Well, this is it. I’m leaving tomorrow and Japan will be left behind. A lot of stuff has happened over the past two years that I never really got to write about on this blog, but pretty much no one reads it anyway, so yeah
I never really thought I would be this sad to to leave but here I am wishing for just a bit more time. Still, at the same time I’m eager to get back to my wonderful life back home where everything is good and right (in my world). So all in all, it was one incredible experience but I’m happy to go home now.
Thankyou everyone <3
Yes, it’s the last everything around here lately.
Last PJO concert (sob), last day of school (sob), last soccer match (sob)…….on and on it goes!!!
It’s all finishing up now but I still have lots to blog about so keep on reading folks!
Here are some photos of the gifts I was showered with:
School — 2 massive photo albums filled with induvidual messages from all my class members and every single teacher in the school! Plus heaps of other photos.
I also got this from the members of the brass band:
Soccer — a really cool towel with my name on it, plus this nice album!!!
These fully sick gifts will help me remember all the great times I had here!
see you!!! ＼(^o^)／
Posted by admin on Nov 19, 2011 in Fully sick events
On Saturday, October 29th, Mihara’s annual English speech contest was held. Junior high school students from all over the city made speeches in English – including me. Yep, that’s right! However instead of competing normally and slaughtering all the competition, I was made to do a ‘model speech’ at the end.
I spoke about the differences between Australian and Japanese schools, but was careful not to make Japan sound too bad (I tried, I really did).
The original document of my speech is here, and video coming soon.
It was actually really fun and I met lots of nice people. It was funny listening to everyone’s accents
Can you spot me?
Even though I wasn’t allowed to win a prize, in my heart I won a gold medal!!!
And yes, I am aware that that was disgustingly cheesy. It’s what comes from taking moral studies classes.
Until we meet again,
Ruby <3 xoxo
Posted by rubyrox on May 28, 2011 in About me
, Fully sick events
Yes, that’s right, at my stupid school in Japan (well actually at all schools in Japan) we have tests: and not the namby-pamby let’s-see-how-much-you’ve-achieved progress tests. Serious tests. Twice a term, 5 times a year. Tests that you have to study for, everyday after schoolall weekends. Tests where they keep you in after school for mandatory studying time. Tests where all subjects give you masses of homework and workbooks to complete; where you’re not supposed to play or go out anywhere during Study Weeks. Tests where you have a time table and have to map out what you are going to do every minute of the day, and how many hours of study you’ll do, and then record what you actually did. Tests that change your entire life. That’s right. Because if, starting in year 7, your results aren’t good enough, you won’t get in to the Senior High School of Your Choice, won’t get into university, won’t get a good job. Simple as that.
So……………………….we study. Even I do, though I won’t be going to Senior High School here (yaaaaaaay ), because I want to get good results. And here, because everything is rote memorisation, it barely makes any difference wether you’re smart or not – just how much you study. Hence the global saying that Asian people are smart/hardworking. I don’t study that much at all (well, usually I always have something on, like a Melbourne Victory game in Osaka or a best friend from Australia coming to stay, so that makes it hard); I generally do about 30-somethnig hours of after school and weekend study in the 2 test Study Weeks, maybe? You should see how many other people in my class do!
Anyway, here are my results for my Year 8 Term 1 Midway Test Results (note: this time’s study interruption was Tess the Great coming all the way across the world to see me; far better that studying):
Japanese: 89/100 (one of the top marks. Japanese is hard, but I study my kanji and always get them 100% right thanks to my top-notch flash-card app, iAnki)
Maths: 98/100 Arghhhh!!! I was so close! I had 4/2 and didn’t change it to 2 in one of my algebraic equations. Poobumwee. Props to dad for helping me understand the bits when I was away.
English: 100/100 Naturally; though once I did get 99…..
Humanities: 78/100 Pretty good seeing as I didn’t study that much it, still, it was only Geography; next it will be the dreaded Japanese History…… !!! D:
Science: 76/100 I’m perfectly happy with that! I hate science, especially since I have barely any idea what it all means in Japanese…
So, yeah! My average was 87.something/100. And I barely studied! Take that you study maniacs! Wooooohoooooo!
OK, maybe I’m getting a little over-excited. I just love owning my class. ;P
My blog is back in action! Yay! Please keep reading. I beg of you, as Felix would say.
Toodles! And check out my new albums!!!
The team at Rubyrox,
Posted by rubyrox on Feb 26, 2011 in Breaking news
, Fully sick events
On Thursday and Friday, school was cancelled!!! Influenza (Swine Flu) has suddenly taken over the year 7s by storm, and 9 people (almost half the class! and incredible feat here, where it’s rare for anyone to miss a day of school) were away on Thursday, and many more with colds. After a rather measly lesson with only 13 students, an emergency staff meeting was called, and all year 7s got to go home!!! ;D Both Thursday and Friday were cancelled.
