Saturday, June 8, 2013

So, What's it like to...

What's it like to attend a grade 8 graduation at CAJ?  It's actually not that different than attending a grade 8 graduation anywhere else.  It was well planned out with music performed by the Middle School band and choir.  There were awards given to the students and small gifts given to the teachers who taught them at some point during the Middle School years. Sorry no pictures.  
What's it like to have a birthday overseas?  It was fine.  I have developed some good friends that remembered my birthday and made it a special day. Before my birthday I had already received a beautiful birthday gift!  Check it out!

On the actual day, Mieke Sasaki walked into the room singing, "Lang Zal Zij Leven" and gave me a gift that had windmills and shoes on it.  I also received a bag with balloons in it that said, "Happy Birthday Winnie!"

 It was sort of special already because it was Senior Comps day!  Senior Comps day is the day when the staff are divided into groups of three and they sit in a presentation given by a Senior, all the other students do not have regular classes, but are required to attend at least one comp presentation.  The senior has studied and researched their social issue and on this day give an oral presentation that the panel of three staff evaluate.  I was fortunate to only have two presentations to evaluate that day.  The first presentation was on sleep deprivation and energy drinks.  The second was on teen depression.  Both were interesting although one would think I would walk away depressed after that.  :)  Lunch was interesting.  We could have pizza and/or sushi.  I've started to eat raw tuna and it sure does taste good.  That is something I have not experienced before on my birthday.  The rest of the day was fairly low key, meeting with department heads so I can get a good grasp of the various programs at CAJ in preparation for principalship next year, and the what seems like, never-ending grading of papers, writing tests, grading projects etc.  
So what's it like to attend a grade 12 graduation at CAJ?  It actually isn't a whole lot different than attending a graduation at any other Christian High School.  The staff, which includes everyone, walks in to the gym (grad was in the gym since it can hold many more people) in the order of length of time working at CAJ.  Yup, I was #68!  Only three other folks behind me!  The graduates walk in after us.  The one difference is having to pronounce all the names from various languages!  Kudos to Mr. VanderHaak for doing a good job.  The one other difference is that the program was streamed live on the internet.  Sorry forgot to take pictures during the graduation.  If you are interested, you're welcome to view the video of the  CAJ Grade 12 Graduation Program.  
Here are some pictures of the program.
Cover of the program
Program order

List of graduates
What's it like to have one year of teaching at CAJ under my belt?  It is good!  I really have come to love living here in Japan.  I really enjoy working with my colleagues at CAJ.  I am looking forward to the challenges of being a MS principal, knowing that many are praying for a good transition.  

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