The day after the culture festival was the field day (sports day) at Mito SHS. It was lots of fun. Some students are the same in class as they are out of class, but most students are definitely a lot more energetic outside of class. If only students could be themselves in class too. I’ll write a bit more about this later in the post.
The field day opened with an opening ceremony of sorts. Each class made a banner for class pride, I suppose. The teachers got to vote on the best banners of each class. The Mito SHS field day has very similar events to American high schools, although I think there are more silly events in American high schools like one of my favorites, the classic water balloon toss. Bergen County Academies (BCA), my HS alma mater, was definitely not the ordinary American high school with events like human chess, computer games, and scrabble. Oh, how much I enjoy talking about the nerdy BCA field day activities... The first part of the Mito SHS field day consisted of relay races. This ranged from the 100m relay to the 1000m relay. Each class competed to see who was the best in the grade. Then in the afternoon, there were relay finals pitting the “best of the best” against each other. Other events included the classic tug-of-war, jump rope extravaganza (each class had maybe about 20 people jump rope together), obstacle relay (crawl under nets, balance across balance beams, hit a ping pong ball with a paddle while dealing with hurdles, sack race portion, ending with spinning around the bat for a dizzying spectacular end), and parade of club members (as they wear their uniforms, if any, and do something related to the club, e.g. the soccer club in uniform kicking a soccer ball around). The teachers voted for the most personable club. Another event that took place during the field day was a “typhoon race.” It was a lot of fun to watch. The rules are simple. There are a few teams representing their respective classes on the racing area at a time. Each team (typhoon) carries a long pole as they run past two marked points (the eyes) and spin around them before doing the same thing as they return. I heard from a teacher that the typhoon race was a new event, and every year there is a new event in that time slot.
So where was I during all of the madness? I was taking pictures. To give a number, I took about 250 pictures on the field day. I was extremely fatigued by the end of the day with all my running around. I also had うなぎ (unagi = eel) for lunch. It was delicious!
On another note, I was talking to one of the Mito SHS teachers about a week ago, and we had a very interesting discussion: eastern versus western upbringing. I have dabbed a bit on this subject with some friends in the past, but it was especially interesting this time because here is someone who is not very familiar with western upbringing. There is a stereotype of American students that I have encountered here: the idea that American students are all eager and willing to participate. When I first heard that, I laughed a bit in my head. Then again, I imagine a number of Japanese people would laugh about the stereotype of Japanese students all being very quiet and good students. I am not saying that Mito SHS students are not quiet or bad, but Japanese students are like students from other parts of the world. For me, some classes are more quiet than others, but can you blame them? It’s hard to learn a foreign language. I’m having my own problems trying to devote the time to studying Japanese, let alone keeping up with my French. There’s another reason why many students may be quiet or very shy in class. This is something that I know so well. There is a fear of being wrong. In America, there are all kinds of students. There are the quiet ones, loud ones, energetic ones, troublemakers, shy ones, and more types, even combinations of the types. I wonder how much of an eastern upbringing instigates the fear of being incorrect. Does it come from trying to please the parents, who place a great deal of importance on grades? Does it come from trying to keep face? Where does it come from? Having taken many psychology classes, I know that most, if not all, of Asia is built on collectivistic cultures. The eastern upbringing reinforces collectivism by teaching the significance of family. It makes sense that the eastern upbringing is so similar since collectivistic importance is expressed throughout the cultures that the term “eastern” refers. I have only begun to chip away at an iceberg. It’s something fascinating that I may continue in another post.
Stay tuned next week for another update!
今週の聖書の詩: I introduce a new section. I have been praying about a bunch of things, and the Lord has gotten me to notice the lack of God in my blog. In addition to the kanji, topic, and picture(s), I will quote the Bible.
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”
- Romans 8:5, 6 (NIV)
If we put our focus on the Lord, things would be better, because He provides. We need to place our trust in Him whether we are members of a church group, fellowship, or marriage (although, this would be one flesh).
今週の写真: Field Day class pictures! At the end of the day, all the classes got behind their banners so the professional photographers could take their pictures. I was only able to get a few classes as some cleaned up rather quickly. So, some pictures of the banners were taken earlier when only a few students from the respective class were around.
[in re: 11/10/2007 post -- Sorry! I took off my pictures.]