I'm back in Japan and since this is my last year I've decided to make sure I document not just my travels around Japan and Asia but to really showcase what day to day life in the countryside of Japan is like. Because it is different. Sometimes really different.
A while back I took photos throughout my day at school. This is a day in my life at elementary school from start to finish.
Walking to the train station.
I stop to admire the nano-hana flowers. These are a big deal here in Tahara. There is even a special nano-hana decorated train.
I buy a ticket for 130 yen.
I don't get the nano-hana train this morning. Boo!
My friends and I play a game with our tickets. The first person who can make theirs add up to 10 wins. I usually lose, but today I get lucky. 9-8=1 and 3*3=9. 9+1=10. But no one is there for me to gloat.
I walk by fields of cabbage. I hate cabbage and because it's so abundant here I get to eat it almost every day. Woohoo!
It's a five minute walk from the train station to school. Here I am!
I change into my "inside" shoes. And am immediately approached by the 2nd grade teacher who apologizes for leaving me with her class of 38 students by myself yesterday. I was traumatized at the time, but I'm over it now.
My schedule for the day. Five classes! I am going to be busy.
I quickly finish up a one point lesson for the teachers even though I have missed the morning teacher's meeting. No worries because they have their monthly meeting this afternoon so I can give it then. My art skills leave much to be desired.
First class is 3rd grade. We learn animals, the noises they make, and "I have a cat/dog/chicken" and "I don't have a cat/dog/chicken" etc.
Karuta at the board with pica-pica hammers is a big hit with the kids.
My second group of third graders get the same lesson. Here they are showing me their fish faces.
Third period and the first grade really likes Duck, Duck, Goose. Except in this case we played Cat, Cat, Dog.
Fourth period, the special ed class makes a dice with the animals on it. We bounce them around and whenever they fall on the floor they have to call out the animal it lands on...or I call out the animal and try to get them to repeat it after me. It's mildly successful.
Lunchtime with the third graders. These kids are on lunch duty today, so they get all dressed up in their protective gear and dish it out to the rest of the class.
We get some perversion of spaghetti today. I put quite a lot of mine back in the pot. Itadakimasu!
After lunch the kids brush their teeth. The teacher has a timer and they have to brush until it beeps while I sit and watch. There's also a brushing your teeth song that plays over the intercom. Sometimes I dance to it and they laugh at me.
Time for cleaning. I sit in the teacher's room and talk with the kids who pretend to clean but spend most of their time wrestling.
Then I pretend to study Japanese for awhile, but really I'm spacing out and reminding myself I only have one more class to go.
Fifth period and the fourth graders are learning weather. I'm really tired at this point and they are in some sort of lunch induced coma so none of us are very genki, but we all get through it. They might have even learned something in the process.
After class, I'm too tired to try and study so I hit the computer and check my blogroll instead.
Usually I have to stick around until 4:00 but since there is a teacher's meeting in the afternoon, I give my one-point lesson and then get out of there at 3:30.
Waiting for the train. I'm in Toshima trying to get back to Tahara.
When the train comes I realize it's a nano-hana train. Yippee! Everything is decked out in yellow, including the fans, seats, and handholds.
Walking back to the apartment. I tried getting a shot of Mount Zao in the background with it's trademark windmill, but you can't really see it in this picture.
Finally at home. Outside shoes off...
And house shoes on. This work day is over!