First week at school

20 april
2012

It is now Friday morning and today I have no school. That is because there are medical checkups for all students. Our homeroom teacher said we had to go for a checkup, but because we had a check before we came to Japan we were dismissed.

This week I had a normal school week. The lessons here are every day (Monday till Friday) from 8.40 until 15.30. On Monday I am in my own class most of the time and I have 1 hour private Japanese lesson. The rest of the lessons I learn Japanese with my own AFS books and the books I got from school, especially to learn the language. Because we had new teachers this week, we had to introduce our self, and say your name and hobbies, in Japanese! If someone was introducing himself, no one was  listening and just talking with each other but when I spoke, all eyes were on me and when I was finished everyone was cheering, very funny! On Tuesday I had my first Art lesson, I had to sit in the back of the class room, and fortunately there were some people in my class that helped me! My class, 2F, has two groups, Art and Music (Rachel does music). The teacher is very nice! We made a postcard with origami decoration. Compared with the others in the class I was really doing worse, but everyone said it was good.

The Classic and Modern Japanese teacher is very strict. She always whines that your skirt is too short and that your bow or tie are not seated properly. She was even angry at me that my skirt was too short, while its 1 millimeter above my knees. I didn’t understood her, but then the class  said, really cool, that I do not Japanese very well, and then she stopped whining.

Wednesday I had computer class, together with two classes from the first year. I was the only foreigner and only second year student. Everyone was excited that I was in their class and everyone was talking to me, even though I understood nothing. One boy is half Japanese and speaks very little English. Japanese, especially high school students doesn’t speak much English, but what they do know is “Do you have a boyfriend?”, And when I say ‘No.’, everyone gets a heart attack.

I was with the two sports classes in the classroom. They have special schedules because they practice sports a lot and SUPER good. The boys all have very short hair, the girls also have very short hair and, sometimes, the look like boys. They do that so they look like one team. And they are really non-technical. There was one girl who did not know how to switch on the computer, another one was searching for the ‘C’ key for at least two minutes while I was typing blind since it’s all Japanese. We were allowed to go onto the Internet. Almost all sites are blocked, EVEN THE AFS SITE? But facebook and youtube were available and that is not very logical. So I had a chat with Nadia (Dutch AFS-er currently on exchange in New Zealand). There were two girls totally impressed that I could type so fast. I later asked Honda-san what they do in computer class. They make Word and Excel documents and make Powerpoints. I do not know how long I keep up with … because that is really quite boring.

After the classes I went with Celeste to join girls rugby, but it seems that most of the girls come and go when they want to. We have waited so long, but nobody came, then we went to the play field (where the boys were practicing). We asked the teacher where everyone was but he gave us a ball and we had to throw to each other while we were still in our uniform, and we were stared at by everyone and it must have looked really terrible.

After half an hour we had enough of it, because nobody else showed up, and we went to pick up our stuff and change shoes. The latter did not go well because I got terrible cramps in my foot, it hurt so much that I had to sit down. When I wanted to get up, my other knee locked, cracked or something, it hurt a lot such that I was dizzy and almost fainted, with 7 people around me, very embarrassing. So first I could not stand up and finally I went to the library with Celeste to take a rest, but it hurt so much! We went to the school doctor. Because there was nobody home and cycling was not an option because I could not bend my leg. Honda-san and Celeste took me to the station and in the train took the priority seat, because I could not stand 40 for minutes. I do not know if people looked at me as I sat there on a priority seat, but for that moment I did not worry about it.

Thursday my knee still hurt, but it’s going better. I joined gym in a 50% mode. We also watched a video.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afpc_EcohcY[/youtube](skip about one minuut)
These people are really EXTREMELY good, and we are supposed to do something like that too. It’s almost like a military training!

After school we went to rugby, and this time there were much more girls! And there were also two other Rotary students (Brittney and Claudia, who are on other schools in Sapporo) played rugby. We started with throwing the ball, stretching and running, but that did that too much pain. We play rugby different from what you can see on TV or how the boys do it. It’s called Tag Rugby, when the player possessing the ball is tapped by someone of the other team she must pass the ball to another team member. When you are tapped 4 times or you drop the ball the ball goes to the other team. Later also three boys from the boys rugby team played with us. But they are so good and so fast. I was fast too! Once I play sport, I switch off the pain and I become fanatic: P

About 19:00 we went to change clothes, but there were still a few guys on the tennis court. And earlier this week I had asked if I could play tennis again, and I finally had the guts to actually ask. Currently there are only boys in the tennis club, last year there was a girl but she is now at university. Celeste helped me to translate for me. Tennis is also a little different from normal tennis because the ball is very soft. And you hold the racket in a different way. And yes and the net is really HIGH. But it was cool! The boys are also very nice, and they are quite ‘Oh, my, the EXCHANGE GIRL is playing tennis’! In my best Japanese (…: P) I asked if I could play again next week, and they were anonymous: YES YES YES GOOD GOOD! When I walked away I heard them say to each other “oh my, she is so cute and cool”, really funny! Next week I will practice with them so I am curious how the rest (of the club) reacts!

I arrived home at 20:30 and had dinner at 21:00, it was a long but very fun day! Today I will have a relaxing day and tomorrow I go out with some exchange students (Rotary) and some Japanese students to Sapporo center. Because Celeste is going home soon, we will have some fun together! Sunday I go to Kotoni  (near my school) with Celeste and some other people.

Monday I will go play badminton, and it becomes pretty hard to choose a sport, because I did not know both rugby and tennis are so much fun! I’m glad I can first try different sports then make a choice. But so far the sport clubs are all very nice! I never expected I would ever say that I really like going to school!

And a… oh yes I didn’t receive the pictures from Honda-san yet, so please be patient: D

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