March 1998 – email11

Here comes the bride… alll dressed in… wait a sec…. that’s the wrong song. Opps-ezzz. hehehe sorry. haha. It’s time for tears of happiness and sorrow. Time for SPEED to sing their popular tune…. “My Graduation” Ohhh let it rock on ladies…. it’s actually a cool tune. I like.. you like? try it out….. the words within that is…

From: Gary Ploski     
Subject: Graduation day in Japan.
To: damn you… can’t i have some provacy. geesh. : )

The day began EARLY! I was up at 6:30 this morning and the day had started. I was up, getting ready for school almost immediately after I stood up. YIKES! I left the apt. at 8:00 beginning the day officially.

        I went to ich-chu to drop off some stuff. I arrived there at about 8:06. As I walked toward the entrance I heard music, yes it was the band practicing AGAIN! The students have been practicing for this ceremony for (at least) the past week. I’m not kidding. I think they’ve practiced everyday for the past week or two! It’s incredible! MADDDDD pracicing has gone on here. And on the day of the ceremony before everyone arrived, the band was doin’ it again. How about that.

        I left laughing to myself… It was a comedy in and of itself. I began my journey for san-chu, laughing along the way. I arrived at about 8:25ish. Students were running all over the place, doing whatever they wanted to do — free time for the next 20… enjoy. : )  Graduation was to begin at 9:30, all I had to do was wait.

        During the waiting time I walked around and chit chatted with the students. I asked asked numerous times by a bunch of female students if my tie was “Pepsi-Man”. I told them “no” and then proceded to tell them it was spider-man. PEPSI-MAN!? He’s a character here in Japan that is associated with Pepsi. Japan is a character oriented country. Get a cute/cool character out there and you’re alllllll set.

        Anyway, the ceremony began with some songs — the graduation march! Yes the same one you hear in the states. The school song, the national anthem (more on that later) and followed with the presentation of the certificates to the students. YES INDEEDY!!! It happened first thing! It was cool! During the presentation there was an overhead projector on projecting a message that each student had written to/for their friends and/or family. It was a very cool idea. Some said things like “see you”, “arigatou”, “bye bye”, “thank you san-chu”, etc… It was a very cool thing. ALSO>>>>

        Students proceded to the stage one by one. You could see every student fromthe time they stood up to the time they walked back to their seat. The line at the stage consisted of about 4 students. It continued to rotate until each class was finished and then the next class was begun. The person that said(read) the names was the home room teacher. It went nicely. I was very impressed with that part of the ceremony.

        After that… the speeches began, yeah. They lasted for a little while, not forever. I honetly have no idea how ling it lasted, but I do know that basically the same thing was said by each person because I was able to understand some of each speech.  Next thing… 1st and 2nd grade students then sang a song to the 3rd(graduating) grade students.

        Following that the 3rd graders presented a slide show of various things ranging from — teachers, students, etc… SURPRISE! hehehe. Can you believe that students refelected on their days in and around the school?!?! How about that! Wonder if any other schools had the same thing, : )   I had to leave as the next song was beginning, which happened to be sung by the 3rd graders… I left and headed off to roku-sho, #6 elementary school.

        It was AGAIN a crazy madness of mayhem! Students in these schools are nuts! It’s hillarious. Yes I have pictures. : \ Come on now…. what do you think I’m doin over here,  working? hahaha. It was fun once again. Philip and I were given a video tape with footage from the “Snow White” and “video good-bye letters”. It was/is very FUNNY! I’z funny I say, i’z very funnnny. Back to the office – yeah. NOT!

        THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. Ewwwwwww, controversy in Japan. Ewwwwwwwww. I was asked if I was disappointed about how the song was presented. It wasn’t sung by everyone. It was mouthed by some people, some sang, but the primary voice was brought to the attendees via the speakers on the walls. Apparantly this has been an issue for sometime now. The song basically says ‘what we are doing is for the Emperor’. Since the end of WWII this issue has been around. Some people don’t like singing it because it focuses on the Emperor and nothing but the Emperor. I can understand the issue, but asked “Has anyone thought of re-writing the anthem?” Mr. Watanabe told me he thought the same thing recently.

        Apparently (generally) teachers in ‘teacher’s unions’ choose not to sing the song. The song is written in OLD Japanese and I was told that a lot of people older than 40 don’t know what is said in the song. INTERESTING thing there huh. It’s in OLD Japanese. I don’t know what will come of this, but it was an interesting note that I thought needed to be recorded. How about that… inner strife in Japan. Ewwwwwww. Wonder what’s gonna happen. One could only guess. Time to go so, with that… have a crazy day. ciao cito

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