May 17, 2016

Melissa's Farewell Message - thanks for coming, Mel!

Mel here!


So here is my last entry regarding my time studying abroad at Seiritsu, Japan.
My last month, March, was a month full of mixed emotions. I met up with lots of people from my class that I had never managed to find the chance to meet up with outside of School before, mainly because I knew I only had a few weeks left and wanted to make memories with everyone! My favourite trip was going to an Arcade called 'Round 1' with my friends Yuuna, Minami and Emilie. There was a sports centre on the roof so we played baseball, mini golf, zorb football, basketball and volleyball! We then of course took Purikura, because it seems that's what you do when you hang out with friends in Japan! They really need Purikura machines back here in England!


I had also decided to tick off what was remaining on my 'Japan bucket list' and this included seeing my favourite Singer Kradness live. I had almost given up hope on this one because tickets were fairly hard to get hold of, however my Homestay mum had a special 'Lawson convenience store' card and so managed to get hold of some tickets for me! I went with my friend Emilie and I'm so glad she came because when the singer asked the audience who had come from far away Emilie pushed me to put my hand up and yell 'England!' Whilst other fans were shouting far places in Japan such as 'Okinawa' ...when I shouted 'England' this obviously meant a lot of confused faces turned to stare at me and caused much embarassment on my part... However this singer (called luz) had a little chat to me about how amazing it was that fans could appreciate music no matter what the language.


Next on my bucket list was to have a Sleepover, however it seems that is not as normal a thing to do here in Japan and other people in my class never even really visited each others houses... However my friend from Tea Club (Yuna) invited me and Yuri to her house for a Sleepover! It was so much fun, we sat in her kotatsu and ate Shabu Shabu! [Shabu shabu is a popular Japanese hotpot of meat and vegetables - PW] Then we all read Shoujo manga up in her room which made me weirdly emotional because I realised how much my kanji reading ability had improved compared to when I started at Seiritsu!


Finally there was my last day off School. In the morning I received my certificate and a handshake from the principal. Then I started receiving many letters from people in my clubs/classes with contact details and promises to meet again. This brought on the first set of tears.... Then there was the School choir competition! I was very nervous as I had somehow ended up right in the middle and my blonde hair made me stand out a lot but luckily I knew all the words from endlessly practising the song with everyone after school! All the classes were so good and you could tell how much hard work everyone had put into they're performances. My class came 2nd!! I was so happy, it felt like all our hard work had been rewarded and it was a lovely note to go off on. However the final performance made me cry... Finally we all went up to our classroom and had some snacks and played games with a final farewell speech from Seta Sensei! I then met my friends from Tea club who gave me (a rather expensive looking) goodbye present and we all hugged and cried and it was all so happy and yet so sad! But we promised to all meet again!


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I am so grateful for my stay at Seiritsu! Words can't describe it really, I've been through such a roller coaster of emotions. I really recommend taking part in a High School exchange programme to anyone interested, it has been such a rewarding experience and I have made friends for life! And I definitely have to give a big thanks to all the teachers in the International Department! You always made lessons fun and interesting and where always funny and easy to talk to and were always there for me if anything happened! Now I just can't wait to improve my Japanese at University and then I can finally talk to my friends in proper Japanese! I will definitely come back soon, be prepared!


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Thanks so Much for coming, Melissa. It was a pleasure to have you here, and the very best of luck with your university life. Please come back and visit! - PW


Mel came to study and improve her Japanese for six-months on Seiritsu's Gap Studies programme, before going to university. Our programmes allow for single day group experiences, all the way up to a whole year of improving your Japanese and experiencing life in a Japanese school! Why not come and try yourself? download our application form here!

May 10, 2016

Seiritsu's Brand-New Extensive Reading Program!

Last year a few of us English teachers decided to promote the idea of adopting a new reading program. Research has shown that reading programs can benefit students in a variety of ways. So, we chose to adopt a program called ERP. It stands for Extended Reading Program. It is used at two schools that Brent used to teach at. With some help from these schools, we were able to get the okay to start a trial run here at a Seiritsu.

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The preparations are keeping us quite busy but it is an exciting process. We are all looking forward the getting the classes started!


Here is a picture of some of the books.


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JET staff Laurence and Teresa have spent a lot of time helping get everything ready. Thank you for all your hard work!


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Brent Regan
International Department Leader

April 30, 2016

JET teacher Teresa's Late April Blog Post!

Teresa here!


