During study hall today, the kid next to me was falling asleep over his English. I shocked him into alertness by offering to read aloud to him, and I like to imagine that it was helpful. Another kid asked me to proofread an English essay, which was not bad at all. Finally, I tried to work out how to use the tools and materials at hand to prepare for a card weaving lesson. Three younger boys helped. Only one could understand any English, but they muttered amongst themselves and dared to repeat my words, and it was quite satisfying all around.
In the afternoon, we had an appointment to meet with the vice-principal, Suzuki-san, who gave a detailed and well-constructed lecture to Camilla and me on the school's history. Basically, a Catholic priest visited France and the US and wanted to start a school which would prepare students for a global economy. Later, he decided to embed an experimental school into the larger school, and recruited a gifted teacher with a Japan-wide reputation to be the principal, Yokose-san. Yokose-san recruited a staff, not from trained teachers but from people who were successful in other fields. Wow.
Suzuki-san is an animated and kindly man, so by the end of his talk, six or seven students had gathered around us to listen. The conversation rambled, and Camilla and I ended up giving a talk on Washington State history, not something that either of us feels qualified to do, but I think it's inconceivable to a Japanese that one wouldn't know one's local history. So we tried.
In a way that I've come to see is typical, all the plans now changed. No longer would the English lesson for the school focus on ancient Egypt. Instead, Camilla and I would talk about our home and about Washington State history. Okay, then.
word of the day: konnichiwa - good day