Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Eventful Days At Yamabe JHS

One thing I like about my job here at Yamabe is the variety of life. Reading the same passages out of a textbook over and over can get a bit monotonous, but it seems like there is always something going on. The time schedule for classes changes almost daily. Assemblies, events, and even just plain unexpected conversations seem to be the rule. Another fun little jolt is the yelling some of these teachers give to students. They talk fast, but the volume and the aggressive nature of the of the discipline that is sometimes given is more than any scolding I can remember receiving.

Yesterday we had a fire drill. Fire drills here are always announced days ahead of time. Everyone knows the date, and even the time that the fire drill will be held. Its super lame. It seems to me that they should be unannounced in order to add a bit of realism. I was bad and didn't even go outside. I had a ton of grading that I needed to work on, and I didn't want to waste my opportunity outside listening to fire safety lectures in Japanese.

I thought that this was pretty cool. I had no idea that they extended this far.

I also received a care package from home yesterday(thank you!). I have a pretty good relationship with the assistant principal, so I shared one of my American snacks with him. He quickly reciprocated with something that I hadn't had before.

He showed me this bag of roots. They are called ukon in Japanese, but I know it as turmeric. It is often used in Indian food, and it gives things like curry and some rices their bright yellow color.

As sensei pulled one of the roots out of the bag, he said something I didn't want to hear: "this is good for you". In Japan that is code for: "this is going to taste super awful".

He took the root and grated it, and its strong color and smell were instantly released.

He put the shavings in a cup and poured some hot water in, then added a sugar packet. It wasn't real bad until the end where the solids had settled. I couldn't finish that part.

Early this week the students had elections for school officers. Last week everyone had an assembly in the gym where the candidates gave little speeches asking for support.

The school borrowed this election equipment from the city.

These are the lock boxes where the votes went. I was impressed how seriously this was being taken. I don't think I even had an election until high school.


  1. Anonymous5:19 PM

    What food item did you share with your Assistant Principal?
    What was his reaction to it?

  2. Good question. I let him have a few toasted corn kernels. I'm sure I've seen similar items for sale in Japan, but he look surprised. He seemed to like them well enough, but he only ate a few. Nothing too exciting, I'm afraid.