The days go by quickly and so much happens (but nothing interesting) that I find it hard to start a post because I know I have to do something before I get it finished. Quick update.
My nephew was "promoted" from 5th grade to middle school. They no longer call it "graduation" or "junior high school" and in my day we completed 6th grade in the elementary school but no longer.
So many things that I find interesting but I'm sure my American blog readers aren't going to be interested at all in my observations. Promotion was a quick handing out of certificates in the classroom on Monday. Some parents attended but not all. The teacher was wearing shorts and the whole thing was over before I got any pictures. After the classroom event all the kids walked down to the neighborhood park and had a barbecue of hot dogs and hamburgers.
Big difference from Japanese elementary school graduation. My kids were required to wear their up-coming jr. high school uniforms and it was "suggested" to the mothers that we all wear a black suit. A real orchestrated event in Japan (as is the kindergarten graduation ceremonies, and the jr. high graduation ceremonies).
Tuesday there was an awards assembly at my nephew's school and that really choked me up. That's funny because the only child in the whole school that I know is my nephew! Again, casualness prevailed for all the kids and parents (parents all sat on the picnic benches on the school grounds and drank Starbucks as they watched). I was most impressed at the awards given in every class for "Most improvement". Most improvement in reading, in writing, in math, in citizenship. Of course some recognition of excellence in grades but by far the most improvement theme ran high.
Another situation that struck me was when the Deaf-Ed classes were called on stage for the recognition. Up until then the general mood was a lot of cheering and clapping and whistling for each child. Typical American loud and fun loving. But when the children in those classes were called forward the whole assembly spontaneously raised their hands and twisted their wrists in the official American Sign Language sign for a cheer. I just thought that was so caring and touching.
Grandma update. We went to visit Mother after the ceremonies and found her in a real tiz about everything. Sort of an anxiety attack. But the hospital said she could go home so home we came! She has zonked out since then. We'll see what the next few days bring.
Leiya's here! She flew in at 10:00 last night! Lots of chatting between us already (daughters give so much more information than sons!) but not enough light to take a picture of her.
And Takumi blew in around 12:00 midnight so I have my children together for the day.
On today's agenda are promotion ceremonies for my niece to high school.