February 23, 2008

Tights are not allowed!

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A Seiritsu player makes a dash for it...!


Hi everyone, posting my monthly report on how life in Japan is going. It’s middle of winter and its freezing. Coming from down under, this is the first time I have ever experienced a cold winter like this. In Australia during winter all the sports players wear tights even though it’s only 10 degrees. Although here in Japan its 0 degrees and even lower, no one wears tights and so I decided to ask around to see if we were allowed to wear them. I received the same answer from both my coaches and teammates. That was not wearing tights makes us mentally stronger, that tights don’t look appropriate with our uniforms and that they are unnecessary because it’s not even that cold.


Our coaches really believe that not wearing tights during winter will make us mentally stronger, therefore making us better players. This theory I think is a little too harsh because it freezing!!! But as many foreigners that have lived in Japan will tell you, “rules are rules and they don’t change them for no one”.


The coaches also said no because they thought that wearing our own tights with the team uniform didn’t look appropriate. It all comes down to opinions and the coach’s opinions are the ones that count. I personally think they look quite good with our uniforms.
After asking the coaches a number of times, they still told us that we weren’t allowed to wear tights. Again, they gave us reasons for why they said no and even said that tights were unnecessary because it wasn’t even cold enough to use them. Not cold??? It’s minus 0 degrees!!!


All in all I must say, after training almost for half a winter without tights I do believe that without the tights all of the players have become a lot more mentally stronger, including me.


Jason Davidson

February 23, 2008

Trains in Japan in winter

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It was a freezing cold winter Tuesday morning when I woke up and stared out at of my bedroom window to see a scene of pure white snow. This was my first experience of snow since I came to Japan and I was extremely excited. Feeling as if it was Christmas all over again, I rushed outside forgetting I had to get ready for school. After calming down a little I started eating breakfast and thought about the train that I had to catch for school. Because it was snowing, the trains would probably be delayed, packed and uncomfortable. I like Japanese winters but from what I’ve heard, the trains are terrible.


While I was walking towards the station I had a feeling that my train was going to be delayed. Most of the ground was covered in snow and the parts which weren’t covered were frozen. Sure enough when I got to the station at 7:40am, the loud speaker announced that the 7:24am train was coming in another ten minutes.


Ten minutes later when the train arrived I had to make the biggest decision of my life! This was to either get on the train, or wait for the next one. The problem was that this train was packed and had the most people I had ever seen on a train before. On every one-square-meter of floor there were at least 10 people. This was because the trains were delayed and people who would catch three different trains were all on this one train.


I had no choice…if I didn’t get on this train, I would probably be late for school. This was not a good decision as it was the most uncomfortable train ride ever. After a vicious wrestling match with a rather large woman, I somehow managed to secure myself a comfortable spot in the corner of the carriage. Listening to my ipod I waited patiently for the call for my stop…I was counting down the stations…7…6…5…, when a huge man dressed in black suddenly appeared in front of me. He smelled terribly of cigarettes. My hands were in my pockets and because there were so many people on the train, I couldn’t move my hands to block my nose. 4 stations, 3…2…1...


Getting off the train was like another round of the wrestling match. I was pushed, tugged and hit at least 5 times, but as I walked out of the station I thought about the ride. It was a good experience, sort of funny even. I was able to go to school with a smile on my face =)


By Ryosuke Yano

February 2, 2008

Entrance Tests!

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While some teachers greeted test takers at the entrance gate, other teachers showeled a path across the campus!


Starting with a snowy January 22nd and then a rainy January 23rd, some 1200 junior high school students participated in Seiritsu's entrance exams. They are all competing for one of a maximum of 400 spots available for new first year students at the start of the next school year this April. Most junior high school students will apply to 2 or more schools, therefore they have to sit through entrance exams more than once.


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Here students are sitting quietly waiting for the first exam to start in the auditorium. So many applicants registered that the school had to use half of its classrooms as well to hold exams in.


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Tests were held in Japanese, Math and English, plus there was a short interview with each applicant afterwards. Here a sign in Japanese in the auditorium states the times for each exam, plus the interview starting time at the bottom.


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Nogami Sensei preparing to hand out the tests!


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One test taker is well prepared!


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Our ever helpful student council members guiding the applicants around the school.


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Tests finished, applicants wait to be called in a group to their interview location in the gym.


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Groups of students who have been called from the examination classrooms or auditorium to the gym for interviews. 10 sets of 2 teachers were sitting around the gym and they called up 2 students in order of their registration numbers to ask them about 5 questions in regards to why they chose to apply to Seiritsu, what they hope to accomplish during their high school years and where they want to go after they graduate.


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Feeling a little nervous perhaps... That's ok, the teachers were quite nice during the interviews.


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A quiet campus during the exams... Luckily the snow turned to rain by mid afternoon on the first day and the applicants had no troubles getting home as all the trains were running.


Richard

about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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