This week was pretty eventful so I would like to share! I think this is going to be a pretty long blog post so brace yourself!
I have finally started school. It was nerve-racking at first but I think I’m settled in now!
Monday, 27th of January
I had an early start to the morning so that I could make sure I was all prepared for the day! I was feeling a little sick to my stomach at first but as I put on my uniform and walked out the door I was feeling a little better. I went to school with my host parents. My first day consisted of having a meeting with the principal and then heading into the teachers meeting to introduce myself to the teachers.
After that I had an orientation. I was shown around school and introduced to the school. Then, I was off to my classroom alongside my homeroom teacher.
As I opened the door with my homeroom teacher I saw everyones eyes go straight to me. The gigantic white girl with blonde hair. You could never loose me within a crowd of my peers. I was guided to my seat at the back of the classroom. When I sat down and looked up I saw 36 other faces staring at me with a blank face. It was little intimidating I have to admit and it scared me at first. I got used to hearing the chit-chat among my classmates. Keywords consisted of 可愛いね！(cute) すごい！(amazing) 目は青！(blue eyes!)
I was called up to the front of the classroom to introduce myself to the class. I said a small introduction and I heard some more of that infamous へえ！ (what!) throughout my introduction as I was speaking Japanese. After I was done I walked back to my desk and those faces were still glued onto me. It’s a weird feeling that I still am adjusting to because I am an incredibly average person but it seems that over here I catch everyones attention.
In the first few days of my week I would be able to tell when people were talking about me but I wasn’t able to understand (everyone talks so fast) It still surprises me that a BFG like myself was so interesting to my peers.
After the 10 minute break between a lesson of which included being flooded by questions. The teacher of my first lesson walked into the class and the 日直 (student on duty) of the day said ‘起立’ (all rise) to which we all stood up and then she said ‘礼’ (bow) where the class bowed and then sat back down. I was noticed by the teacher almost immediately as I heard him say ‘あ！留学生！’ (ah! exchange student) while he walked toward the blackboard. The same thing happened every time I had a new period.
The next few periods flew by to lunch. I sat down with a group that I started to talk to during breaks and class. We started to eat lunch together and they wanted to take some photos with me.
Other classmates saw this and i got a lot of selfies form my peers. I also had quite a lot of Instagram QR codes shown to me so that we could follow each other.
After lunch we had two more periods and then it was home time. By this time of the day my classmates and I had warmed up towards each other so as we left the classroom everyone was saying ’ジョージア！バイバイ！’ (Georgia! Bye Bye!). To which I responded with ‘see you later!’
I got home safely and my host family and i started talking about my day at school over diner. We were all glad I had a good day.
Tuesday, 28th of January
I was supposed to catch the bus this morning but on account of my stupidity I managed to walk the wrong way and missed the bus. I waked back home and texted my host mum. She drove me get to school that day.
I got to school at 8:00 and walked into the class which had 3 other students. We all said good morning to each other and then they all started to study. I didn’t want to interrupt them so I just kept to myself until 8:30 where more students started to come into the class. The girl who sat in front of me was なつき (Natsuki) we started to talk a lot that day and she helped me write down notes when I couldn’t read the board. So I ate lunch that day with なつき、そら、ゆりな、ゆき (Natsuki, Sora, Yurika and Yuki). We talked a lot and got along really well and I think after that day I found my friend group and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
We had a seating change that day so sadly I’m a few rows in front of them but that doesn’t stop me from going to talk to them during break or talk with my other peers.
Tuesday wasn’t really different to Monday besides I found a friend group!
Wednesday, 29th January
I don’t go on Wednesdays because I have rotary meetings and my Japanese lessons. This weeks rotary meeting was nothing out of the ordinary. My club is still very welcoming and love to hear my weekly updates even though I make a lot of mistakes. I feel safe to make mistakes around them as they want me to succeed and they see mistakes as part of that journey toward success.
Thursday, 30th January
While eating breakfast we all watched the news channel. I never thought I would get to the point where I saw that todays forecast was 1°C and think that today will be warm but after a week of going to school in -3°C i think that 1°C is quite warm. After breakfast and getting ready. My host dad walked with me to the bus stop so I was sure not to go the wrong way.
I got to school at the same time as Tuesday. I sat down to see the same three people. Everyone who gets to school early starts to study and I’m not quite sure what to do so I just wait for everyone to come so I can talk to my peers.
