Friday, October 27, 2006

School in Japan

I know better, but every once in a while I think, man I wish I had gone to school in Japan.

Here's a few examples:

①When a teacher is sick or has a meeting or must judge a track meet for three days (like J's teacher just did last week), and can't make it to class, the school doesn't call in a substitute teacher. No. The kids simply go to school and don't HAVE a teacher that day. They work on stuff by themselves. Total honor system!! Last year J's teacher got really sick and he (and his class) was without a teacher for TWO WEEKS! This still baffles me.

②Over the winter they leave some water in the pool and let it get all sludgey and slimy and gross. Come end of spring, the kids wade out in their bare feet and collect all the insects, larvae, and other various wormy things and put them in containers that are then lined and stacked around the classroom. Entering a Japanese classroom during warm weather is not for the faint of heart.

③Then today J tells me he needs to bring a kama to school. I don't know how many martial arts fans are out there, but this is a kama.

I said, "Wha? Huh? Eh~?" And he goes yes, all the kids have to bring one to school today. I'm thinking he's offa his head. But it's true. Today they harvest the rice and that is the weapon, nay, tool of choice.

Here is a picture of what kids train to do with kamas via video games.

I am trying to form an image of the nuns from my elementary school telling us all, Tomorrow bring an extremely sharp and heavy metal instrument to class, everybody now, you hear me!?

So the question of the day is: Do normal Japanese families just have kamas laying around their houses?!

I will post this and then later today, during the open house, I will take some actual pictures of the carnage that ensues from 100 11-year old kids brandishing blades.

So many blogs to blog.

Stay tuned for...

1) Horror in the Rice fields

2) Iron Maiden Concert or The benefit of Y

3) Salvador Dali and the Tengu Mummy

4) That Harvest Festival (still not blogged)

5) What One Man Jumping in Front of a Bullet Train Can Do