Saturday, December 6th, was the SICE closing ceremony/party. We had speeches, time for chatting and eating, a song, and a Quaker-style moment of silence in a circle to say goodbye. Sunday morning – 9:50 shinkansen – was the time for all 5 students to leave. Lots of us were there to see them off. Thank you everyone for making SICE 2014 a success!!
Sunday morning at Morioka Station. Everyone is here but Zach!
Last weekend 5 SICE students, 5 ALTs, and 10 University of Gandai students carried out an English-only weekend for 20 middle schoolers. It was called English Camp and has become an annual event since the tsunami. The students came from both the coastal area in Iwate and from the Morioka area. We stayed at a seminar house near Mt. Iwate. Each room had 1 American, 1 Japanese university student, and 2 middle school students from different schools. Although the students were tense at first, it didn’t take long to break the ice. There were lots of games and activities which required everyone to use English, though communication generally depended on lots of gestures and expressive faces. Enjoy the photos!
SICE is winding down. The Morioka Board of Education gave us a wanko soba party to celebrate the success of the students’ internships as assistant language teachers in the middle schools. Wanko soba is a traditional party where each person gets tiny bowls of noodles, one right after the other until the person eating puts a lid on the bowl. It is a kind of competition to see how many you can eat. Of the SICE students Veronica won by finishing 105 bowls of noodles. Tyler, former SICE student and now an ALT, was the grand winner of all participants, with 20 or more above Veronica’s score. Not quite sure.
On Monday, November 3rd, SICE took a day trip to Hiraizumi, a historical World Heritage site in Iwate Prefecture. The town was celebrating their autumn festival in the midst of beautiful fall color. We visited temples, gardens and the cultural heritage center.
Every year SICE students visit various schools as part of the Cross-cultural Educational Perspectives course. This year most of the visits took place in October. The most recent were to two elementary schools. We helped with English classes at both schools and spent the whole school day at one of them: interacting, introducing American culture, and learning a lot about Japanese elementary schools.
The schedule at our next school involves our presenting an activity to the 5th graders. We decided to warm up with Yokai Taisou, a very popular exercise involving mysterious monsters, and then teach the students the hokey pokey.
Here we are successfully performing yokai taisou and then doing the hokey pokey with the students.
Last Wednesday we spent the day at Hakubai Kindergarten. We played with the children, enjoyed seeing the youngest class eat their box lunches, and ate lunch with the oldest children. The “rock, scissors, paper” game was lots of fun. SICE and the boys played against an equal number of the girls.
Mrs. Kudou, a former host mother explained how to sew kimono