Monday, March 15, 2010

"As we go on, we remember..."

With only four graduates, Yamane Jr. High School's graduation ceremony on Saturday was quite small.

Small, serious, and sentimental.

The four students who graduated are four of my favorite students in all of Kuji. Yuka, Yoko, Kana and Kodai were an absolute delight to teach, and really made me look forward to spending time at Yamane each Wednesday.

With the four graduates on our last day of class last week.

Because these four are so special to me, I wanted to do something special for them as a goodbye present. So I took four photo booth pictures (which are really popular among young people here) for them to remember me by. Then I wrote a message in English and Japanese to put under the pictures.

Here are the four photos I had fun with...

As you can tell, each photo is specific to each student, and matches the students' interests/personality.

And here are the students with their finished product/present...

I was really glad they seemed so happy with the gifts. :)

Here are some pictures I took during the formal ceremony...

All seven students sat in the middle, with the graduates in the very front. As you can see, they wore their school uniforms, not caps and gowns like graduates in America. Parents sat behind the students. Teachers sat at a table on the left side of the gym, and City Hall officials/local people sat at a table on the right side.

Not surprising in the least, there was a lot of bowing at the graduation. Everyone who went up on stage bowed to all areas of the gym before and afterwards.

Kana on stage, receiving a gift.

There was a photo session after the ceremony, and I captured the middle of a really happy moment (one of the other teachers had apparently said something funny) with this shot...

Bottom row (from left to right): Two of the six teachers, the four graduates, and the principal
Top row: Satomi, Haruka and Daichi, who are now san-nensei (9th grade) students

As I've written before, the teachers and students at Yamane Jr. High feel like family since the school is so small. I've become pretty close to everyone there, and I will definitely miss the four graduates.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I loved those four students! I understand why they are your favorite! That was my favorite school while I was in Kuji!