This school year marks my school’s 100th. The 100th anniversary is a such a big, expensive deal, that it is because of this that our school could not afford to send me to Tokyo with our student who went to the national speech contest (despite the other ALT being allowed to go for free). As a result, I had been aware that this was happening for quite some time now. The ceremony was held on a Saturday, which made for a long week, but I figured, “What the heck? It’ll be a good cultural experience that not many other ALTs will get. I can get through one more Saturday of work.”
It was not worth it.
First off, I had some time to kill between when I had to be at work and when I had to be in the gym, so I wandered around and took some photos. I’ll use just about any excuse to play with my camera.
Then the students and teachers reported to the gym for a pre-ceremony singing practice.
Then it was time for the ceremony to start. The opening ceremony was really cool as it was our taiko team performing.
After a few opening words, we got to see a slideshow of a bunch of historical photos from Tomishima’s history (all which were also found in the book we were all given before the ceremony started, seen below).
After that it was speech…
after long Japanese speech.
The poor students were struggling to stay awake.
Several of the teachers had already lost that battle.
I, meanwhile, was alternating between translating a song I had snuck in and checking out this guy’s epic beard.
The whole thing was 4 hours long and seemed much longer. Our prize for getting through the ceremony was a pretty nice paperweight with a picture of the school on it.
At least the afterparty was more interesting. To be continued…