I try to contribute to class as much as I can by taking notes and trying to listen in on words I might know. When I cant understand I try to listen in on the teachers pitch accent.
On Thursday I had my first sports lesson. The sport classes are split up by gender (Before any of my family asks: Yes. I was the tallest one in the gym. Yes, I was also taller than the teacher). We played volleyball. I was not the best at it but I wasn’t the worst. The students set up the nets. Nobody could really hook the nets to the polls so I ran over and attached the nets. We had warmups where we practiced passing and throws. I walked out of class having respect for professional volleyball players and red marks on my hands and forearms.
I also had a period of English and it was pretty interesting. I had the people sitting next to me asking for help and that resulted in my worksheet getting passed around to a few people.
Friday, 31st January
I spent my morning in class sending a happy birthday message to my sister (happy birthday and have fun with the ratbags btw). I also had two English classes today. We had a multiple choice sheet that needed to be completed and I had looks from my peers signalling to me they wanted help. So I would help others complete it when I finished my sheet.
I had lunch again with Sora, Natsuki, Yurina and Yuki again. Then I had my final two periods. We did some group work in world history. I was actually able to take a lot of notes because the notes on on the black board was in katakana which I can read. Then I zoned out in maths because we’re doing trigonometry and I cant function at the sight of SOH CAH TOA.
After school I was shown to the schools kendo team as I expressed I had an in interest in joining the team so that I can expose myself to Japanese traditional sports.
I’m so happy with my first week of school and I am excited to grow closer to my classmates and learn from them. I’m so grateful to have had a successful week of school and I will cherish the memories I will make with my peers forever. Thanks so much for reading 気をつけて！ (take care!)
Fabulous Georgia! Thanks so much for an informative and funny read. Sending hugs to you and hope that you don’t start sweating when it gets to 5 degrees 😉
I feel for you George – going to a new school in a different country where you must stand-out as different even if your not tall. But, as usual, it is all butterflies for nothing. If you are accepting, you will be accepted, and, you are and were!
Wonderful that you now have new close friends and others accepting you as a friend who can help them and they reciprocate.
Love the pussy-cat faces. Why, what for? Just because you can, or, …?
Now I like maths and can still do/remember trigonometry, use it occasionally – nearly couldn’t spell it though – but what is SHO CAH TOA??! Japanese trig.? Or: SIN, COS, TAN – now that I understand.
Keep busy, make friends, learn, enjoy! ♀️⛹️♀️
Thanks so much for the kind message, it means a lot! 🙂
“Love the pussy-cat faces. Why, what for? Just because you can, or, …?”
Japanese youth love what is called a ‘purikura’ which is basically a photo-booth that has some of those faces and other filters. its become a trend to take photos with an app that mimics a the same filters of a purikura!
“what is SHO CAH TOA??! Japanese trig.?”
SOH CAH TOA is the pattern I was taught to remember the different trig ratios!
SOH – sin = oposite / hypotenuse
CAH – cos = adjacent / hypotenuse
TOA – tan = opposite / adjacent
It must be a different way to how you would have learned it!
What a great start to your first week! Hope it gets even better.
Proud of you beautiful girl. You’ve had a week of firsts, and you have met the challenges and the scary moments with poise and common sense. I love how you embrace the mistakes and seek to learn from them, and you’re not afraid of making more. You are an inspiration. Thanks for writing your blog, keep it up, I love hearing all your adventures xxx
Wow Georgia, that first day must have been daunting with all those faces looking back at you. But what a transformation in one week and now you have a friend group and are helping them too. What is the sport you mentioned?
Sounds like you are going to thrive there Hope next week is even better. Your family sound lovely too.
Onward and upward!!
All the best xx
Wow it seems that you are having a lot of fun there!
Your Japanese school uniform is kawaii!!! Haha I believe your Aussie friends are all jealous. 🙂
I miss you a lot, especially your adorable smile!
Have fun and be safe from Corona viruses.
i’m having heaps of fun! i’m so glad i had you and ms cummins to help in year 8 and 9! everyone compliments my japanese so i think i have you two to thank for that!
the uniform is so cute!!! i also miss the lessons!
i will be sure to have heaps of fun and stay safe from coronavirus! please stay safe also! say hello to miss cummins for me!