October 9, 2008

Autumn Break- On The Field

Jason looks for a teammate to pass to.

Hey everyone, it’s Jason again. Today was the first day back at school after a nice one week Autumn Break. As usual, although I had no school my soccer schedule doubled. In one week we played four games and trained twice leaving us with only one whole day off. Indeed it sounds and it was hard but it is all in preparation for the tournament we are currently in. The tournament is our last and most important. We are currently in quarter finals of our region, and if we can win our region then we will move onto the All-Japan cup. This is where only one or two teams from each region participate to see which team is the best team in Japan.

My prediction is that we might be able to go to the all Japan Cup but I think it really depends on how we are on the day of the game and how focused we are about winning. For the older players this is their last major tournament so everyone is very serious. Hopefully all the hard work we have put in can pay off.

That's all for me this blog, but I will keep you updated on how we go through the tournament. Hopefully my next blog will be about how we made the All Japan Cup.

Jason Davidson

October 8, 2008

The Windusts in Japan

The Windusts (From R to L): Michael, Dylan, Brooke, and Sharon.

Hey everyone! I just finished my Autumn Break and at the start of it, my parents arrived at Narita airport where I picked them up and headed to our apartment in Urawa. It is my parents' first time in Japan and they were quite shocked by some of the culture difference between Japan and New Zealand.

One of the shocks they overcame was how packed the trains were in the morning and night and we experienced having to push onto the train one night on the way back from Tokyo. My mum and dad were also shocked at how tough the training and games when they watched me. Even though I had told them all about it, they only really believed it when they saw with their own eyes the type of training we do.

My parents have traveled quite a bit but the food in Japan still gave them a bit of a shock. On the menu were things like rare horse meat and sometimes you even had to cook your own meal in the restaurant which they had never experienced before. (Even I had never seen rare horse meat on a menu).

But overall, my parents have enjoyed Japan though I think there are still few more interesting traditions or experiences for them to find out about before they can say they have see everything.

By Dylan Windust

October 8, 2008

My Autumn Break

Ryosuke's jersey went unworn since he was injured, but it's ready for his comeback.

Today is our first day back to school since the Autumn break. Even though the break was only for one week, it was good because it gave me time to refresh my mind and make a new start.

During the one week, six of the days were training and games and then we had the full day off at the end. But I was injured so I couldn’t play in any of my games though I still went down to all of the games to cheer my team on.

Every day when there would be a game, there would be about three games during that day, and I would have to either video the game or be a linesman. It was my first time doing either of these things and both were much, much harder than I expected. To be honest, they were nearly as hard as playing in the actual game!

Watching my team play everyday was difficult because I wanted to play very badly. While I watched them play, I noticed what I was doing well in games and also what I was doing not so well. But just watching every day was not very fun however, seeing what I need parts of my game I need to improve has motivated me even more.

Starting today, I am playing again and I am really looking forward to trying out what I have learned in the last week.


October 7, 2008

Poom's Bunkasai Experience

Hello! This year's Seiritsu school festival was on 27 October. Everyone in school pitched in to do their job to make school festival be one of the best ever. In my class I helped sell the Japanese dessert called dangou.

It was a very nice experience to do activity with everyone in the class. We spent about 3 days preparing everything we needed. In school festival day, I was very impressed with how well everything went. My friends David and Wessel performed in a karate demo with their friends from the karate clubs. It was very interesting. The school festival ended at about 15:00. after that me and my friends had dinner at ikebukuro.

-Poom Noynart

October 7, 2008

Bunkasai Through Wessel's Eyes

Wessel and David line up with the Seiritsu Karate Club for the Bunkasai demo.

Wessel and his homeroom, 2F.

Hi everyone! Last week there was a big bunkasai (cultural festival) at Seiritsu and it was really fun! In Japan, school festivals are really common. Before the actual festival, the classes planned a fun activity with their home room teacher. This could be anything from selling food to running a small maze in the classroom or exhibiting things they've made. During the preparation, the festival itself and the after party I spent a lot of time with the Japanese students and I made a lot of new friends.

Three days before the festival all the classes started to decorate the whole school including the classrooms. There was a lot of work to do and I did my best to help out. I was in my own homeroom class (2F) and but I didn’t even know what we were doing at the festival, only that our class was called “Wessel & The Happy Friends Factory”… right.

Later I found out that my class would be selling pancakes (called hot cakes here) and our setting was a "happy friends factory". Therefore, we made a lot of pipes made of bottles and aluminum, covered the walls with black paper and painted a really big logo, "2Factory". I also cut small dolphins and small circles out of colorful cloth, but those were for the stairways and hallways to several classrooms (including ours).