My last April post detailed my vacation, but this post details the start of school till now. Even though the term started in the beginning of April, my classes will officially begin on May 9th. The first couple weeks of school gave the homeroom teachers and the other teachers time to get to know the students and explain how the school functions.


During that time, Laurence and I have been burning endless amounts of calories by running from one task to another. From creating vocabulary puzzles for different textbooks to scanning, printing, laminating, and cutting a variety of materials, we have worked really hard to complete the tasks given to us. We even had the enormous task of photocopying hundreds of Kanji flashcards (I’m not kidding), scanning them into the system, and filing them properly in a folder.


Laurence and I spent the last week or so dedicating our time to the Extensive Reading Room, or the 多読. The cycle repeated: we printed, cut, laminated, and pasted decorations and signs throughout the room. Additionally, we wiped and cleaned books the school ordered for the room. I even called the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo for any free materials. They did not disappoint; they sent me nine English mangas as well as free promotional materials, such as pencils, stickers, and post-it notes! In total, we have 246 books, which we electronically filed.


I am so proud of us for completing these tasks! The Extensive Reading Room is also almost done and I’m sure a picture of it will be posted soon. With a week left before our classes, we are also currently trying to prepare for classes. These tasks were/are fun, but we are looking forward to Golden Week!


Cheers,

Teresa

April 29, 2016

English Conversation Club starts its new Year!

As most readers of this blog likely know, schools in Japan have a variety of after school clubs that students can choose to join. There are sports clubs, social clubs and casual "circles" with various levels of commitment.


The English Conversation Club is a low pressure club that welcomes anyone interested in English. The person's English level has no bearing. We just ask them to participate at their level.


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But this year, we are looking at some (good) troubles. We may have outgrown our meeting room. If all of the people who showed an interest join, we might not be able to fit in the regular room we use.


Even if it doesn't happen this year... We need to figure out how to help the club continue to grow.


We like these kind of challenges!


Brent Regan
International Department Leader

April 29, 2016

JET teacher Laurence's Late April Blog Post!

Hello hello! Laurence here.


And so a new school year has begun. Classes don’t actually officially start before May 9th, but it doesn’t mean that Teresa and I haven’t been keeping busy! First of all, the end of the school year meant reports: Teresa and I both did a complete report of all the activities we tried out in our classes so far, as well as what we want to try out this year!


We also worked on upgrading and making materials for the English and International departments as well as materials the English Conversation Club can use. We scanned and copied kanji cards, laminated new flashcards. I even helped making a bookshelf!


We also took part in a project about talking to foreigners in English, ending in Asakusa where we took the kids so they could ask other foreigners questions and take pictures with them! It was a long day under the sun, but a lot of fun.


The English Conversation Club presentation also ended up being a wild afternoon overall, having to present in front of all the new high school students eight times, but we did manage to attract a lot of new club members and it just motivates me to make interesting activities for them every week even more.


More recently, we have been involved in setting up the brand new Seiritsu Gakuen Extensive Reading Room. It took a lot of time and we’re still not completely done yet as we have still not acquired all the books we want for the room, but other than that the room is looking very good and I’m really proud of what we accomplished in such a short period of time. Laboriously removing all the labels from the books, cleaning them, sorting them, listing them in our inventory, creating peer recommendation cards and decorations and finally putting it all together in the classroom: veni ,vidi, vici.


We are now in the last stretch before classes start, so my final tasks are to meet all the teachers and get ready for my first classes! Wish me good luck!


-Laurence

April 18, 2016

Meg's Spring Break Blog Post!

Hello, Meg here!


In early April I went to a Japanese event called Ohanami. It's a cultural tradition where you go and see cherry blossoms.


I went with the International Department members as an informal get-together.
I met up with Melissa at the station and walked from there to Omiya-Koen.


When Melissa and I got there , most people had already arrived, and a lot of food was prepared!


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We ate Onigiri ( rice balls ) and a lot of sweet candy like chocolate, popcorn and chips!!
After a while Emilie came and we went to buy Jagabutter ( jacket potatoes with lots of butter). Emilie bought all 4 of the potatoes for us. Thanks Emilie, it tasted so good!!


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After we finished Ohanami , Gab went back to his dormitory and Melissa, Emilie and I went to Akabane station and had dinner with a friend of ours.


We hung out till about 10pm because the next day Melissa went back to England, so it was are last day that we could be together.


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I miss Melissa so much but I had a wonderful time with her.

