Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rinin shiki

Today was rinin shiki at J's school. School ended March 20th. But not really.

Smack dab in the middle of the kids' three week spring break is rinin shiki. I'm not exactly sure what goes on but from what I gather they meet back in their last year's class with their last year's teacher and anyone who has not finished the homework, schoolwork, and tests hands that all in. Next, they march to the gym where some sort of ceremony takes place and it is announced which teachers are being transferred to which schools. Here teachers don't just remain at the school they wish to teach in. Every year from each school dozens of unsuspecting sensei are moved around all over the city -- all at somebodies whim. I'm not sure who that somebody is. Probably the same person who shuffles around all the city office jobs every April.

After the kids get back to their classrooms next year's (starting next week) classes are announced. In J's school there will be three sixth grade classes so while they won't learn their teacher until school starts back up on April 5th, they do learn who will be in their class. It's kind of well known that best friends who don't necessarily study a lot get separated. I'm sure my son and his cronies really sweated it out there. However, J was lucky and ended up with two of them in his class next year. Now, we are just praying for a good teacher (don't get me started on his fourth grade teacher). So today is officially the last day of fifth grade, I guess. And it ended with a bang. But before I tell you that story I have to tell you this one:

I visited my friend's house once and she had something like a screw laying on her table. I asked what it was and she said her son had picked it up on the way home from school and told her not to throw it away. I was immediately relieved. I have bags full of this stuff myself. I must admit...a lot of it has been tossed. But here is a sample of some things that he had hidden around the house, things retrieved on his way home from school:

I couldn't find the lens from someone's glasses or the broken bolt that was as big around as my forearm. But stuff like that gets collected too. In the hot months it is more than likely he will pull a praying mantis from one of his pockets or occasionally the vile full of tadpoles; oh, and once I was introduced to a half dozen dragonfly naiads. They were cool and under his tutelage actually became dragonflies.

Then there was this day.

Let's just say, he was a very lucky boy that mom didn't thrust her hand into his pockets that day. That little cutie actually hangs from the curtain in the kitchen and I dangle stuff on it. It's become very useful.

But after an entire year of cleaning the streets, I must say that today he brought home the piece de resistance.

A manikin head.

He said it was being thrown away by his teacher and when asked if any of the children wanted it they all eyu'd and said it was waaaay to scary. J was actually beaming, 'Can you believe no one wanted this!'

We're going camping this weekend, taking two of his friends. He said he is going to bring the head and spear it with a stick and keep it outside their tent to keep evil away. I'm like, so is this how Vlad Tepes started?

Dog says, Good stuff!

※Edit: I wrote that yesterday but since then we have scared the crap out of my husband, a couple kids and J's grandfather.