Will's Tour Diary - updated daily!

Will's tour diary
- What? Why? When? Where? - Shows - Seminars

Tuesday Nov 14th 2000

Tiny Oamekawa Primary School. The whole school - 30 kids, 6 teachers - in an ancient but atmospheric gym. Because there were so few students we conducted the show more like a class than our usual performances, and the more personal touch worked well. Even the student Jessica claimed was the naughtiest kid was attentive. The students sang up a storm. We had great time doing the show and from the grins on their faces I suspect the teachers did too.

In the staffroom we showed all the teachers the Genki English CDs and Ogino Sensei, the resident technology buff, got very excited. As we did this Jessica made the mistake of joining the students' running practice. "It's only 8 minutes!" she was told. Uphill!

It appears that Oamekawa garners a lot of attention in education circles because its small size affords it the opportunity to pursue an extensive programme of extra-curricular activities and projects. Ogino Sensei told us that the school had gone so far as to have a book published, and showed us a copy of "Small School, Big Heart". 

We checked out the student's ninja club classroom, complete with false doors and paper shuriken (throwing stars). Outside one industrious sixth grader was digging the foundations for an all-wood construction lookout. No slouch in the precision department he diligently measured depths with a tape measure, and according to his teacher he worked on the project until 6pm everyday.

We left feeling that Oamekawa was not your average school, and that we were lucky to have seen a different side to primary school education.

We visited Jessica's Board of Education and met her boss, a suave gent called Mr Imai. Whilst there I got a call from Helen in Aomori - there had been a car accident, and one of the JETs we had met - John - was on life support. I didn't know what to say. Helen had a favour to ask - John had appeared in the video footage of our Aomori visit - could we make a copy of the tape for his parents? Sure, no problem, I told her. It took a while for the full import of the call to sink in. Just a few weeks ago we had been out drinking and singing karaoke with John....

Richard, Jessica and I went off for dinner.

Jessica took us to Chiritori udon restaurant. Udon is a fat, white, wheat noodle. It looks like obese spaghetti. Soba is a thin, grey, buckwheat noodle. It looks like octagenerian spaghetti. Both are delicious, though my usual preference is soba (eating udon often makes me imagine I am chomping down on a slug).

The day had left me famished, and I ordered a second udon dinner (the slug factor notwithstanding). Richard decided to fall asleep at the table. Jessica and I let him be.

We finished up the evening with a video. The Mummy.


email: will@genkienglish.net

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Opinions expressed in this diary are personal views of Will Jasprizza. They do  not necessarily represent those of Genki English, especially where he is  making jokes which sounded better at the time!!! Please be understanding!


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