April 18, 2016

New International Department Teacher: Welcome to Seiritsu, Coren!

Hello there! My name is Coren Cogdell, and I’ll be joining the International Department at Seiritsu Gakuen. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S., but I’ve been living in Japan for four years now. In fact, I’ll be celebrating my Japanniversary next month (presents, please)! I spent about three years in Tochigi, where I also taught English, before moving to Tokyo last year.


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Coren, with the giant that is Saijo sensei!


I’m looking forward to working with everyone else here at Seiritsu and helping students with their international studies, English, or whatever else they may need. I was an avid traveler, but have decided to hang up my knapsack for now (packing is a hassle, :/ ). But I hope to instill and foster in others the passion for communication and cultural-exchange that I still carry with me so that we can all learn, grow, and care for one another together. Nice to meet you everyone!
Hakuna Matata!


Cheers,

Coren Cogdell

International Department Coordinator

April 15, 2016

JET teacher Teresa's April Blog Post!

Top of the mornin’ to ya!


You know spring break is beginning when a handful of family and friends visit you! I even was able to sneak in some days to visit my friends up in Gunma.


My first March adventure was in Shibukawa, Gunma where I came face-to-face with the glorious mountains and the winds that could knock a child back 3 feet called karakkaze [Karakkaze means 'empty wind - it's the bitter cold wind from the north that's passed over the mountains, losing all its moitsure as snow - PW]!


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My biggest find though was a pair of sandals probably made to fit a giant. Luckily, I didn’t meet that thing!


At the end of my trip, I found a huge fish and of course, I had to pretend to kiss it.


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That following week, both of my sisters in America travelled all the way to Tokyo. My little sister has never been to Japan, so it was exciting to show her Japanese culture for the first time. My older sister has been here two times before, so she was a veteran!


The day they left, my (future) in-laws landed. Goodness, guiding people around a large prefecture like Tokyo is honestly exhausting and bone-breaking. ε-(´・`)


I look forward to a quiet house in the near future.

April 15, 2016

JET teacher Laurence's April Blog Post!

Hey everyone, Laurence here.


This month started on high note with the sakura in full bloom!


This might be bit cliché, but coming to Japan and being able to watch the sakura in full bloom had been a dream of mine for a long time.


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I love flowers so that was one of the reasons why but frankly, to me going to a hanami meant that I had accomplished something. That I had somehow managed to come to Japan and stay long enough to saw the weather change and the flowers bloom. I took a lot of pictures, but for the sake of keeping the size of this blog manageable I am going to post only a few.


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During my time off this month I decided get my translation muscle working and take part in the locJam, which is an international translating event.


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For this special contest, we had to translate a fictional board game called “The Hotel of Madness” (which I realized only much later was directly inspired by The Shining) from English to a language of choice (within those available on the list). The word count was around 3,000 words, but the real challenge was to edit the graphical elements of the game as well make it so my translation fit into the existing formatting of the game’s manual. Lots of time spent into that. But I got it done! We’ll know if I won in June, but even if I don’t win, it was still nice to do some translation work for a change.


See you next month!


Laurence Dube

JET Assistant Language Teacher

April 15, 2016

Emilie's Spring Vacation Blog Post!

Emilie here! This is my spring break blog. ,


My spring break started earlier because I went back to Canada for a vacation for 2 weeks. Canada was amazing. I got to meet my best friends and catch up with my other friends. They hadn't changed at all (although, some of them had).


This is one of the pictures. This picture was taken the day I arrived and my best friend Dana came to meet me.


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A day later Dana slept over at my hotel and the next day we went to surprise our friend Danielle. I didn't tell her that I was coming back to Canada. When she saw me she started crying :( and all three of us had this moment XD and we ate at Boston pizza after! XD


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This is the picture with us three having fun! :))))


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Me and Dana went to West Edmonton Mall (WEM) , WEM was the largest shopping mall in North America and the tenth largest in the world (along with The Dubai Mall). It was the world's largest mall until 2004. We went to galaxy land. Galaxy land is an amusement park inside of WEM.


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I had so much fun!! Thanks Dana!


My friends still had school so I couldn't hang out with them in the day time so I did after school.


We did so many things. I want to say all the things we did but I can't! XD


These are my favorite picture from Canada :)


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MY BIRTHDAY! ( March 30th)

I turned 16 :)

I got to spend time with my family :)

My brothers family and my other brother showed up for me :)

They surprised me with cake!

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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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