Friday, June 3, 2011

Merry Maids

School cleaning often involves a lot of confusion for me. An interesting thing to note about Japanese schools - they don`t have janitors. The janitors are the students. Every day, at 3:10, after they have finished their classes for the day, the students are then given the task of cleaning the school. This often involves sweeping and dusting and a lot of looking busy (at least, that is what I would do if I were a student). I help out in the teachers` room, with three or four girls who come in to sweep every day while I change the garbages.

While our prefecture is having their sports event this weekend, the only two groups left on the island are the band kids and the baseball boys. Both clubs were given the two-hour task of cleaning the gym. You may think that a task that simple would not require two hours. But you would be wrong. The following are some interesting methods of cleaning I have observed.

The gym floor - washed by hand, the students are required to line up and, holding the cloth down with their hands, they run to the other end of the gym in a straight line. I am pretty sure I have seen something comparable and just as torturous during the last chance workout on the Biggest Loser. I asked if there was a mop - but I got a blank look in return.

The windows - they are washed, then wiped dry...and then rubbed with newspaper. I asked what the purpose of the newspaper was and no one could give me an answer. It seemed to be a "that`s just how we do things" kind of answer with a shrug.

But hey, it could have been worse. We could have been with the baseball club members, who were sitting outside...picking grass off the field.


Megen A. said...

We used newspaper to wash windows at my old coffee shop because it helps prevent streaking. Although if its already dry and the kids then wipe it with newspaper I don't see how that would help. Strange

Erin L said...

Thank you for explaining that! Mystery solved!

Megen A. said...

You're welcome :) I love your blog Erin! Its been helping me 'travel' to places I probably won't go in my life time!