Thursday, September 15, 2005

It's cul-cha innit?

I really enjoyed the culture festival at my school this year, partly
because I actually had things to do this time around. When I started
working for Nyu High School last August I was told that I should spend
the first week familiarising myself with my environment, ready for the
beginning of lessons. Unfortunately, the process of familiarisation
took very little time indeed, and I soon found myself becoming pretty
bored. I could see that people were busy making things and preparing
for the school festival, but whenever I asked if I could help I was
always met with the same answer: "Don't worry Lewis-sensei! You can
just relax!". I could see that the teachers were just trying to be
polite, but it meant that for most of the first week or so I was just
sat twiddling my thumbs.

Thankfully things were a lot more interesting this year. I was asked
to sing "American Idiot" by Green Day with the third year band, so I
spent a lot of time practicing with them in the lead up to the
festival. I was also helping out with the tea ceremony club - I've
been going to the club every Thursday for the past year, and for the
culture festival we put on an all-day tea ceremony.

It was great fun getting dressed up in yukata (summer kimono) for the
ceremony - it was really funny to see the look on the students' faces
when I came shuffling out carrying their tea! They couldn't believe
it! The vice-principal turned up for a cup of "o-cha" as well, and I
think he was pleasantly surprised to watch me in full Japanese culture
mode. Partly because the only other time he sees me is when I'm trying
to ask for time-off with my terrible Japanese.

Anyway, it's nice to feel a part of the school now - I know I'm never
going to properly fit in to Japanese society, and I'm probably never
going to be able to speak fluent Japanese, but at least I've made an
impression, and that's what counts.

And I do a mean Billie Joe Armstrong impression too.


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