Not everything worked out well. For example we covered the whole floor with small pieces of cardboard and topped that with newspapers. This took us about two whole days, but unfortunately after we painted it black it didn’t really look good, so we had to throw it away.

During the preparation, I didn’t stay in the classroom all day. I also walked around with Poom and Dave to see what the other classes were making. We had time to “talk” with other students (which was really fun to do).

On the day of the festival I woke up earlier than usual so I could be at school around 8am. We still had about two hours before the public would come, so we had enough time to finish everything. For the festival, everyone in my class wore the same black overalls with our logo in gold on our backs. My home room teacher gave it to me for free (all my classmates were jealous). Although it’s a little bit too big (It says 6L!!) I am really glad I have it. It’s a great souvenir.

During the festival I walked around, saw a lot of cool shows from several school clubs and got free waffles and pancakes. I also watched the last part of a really exciting basketball game (Seiritsu won!) and performed some karate moves with the karate club, which David and I took part in. The festival was finished around three o’clock and we had to clean everything up. When there wasn’t much to do in my class I helped with taking down the festival tents outside.

After the festival some classmates and I went to a restaurant near the school. It was really fun and I made some really good friends. They taught me lots of new Japanese words and we talked about manga and many other things.

I think that the bunkasai was a great experience and I hope there will be something like this again this year.

-Wessel Jansen

October 7, 2008

Seiritsu Bunkasai

David (punching) taking part in a sparring drill during the Seiritsu Karate Club's Bunkasai demo.

Hello readers! In this update I’m going to inform you about the Bunkasai here at Seiritsu and what it was like for a foreign student, such as myself, to take part in it.

My homeroom class, 2-H, went up one floor from our normal classroom and prepared a separate room for the Bunkasai. We had about a whole week to prepare for the festival. My homeroom decided on a making waffles, calling our "restaurant" Tomommy’s waffles, named after my homeroom teacher (Mr. Tomomi Udagawa).

I thought this was a pretty good idea, if only I had some maple syrup! We also used the preparation time to decorate the room. We painted, bonded, taped, and put up all sorts of decorations to make it seem like a brick room with picnic-draped tables with pink and red hearts plastered around the room.

We all worked really hard, and during the preparation time I really got to know my classmates. I knew they were friendly, despite the shocked faces they had on my first day, but they were really getting into the conversation and trying to get to know me. It seems like everyone in the class is really close and friendly to each other, so I really didn’t feel out of place being talked to by so many different people. I also learned most of their names, nicknames and what school clubs they are in and what they like. Surprisingly I found out I have a lot in common with them, such as music, shows, activities, and so on.

Helping out for the preparation was probably the best time to make new friends and for me to really integrate myself into the group. Now every class we have together seems really fun, especially since we know we can joke with each other and say funny things while knowing what’s good to say or not. It really feels like I know them. It also helped my Japanese improve a lot and, I’m starting to learn at a much faster pace.

The Bunkasai itself was very busy, but with the help of my teachers and classmates I was able to always find out what I was doing. When I had some free time, some of the other foreign students and I went around and bought snacks, spent time talking with some of the other Japanese students and visitors, and also helped out around the school, doing whatever we could do.

Wessel and I participated in a Karate demonstration, which was really good. We got to show a little bit of what we learned and get some good shots of us in action. This was pretty important to me, as my host dad and host sister were standing by watching. After that, I guided them around the school and showed them all the different classrooms and what they were doing. Bam, Poom’s Thai friend from another school in Japan, also came to see and we toured the Bunkasai together most of the time.

After the Bunkasai was over, I spent about 2 hours cleaning around the room, putting things back, tearing things down and recycling everything we had put up for future use in other festivals and activities. We spent another hour sitting about, talking about the festival and talking with each other. In that time, I also got to know some other students from neighboring classrooms and even some members of the basketball team that were with Poom. After all of this, about twenty of my homeroom classmates and I met at a Shabu Shabu (Shabu shabu is raw meat that you cook yourself in a boiler at your table) restaurant for dinner. We all sat down at three or four different tables in the same small room and continued to discover more about each other- I might be repeating myself, but really, there is so much to talk about when you’re from the other side of the world, as well as so much to ask.

I have to say, the Bunkasai is probably going to be one of my biggest highlights of my EF year abroad. That week of preparation, the festival and dinner with my homeroom really brought everything together for me. Now I don’t feel so estranged and I feel more like a regular student here. But that’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

-David Alexander



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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