teacher sets up? Totally ok. Surprisingly I can deal with the rules and restrictions pretty well (I'm sure everyone remembers graduation)  It doesn't really bother me because I understand why the rules are set as such and the culture is that the school gets to decide. I may not love my uniform or the rules, but I can deal.

In Japan, there are no school janitors. The students clean the school after classes every day. It's in a rotation so you only have to stay after school to clean once every few weeks and its your rotation for one week. With about 1000 students, the entire 4 story school is cleaned in about 10 minutes. Keep in mind that I go to a private school here. These kids are paying to go to this school and they still clean. Public high schools have their students clean the building too. I would love to hear the parents and kids response if high schools in the U.S. made kids stay after school to clean. lol

On my third day of school I found out that when teachers are mad at a class they just don't show up to teach. (teachers change classrooms not students here) A cell phone rang during a math class on my first day of school so the next time we had math class the teacher just didn't show up because he was mad at us. We had a free period where we could do whatever we wanted. Some students read, or drew on the blackboard, or talked. We didnt miss any material we just picked up the next time we had math. I totally fail to understand this punishment. Also, anyone still at OHS, ask some of the teachers how they would feel about being able to just not show up for class if they were mad at the students. lol

In Japan you stand and bow at the start of the class and do the same at the end. They also have this warm up for gym class that everyone seems to know, they were really surprised that I didnt know how to do the gym warm up. `You dont know how to do this? Dont you do it in the states?` Shocked that I dont know that but also shocked that I know what mcdonalds is and who Rhianna is. I really dont get it.

In Japan there are no school buses, I take public transportation to school and thats strange, 70% of the students at my school ride their bikes, most of the rest are close enough to walk. The only reason I'm not riding a bike is because the school is worried about traffic accidents. (fair point where I'm concerned, though I doubt I'd need a car to get hurt)

My principal at this school didn't want me to come. They changed principals this year and this one didn't want an exchange student at his International high school. The rotary really had to fight to get me to be allowed to come here. Everyone also seemed to think that I would be really obnoxious. They said they understood that the rules were constricting and that I wasn't used to have to clean the school but when in Rome do as the Romans do. They all seemed really surprised when I said I had no problem following the rules (bet some family and friends are laughing at that) and even more surprised when I didn't throw a hissy fit about having to clean the school. I guess they had an American a few years back who complained about the rules, was outraged that she had to help clean, and just was a pain. Hopefully I'm showing them that not all Americans are divas.

 You change shoes CONSTANTLY in Japan. In school I have a pair of shoes for outside, a pair for inside, an pair for the gym, and then there are special shoes you change into for the computer room, the english room, and the art rooms. Thats just school, at home there are a pair of shoes for in the house, a pair of shoes for the bathroom, exta inside shoes for guests, shoes for the special japanese room w the reed mats, and shoes for the garden. My host family isn't home right now and I'm running around the house barefoot because I can!

Also, we are going over English proverbs in class. Glass half empty vs Glass half full. I was asked by my teacher if I am a pessimist or an optomist. I said optomist (grinning). She then explained to the class that I meant that I see the bright side of everything or that I always see the good. As there were no classmates or teachers from home to shout protests over this, my entire class thinks I'm a glass half full kind of person. Josephine, I bet your laughing over that. And yes I know that if you were in class with me you would have set them straight. But I just couldnt help myself, it was too funny.

And yeah, thats about it for my school so far.