Friday, May 30, 2014

Grade 8 graduation

Today was grade 8 graduation dinner and ceremony.  The last week or so I have been so busy thinking about what I need to have done, how to do things, and just making sure I have it all together!  I found it hard to even think of other things, such as requests for something for next week or what I was going to do this summer.  It is safe to say that grade 8 graduation day was consuming my mind.  
I am home and it is all done now, about 10 p.m.  It is a huge relief.  The first time you do things, you're not sure of how it will go and whether everything has been thought of and covered.  The staff have been VERY helpful and I am glad I work with a great group.  
The grad dinner was at 5:15 p.m. and High School students provided child care.  I also had some older siblings and some High School students help out serving at the dinner.  
The grad program began at 7:00 p.m.  There were some musical pieces and some speeches as well as the introduction of each of the graduates.  Afterwards there was cake available.  Over the course of the evening, I would imagine there were hundreds of pictures taken.  I only took a few.  
In the Plaza
In the plaza
It was  a good evening.  The students had fun and the parents enjoyed the evening as well.  I am quite tired now.  Ready for a good night of sleep! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Jiyu Gakuen visit

The last couple of weeks seem to have flown by so quickly.  It is difficult to believe that in a couple of weeks we will be finished the 2013-2014 school year!  Lots of things need to be completed yet before we arrive at the last day of school.  We will accomplish whatever we need to by the end of the school year. 
Back on May 7, we had some visitors at CAJ.  The equivalent of grade seven boys from the Jiyu Gakuen school came to visit with our grade seven class.  I did some asking around and looked at some information on the internet about this school.  It is called the Jiyu Gakuen College.  Apparently it started out as a secondary school for girls by two journalists way back in 1921.  The philosophy of the school is based on Biblical principals.  Now the school has a Kindergarten, elementary school and separate boys and girls junior and secondary schools and a college a co-educational program and a women's only program.  The students are involved in self-government and share in maintenance of their campus. After our students' visit, the most common comment was about how good the food was at lunch, much of which they grow or raise on their campus.
Having these interactions with our neighboring schools allows our students to experience a style of education that may be different from ours.  We like to have an exchange so they  can also experience what our students do at CAJ, which is a North American style of education. 
Introducing themselves
Introductions were done in small groups.
Sharing what is going to happen during the visit.

off to go to chapel
Taking a combined picture and saying good-bye.
I was able to sit down with the principal and teachers that accompanied the students.  They spoke fairly good English and having a conversation wasn't too difficult.  They said they enjoyed the Chapel.  We did make arrangements to have a translator for our speaker and we sang two of the praise songs in Japanese.  We hope to continue this exchange next year and we are looking for ways to make their visit better. 
As an additional note, we have a teacher who has started a video club for Middle School and High School students.  The other day while I was sitting in my office after school, I was hearing some girls talking in the hallway.  I could tell they were talking in different voices, so I went to check it out.  It was four girls from the video club making a video with their puppets.  Not sure what the video is about, but it's great to hear them using their creative abilities to create the story but also to discuss with each other how to line up the camera and using the different angles.  What a great way to end the day. 
The four of them were having lots of fun and learning as well!

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Parade of Bands

One would think that CAJ is a busy place because there are a lot of events that I share on this blog.  I think I can safely say that this time of the year there are a number of fine arts presentations on the calendar almost every weekend.  This evening, we had A Parade of Bands.  Since there are a large number of ensembles and bands, they cannot all fit into one evening performance, unless you want to spend hours at the concert. 
This evening we had the grade 5 band, the High School Band,

 the Middle School Band, 
and a Jazz Ensemble.  I am always struck by how God has blessed students with a variety of talents.  Some of these students also participate in the sport teams and also do very well there too.  It was another enjoyable evening.  It is so good to see how our students are being equipped in various ways to impact the world for Christ.