I have an interesting couple of days.
I decided to explore the school once again instead of staying confined to the teacher's offices. I went to the gym and watched the boys' volleyball club practice. I thought about joining, then I noticed what they were actually doing. One kid was spiking a ball as hard as he could down at the ground while another boy was forced to dive to bump the ball. This continued for at least 30 mins with different both taking over each role. I am not diving for any ball on the hard gym floor, especially not more than once.
Realizing my cowardice and apparent need to have fully-functioning knees, I moved on to the girls' volleyball club. They were playing practice games. I met their coach, Y-Sensei. She speaks 3 languages (although her English is awful) and is the calligraphy teacher as well. I volunteered to take score and even made a few signs to cheer them on. The girls laughed, but I laughed too. It was a fun time.
Today is the Junior High students visiting day. Basically, my high school opens up to junior high students from all around to show them what high school classes are like. I got to help teach one class with I-Sensei. First, she told the kids something in Japanese (probably "welcome" and "this is what English class will be like"). Then she had me introduce myself in English to the class. The students were INCREDIBLY SHY. I basically told them my name, where I'm from, my hobbies, etc. Then I-Sensei had me read 2 children's books. She told me to read them like a father would to his children. A bit embarrassing, but I'm no stranger to embarrassing as a teacher. The students' then translated the book on a worksheet. I-Sensei had students translate a Japanese book to English as well.
After class, I-Sensei invited C and me to the tail-end of a tea ceremony. We missed the rituals, but arrived on time to drink the tea. The girls of the Tea Ceremony club wear yukatas as they perform the rituals. It was cute. I don't particularly like tea, but since I'm always dehydrated I drink it anyway.
From the CIR, A: 8/29 "For those of you who are new, Basara Matsuri takes place on the afternoons of August 28th and 29th, and is a chance for us JETs to actually get out there and dance in a matsuri parade, which is not that often! It only takes an hour or so to learn the dance (a very simple one), and then we go out with the other groups and dance about in the streets of Nara City. It's lots of fun, and a great opportunity to get a front row seat for all the other groups :D"
From the CIR, M: Also, 8/29 "You will be able to eat and drink while enjoying performances about what Japan can be proud about. The stage will have the shape the boats used to have when Japan was sending out people to China to learn about Chinese civilization 1300 years ago. An example of the performances held on that day could be “Kagami wari” (traditional Japanese celebration), during which people break a barrel’s lid with a hammer to drink the alcohol inside. It sounds like tons of fun, right?!!"
As you can see, I am staying very busy. Nara Orientation is next Monday and Tuesday! Beer garden Monday night!