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
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