Will's Tour Diary - updated daily (ish)!

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

Tuesday 12th December 2000

If hell ever freezes over it would feel something like Tonochi at 8 o'clock in the morning. We shuffled off to Tonochi Junior High School. It was unusually quiet when we arrived. We were met by the cheerfully smiling Shiraishi Sensei who lead us immediately into the gym. There we found the whole school, shivering, as they waited for us. "Please make a speech" we were told. So we wandered onto the stage. The poor students were clearly freezing to death as they sat on the floor of the arctic gym. I said "Pretty cold huh!"  - and then, fearing that there might be casualties from hypothermia, quickly told them I was looking forward to joining their classes.

The day soon warmed up. We were allocated a tatami room where we could work between classes. Richard rang around the press in preparation for the shows later in the week, impressing the teachers in the staffroom with his formal Japanese (when you want the press to visit it pays to be polite!).

At primary schools we have a set show. At junior high schools we play it by ear, depending on what material the students have recently studied. The first class was a tad shy but we tried getting them to sing "Left and Right". So so - they really were shy. Then we used the stopwatch game. Excellent! We had found our lodestone.

The second class was even better. They devoured the stopwatch game format as we reviewed "When is your birthday?", "What time is it?", and  "What sport do you play?" (amongst others).

For lunch I was allocated a 2nd year class. After the initial "oohs" and "ahs" and "I am the baseball captain!" the class was subdued, but on coaxing the kids at my table I received a run down on the new members of the girl group Morning Musume.

After lunch, whilst trying to find my way back to the staffroom, I was ambushed in the hallway by a group of 3rd year girls. Miyuki, Mika, Kanae and Misae introduced themselves to me, whipped out a camera and demanded a photo. "Shy" was not in their vocabulary.

The last class was the genki-est. They chewed through everything we threw at them so we upped the ante and gave them a new phrase to practise: "What do you want for Christmas?". They nailed it.

Miyuki and Kanae dropped by the staffroom to get a photo with Richard, being careful not to get spotted by the other teachers as they really weren't supposed to be toting a camera at school. Then the highlight of the day. They whole school had a firedrill, and had to (carefully) run out onto the oval. There they presented us with a farewell speech - one kid came up to us and made our day by saying, in front of everyone "You are funny!" and then the whole school chorused "Thank you!".

Moments like these make up for cold mornings.


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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