Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy 50th

I am seriously enkai-ed out. I don`t think I can possibly commit another evening to going out and stuffing myself full of food and beer. There have been two in a row this week to celebrate graduation and it has been a good time but I need my beauty rest. Graduation went well. Apparently, graduations in Japan are more like funerals. Everyone wears suits, except for the mothers who wear traditional kimonos. By the end of the ceremony, all of the students were sobbing as they shook hands with each of the teachers. I have only been teaching these kids for 7 months but I found myself crying. Some people question the water works at other graduation ceremonies in Japan, where there are many students graduating at once. In Ojika, there are 28 of them and I think it`s different for them as island kids. Everyone knows everybody and they are sad that they are leaving their childhood behind and entering the adult world. The school is definitely much quieter now that an entire grade is missing. And now some of them have acquired drivers licenses in the city, so I have been cautioned to take heed while walking or riding in a car on the island until they leave for the mainland because their driving skills are still less than exemplary.

I have been averaging a book every couple of days now that my computer died. It`s driving me bonkers! I love reading and I do it a lot even with computers but I miss reading the news and chatting online. My main mode of communication at home has been cut off. I received a shipment yesterday of candy for student prizes from a COSTCO store and it had been shipped internationally from Hawaii. I saw that they had used a local Honolulu newspaper to stuff the box and I never felt so happy to read the news in English. It was quite pathetic but I enjoyed reading about a bank robbery and a father returning home from military deployment.

At the end of the graduation ceremony on Tuesday, the kids had a going away celebration for the seniors and they had different students come forward and say congratulations in different ways. One of the students did this horrible beatbox impression and then said “yo yo yo” and then congratulations. It was absolutely horrendous, but it gave me an idea. I am doing pronunciation with the 10th graders and I may just incorporate the sounds that beatboxers make into my attention-getter for tomorrow. If anything, I may look like a fool but hey, it`s worth a shot.

And finally, in other news, happy 50th anniversary to the Peace Corps! Here is an awesome video that Lauren, a dedicated PCV from my group of volunteers (Moz 12) in Mozambique made in celebration of the 50th anniversary.

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