So I’ve been having a pretty relaxing long weekend, just chilling, blogging, recording videos of myself singing Amy Winehouse songs…and studying.
Yes, those horrible tests are back; this time the worst – the End Of Year Tests (yes, even the ‘of’ deserves a capital). D; Ah, well. It’ll be over soon! (They’re next week.)
Cy’all for now,
P.S. Wanna see photos of me dressed up as a Geisha? Check out my newly updated album here.
Posted by rubyrox on May 15, 2010 in Bad thing!!!
As you probably know, yes, I have joined the school brass band, as part of the whole compulsory pick-an-activity-and-do-it-every-day-til-6 thing. And whaddaya know, I do it every day until 6! (Well, actually, I don’t go for the last hour on Wednesdays, or at all on Fridays or Saturdays, which is probably a national record for unattendance, but still.)
I mean, look, it’s alright. It’s quite fun, actually. But I’d MUCH rather be at home blogging and Skyping people and playing on my shiny iPod (dad’s line). Ah, well.
Anyway, the main point of this post was to inform you that because this is actually a brass band, the other members, and our teacher, desperately want me to learn a brass instrument. Now, the only reason I joined the silly band was so I could play the sax! Dad even called up the school and asked and stuff from Australia last year and they all said it was fine…Well, you can’t really blame them; they’re doing it half for my sake – I can’t compete in a lot of things on my saxophone. Luckily, though, I can for the big yearly Hiroshima school band comp (our school is so small that we team up with another small high school, who do have saxes, which is handy. And may I mention, last year dad told me they’d came in a big state competition, at which I got really excited. Turns out the top, like, 20 teams get a gold medal, OK teams silver, and the bad ones a bronze, aka “third” place. Dammit), but not in some random important “Ensemble” thingy in February.
So, you may think, what am I going to do? Quit the band? (I wish. Jokes.) Not participate? Well, the answer is NOT that dramatic. I probably should have wrote about this before (maybe I did?), but I actually am learning the trumpet as well. The original plan (when I was in a slight trumpet craze) was that I could play my saxophone some days, and at the same time practice my trumpet a few days as well. That way I could play trumpet in some songs, and sax in the rest. Perfectomonto! Bravissima! Etc.
No. The thing is, this has made them all think I’m gonna play trumpet full-time. So for all the videos and practices and stuff I have to play trumpet, which REALLY PISSES ME OFF because the only reason I joined the stupid band was so I could play my saxophone, and with me I even inspired 3 of my friends to join too and now they don’t want me to play sax?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! WELL TOO BAD SAXOHPHONE IS MY PRIMARY INSTRUMENT I HATE TRUMPET I AM PLAYING SAX SHUT UP OR I’M QUITTING.
Ok calm, calm, cool it, Ruby. Breeeeeathe. Ah, that’s better. Sorry about that, folks. Just had to let out a bit of bottled up anger, which I have to contain for 10 hours a day at a school where you just sit on your bum all day and do nothing and they see you as a box that needs to be filled with information NOT A REAL PERSON WHO ACTUALLY WANTS TO LEARN REAL STUFF…
Woops. OK, all good! (What I said was true, though. Everyone always goes on about how GREAT the Japanese eduacation system is, and how slack the Australian one is…but actually, it’s not that good at all. It’s very old fashioned, as I casually mentioned before the just see your brain as an empty box they need to fill until it bursts with information. I mean, they only have blackboards, and by February 2011 all we will have learned in IT is how to turn a computer on and off and create a Word document!! (Yes, that latter there has caused me a lot of pain and stress.) I actually think Australian teaching, with its way of letting you decide what you want to learn, and giving you freedom and choices and independence and making learning really interesting, is far better. You can tell the difference here; kids are nowhere near as creative, their work is generally boring and plain, and they don’t…think like we do. Think outside the box, they they encourage you do back home. And everyone says how smart Asian people are (not meaning to sound racist there, but it is what everyone says), how hard they work, but you know, kids go to school at least 2 hours less a day in Australia, and in my opinion we’re just as smart. And about the hard-working, well, how could they not be, with all the stuff they make you do here! Educational expert R. M. Capp says,
“Give the Kids a Bit o’ Freedom, Mate!”
ANYWAY………hopefully the brass band will go well and people will come to realise that I’m a sax lover at heart.
Okay, I really have to go now!
Goodbye for now, my friends.
Posted by rubyrox on Apr 28, 2010 in Bad thing!!!
Yes, well, you’ve probably guessed by now that they have English classes at my school. And, yes, I have to participate in them.
