Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 20 - Day 4

hello! This is Natalie Perrine, class of 2019. Today was very very fun. It was the first day that we attended a Japanese high school. Going to classes in Japanese was difficult but quite an experi nice.  First period I had math, where students were learning logarithms. I was amazed that I understood what was happening. Next was a current events class. Or politics. Or something similar. This one was much more difficult to understand. I couldn't understand much of what the teacher said, but I found I could almost understand the content on the handouts. The last class I attended was chemistry, and I was actually able to help other students, because I did well at Shaler.

After the first three classes, it was time for lunch (school starts an hour and half later there). Kiley and I ate lunch with Japanese students, which was not only great because the cafeteria food is so delicious, but it was also a good time to meet and talk with the Japanese students.  I found that a great ice breaker is telling the students you have a boyfriend. Apparently they are not as open about dating in schools in Japan. When I told them there are many couples in an American high school, they were very surprised because it is much less common here. But, but having this conversation, I was able to make friends.

After lunch, we went to the neighboring junior high school building where we gave a class a presentation about Pittsburgh. Then we got a tour around their school, which was a very helpful way to learn about Japanese schools. For example, I didn't know there was a separate room for  every club activity. The calligraphy club has its own room, kendo club has its own room, and so on.

After the tour was my favorite part of the day, where we were taught Japanese games and taught them games. Nothing is more entertaining than a game of duck duck goose with
Japanese junior high school students!

After that we went to a welcoming party where I met more students and was able to make friends.  We sat around talking and eating snacks, which I have to say are better than any chip in America. With the welcome party over, we all then went home.  I had a delicious dinner and for dessert we ate mochi filled with strawberries and drank matcha.

In conclusion, today was filled with new friends and experiences good times, better food, and the sweetest host family in existence. Not to mention, I think my Japanese conversation skills are getting. better.

Listening to a welcome speech

Some of our tour guides

Playing the "Newspaper Game" where you have a group try to stand on the smallest possible square of newspaper

Playing "Hana Ichi Monme" a game like red rover but with a song, dance, and paper rock scissors

Making new friends at the welcome party

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