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!
Yes, in case you didn’t know…I’m graduating. Again.
You see, Aussie school years finish in December, so I graduated, then did the last term here. Yup, everyone’ll be crying (they’re a very emotional bunch, those Japanese) and I’ll be like, “Yeah, that was a pretty fun few weeks, can we go now?” )
Now, there’s something you must know before we go any further. Japanese graduations are not at all like Australian ones. They’re just on a completely different level. In Australia, they’re laughing, happy celebrations where people stuff up, jokes fly everywhere, and just really relaxed and informal. Over here? Complete opposite end of the scale.
For a start, they have a graduation uniform: blouse, pleated skirt, jacket, black shoes etc. So ewww compared to my previous fashionable get-up (click here for a photo). And more to the point, they are abominably formal. You see, Japan is just a really formal country – you have to announce your name and grade and ask permission to enter every time you enter the school office, class periods are officially announced and closed, and you have to bow before basically everything you do, which is annoying…the list goes on. You just have a lot of respect for your elders, and everyone around you, I guess. And graduations are the absolute worst.
At our very first graduation practice, we spent 45 minutes practicing how to walk, sit up, sit back down again, and bow, which also included things like how to place your fingers while bowing, and the exact position of your head etc. My teacher even came round and felt all our backs while we were sitting on our chairs to make check we had the correct posture. I know, right?! You have to get up and sit down so many times, it’s just ridiculous. For example, you have to stand up the exact moment a speaker sets foot on the stage, and when they they’re finished and step back you have to bow in time, and then the second they’re off the stage you sit down….
10 times worse than my fantastic graduation at Ripponlea. ;( Ah, well. I can relish in dissecting the experience like so.
You also sing songs and stuff; naturally they’re all brilliant singers too, and I don’t know a word. Not even the Japanese national anthem! My poor teacher’s like, “You’ve heard this at the Olympics, right?” Well, sorry I have no interest in your national anthem!!! (Sorry, Anthem.) It’s a very slow, haunting melody at that; not at all like our cheerful Aussie sing-a-long.
Anyway, that’s on the 24th, so it’s coming up in…11 days! And, look, before you completely write off this country as a mini prison centre, it’s actually not that bad as I just made it out to be. Yeah, it’s strict but it’ll sure be an experience! And after the ceremony we all go have luch at the Italian restaurant nearby, so it can’t be all bad.
Posted by rubyrox on Mar 10, 2010 in Japan
Differences Between Australian and Japanese Schools
Hey guys these are just some of the differences between my Australian and Japanese schools! I know they don’t apply to all schools but here is a general idea.
|They wear casual clothes
||They have school uniform
|They have squat toilets
||They have normal toilets
|They give you school lunch
||You bring your own school lunch
|You clean the school every day!
||Cleaners clean the school
|School Hours:Starts at 8:10 and ends at 4 – about 8 hours
I leave at 7 and return at 5 – about 10 hours
|School Hours:Starts at 9 and ends at 3:30: about 6 hours
I leave at 8:45 and return at 3:45: 7 hrs
|Everyone walks to and from school in special groups
||Everyone comes and goes by themselves, by all types of transport
|There’s no food in the morning break
||Everyone had a snack at recess
|Total break time is approximately 40 mins
||Total break time is approximately 1 1/2 hrs
|You wear special indoor shoes inside
|It takes ONE HOUR to get to school
||It was, like, 2 minutes ‘til school
Manual Arts (Woodworking etc)
Civics and Citizenship
It’s just like high school!
|Subjects:Inquiry Based Learning (PYP)
|There are no computers in the classrooms
||They have computers in the classrooms
|They have a sports uniform
||They don’t have a sports uniform
|You get a lot of homework
||You barely get any homework
|There’s a bottle of sanitiser in every room
||There is no sanitiser to be found
|There are six periods in a school day
||Periods are a humble-jumble and are subject to change randomly
|At TV in every classroom
||No TVs in the classrooms
Posted by rubyrox on Mar 5, 2010 in School
Aloha y’all! Da Capp is back! And she’s gettin’ good in da kitchen!!!
To explain that drastic intro……..today at school we had bento making. (Bento is Japanese lunch, you know with all the rice and vegies all and stuff all put together beautifully in a little box.) This was a big step for Planet RubyRox, as my previous cooking repertoire extended to cheese toast. But it was still fun. I made the bento in with my seating group. I helped make fried egg, potato salad, and asparagus thingys wrapped in ham. Oh and weeeeeeeeenerrrrssss. AKA weeners. It was SEW much fun darlinks. You had to wear an apron, which was a slightly inconvenient as my friends all got around in uber-cute designer aprons, while I was stuck with my cream-coloured namby-pamby get-up with boats on it. BOATS I tell you. Oh, well. I wore a Dad’s handkerchief as my headgear, so I looked like that Heidi girl, which got everyone off on a “OMG you’re so cute Ruby” (in Japanese) fest. Well. I have stoyle (sic)…………..:P
I then felt rather ill after lunch, after the bento and school lunch, including 3 bowls of soup and 2 cartons of milk :OOOOOOOO
Hey, I was hungry, all right?!
Tata for now,,,,
The team at RubyRox
(Teams can be one person, can’t they??)
Posted by rubyrox on Mar 1, 2010 in Japan
Well, I’m here, and I’ve settled in. Stuff writing about this stupid blog. Hold on peeps until I can think of something remotely interesting to write.
Toodlas for now,