OK well it is SOOOOOOOO ridiculously boring. It is just so degrading having to repeat the alphabet three times a week. I almost fall asleep I’m so bored. And you know what? The good old Japanese “no-expections” motto ensures I have to endure every single class. It SUCKSSS real bad.
Ah, well. This is part of the whole experience, right……right?
Even worse, I have to do all the homework! Which is a lot! AKA writing out letters! And words! Like “you”!!! And about 20 pages’ worth, too.
You know what? I’m going to REFUSE. Yes, that’s right my young ones an oldies, I shall outright refuse. Muahhahahahaha I can’t wait. :p That probably won’t go down too well, but really. This is ridiculous!
So, in conclusion, three 50-minute periods a week my brain is beingf tortured. AND I have the official World’s Worst Homework. This is where I need YOU trusty readers to help me out.
Sunami Girl signing off
SG xxx lurv yas
OK, so here’s the deal in Japanese middle schools:
In Japanese, it’s called bukatsudo. Basically, your middle school offers a range of programs, like sports, school bands etc. You pick one…and you do it every day. For hours. Until it’s dark. On weekends too. It sucks real bad. Why? Because it basically stops you form doing any other out-of-school activities becasue you have this stupid thing on every day! It’s pretty sad that you can only really manage one thing. And the thing is, you’d get really good at whatever sport, instrument or skill you’re learning, having been doing it for hours every day, but once you reach high high school (aka years 10, 11, 12), you don’t continue whatever you picked because you’re too busy studying. So all those years intensively doing this hobby and all your skill goes to waste.
At my little 80-student middle school, they offer five programs – baseball, volleyball (girls only), athletics, table tennis and brass band. As you probably would have guessed, I’m in for the brass band. It’d be prefect for me, bacause I can knock off a hobby-in-waiting by playing my saxophone in it (though technically, saxohpones aren’t a brass instrument, but still). I’d decided ages ago,the delighted band was expecting me and it was perfect. Even better, a lot of my friends are going to do it too!
Anyway, last week us year 6s went up to our middle school (did I mention that we all go to the same middle school? And just us) for our bukastudo orientation day. Unfortunately, we were only allowed to try out the program we’d alreasy selected, whereas if they had this stupid thing in Australia (thank goodness they don’t), I bet you’d be able to experience all of them, not just one. Ah, well, the Japanese have a lot to learn.
So, my 3 friends and I went. And experienced the brass band. A bit about it: it’s all girls, seven altogether, but a few are graduating from the school. They play at all the school events. Perfect! Great! What’s the fuss, what’s the Glee title about?
To put it bluntly, the brass band is not cool. It clearly the group of girls who aren’t any good at sport, so had to resort to this. I’m the sportiest girl in my class, and I can’t really imagine sitting down, not being active for such a long time. I really feel like I should be doing a sport. I’d love to do baseball, but that just wouldn’t work; besides, girls aren’t even allowed to play in the matches, which sucks. Anyway, here’s where the Glee metaphor pitches in.
You know how in all the movies and stuff, you’ve got the cheerleaders and the jocks, the really popular kids? Here, that’s volleyball and baseball. Then athletics and table tennis are kind of in the middle. And if you know Glee club, the show choir, you’ll know that it’s super uncool. The club for misfits, retards. AKA…the brass band! Instead of the guy in the wheelchair we have the girl with the learning disabilities who plays the maraccas. And in the show, some popular kids join Glee club and make it cool. Same here with my friends and I. Pretty cool, right? Sunami Height’s very own Glee club!!! So, maybe it’s not so bad. It won’t exactly boost my reputation, but it’ll be really fun. The girls are really good at their instruments, too (though how could you not be what with the amount you’d play it?!).
Anyway, so I guess it’s the brass band for me! Anyway, if I turn into a retard, I can just return to Australia, where I have a real LIFE.
Sunami Girl singing off.
Posted by rubyrox on Mar 27, 2010 in Bad thing!!!
, Breaking news
The Japanese doesn’t see extra-curricular activities (out-of-school hobbies like sports and instruments) the way countries like Australia and America do. Back home most kids I knew would do at least one sport and instrument, and many did a lot more. Some might drop off when they reached high school, but mostly, they were fun, long-lasting hobbies, for lack of a better explanation. And more to the point, they’d be doing lots of them at the same time.
However, over here it’s a completely different story. Most kids, even in primary school, don’t even do any activities like that. A few of them do, but the sad thing is, almost all of them give it up when they hit middle school. So you can see how it’s pretty hard for me, wanting to continue with my soccer, karate, piano and saxophone. (I had to ditch karate.) For example, in soccer, I had just started to get to know all the guys in my team, then of course we graduate and go to middle school, and All in all…it’s really sad.
You want to know why almost all the hobbies drop off as soon as you start middle school? Check out this informative post! (Actually, hold on until I actually write it.)
I love you fans! Keep on reading!