Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Two different events. Branden's JHS Cultural Day event and Noah's 4th grade performance at our Town's Cultural Day Festival...

This is going to be a short and quick little post (hopefully). Covering 2 different days and 2 different events. In Japan, Culture Day (Bunka no Hi), is November 3rd. But our town usually has their events for this early, why? I don't know. But that's okay. We don't mind. : )  The first event was pictured here. This was on Saturday, October 17th. It was our town's one and only JHS (junior high school) Cultural Day event. Basically, it was a talent show of sorts. I went last year when Bran was in the 7th grade and I learned, 1 major important thing, from last year. Pack a lunch! Last year, Noboru, Noah and I went to this, all 3 of us. And we planned to see Branden's class perform and leave. However, after arriving there, we quickly realized how fun it was. How interesting each class had planned and made their own performances. So much so, that I really didn't want to leave. We stayed much longer last year, then we planned. Noboru had to leave to work. So we 3, all left since we all went in 1 car last year. Also, I was quick to note, I saw as it was nearing noon last year... many mom's had indeed brought their own obento/packed lunches. I saw that and thought to myself...oh man! Shoulda, woulda coulda! : ) Hindsight really is 20/20, isn't it? I wished I would have known, how much fun it was last year and I wished I had packed a lunch, last year. So anyways...fast forward to this year. A year smarter and wiser. : ) This time, unfortunately Noboru's schedule was so, that he could not go and see Branden at all this year. : ( He was bummed, but honestly it's okay. He's a super kick butt... awesome dad! And we know that. So, Noah and I had planned to attend the entire day. And also, all JHS kids would be having lunch at the plaza, this place where these pictures are from. And so since I was going to be packing Bran a lunch anyway, I had made extra and packed Noah and myself our own lunches too. : ) The JHS brass band plays so good, I swear they could get jobs at Tokyo Disneyland this instant! They are amazing! They played, music for us all, for about 30 minutes and Noah and I loved every minute of it! They did announce that this would be the last performance in public...that the 9th graders would be making with their fellow 7th and 8th grade brass band members. And I was like awww! : ) But truly what an amazing band! After the brass band, the kids who performed English speeches went next.  

After the speeches, was this group who used those glowy snap lights, you can buy at the 100 yen. The kids who did this last year, were amazing. The kids who performed it this year. Eh, they had a few problems, like they weren't in sync. One kid didn't seem to be doing the same moves, as the other kids. But all in all, it was interesting. They most certainly get an A for effort. : ) Bottom line though, we all felt entertained, all day long. And hey...they're just kids, not professionals. : ) So a fun day!

Then around 10:30am, all the 8th graders split in groups and went to different areas of the plaza to give their speeches. What were their speeches about? The 8th graders did a 2 day work experience this summer, at the beginning of August. All of the jobs were selected by the JHS. 4 kids went to Mc D's in the small city nearest us. A few kids, went to a farm and worked there. A couple kids went and took the train to Narita and worked at a hotel, being maids. They had to make beds and whatnot. And a few kids worked at Ministop (Genki's mom was their supervisor since she works there) a couple kids worked at Sports Depot in Narita. And whatnot. Noboru got special permission for Branden to come and work with him. Since Noboru isn't an office worker. And works in an airplane. Noboru had to call headquarters in the US. Since in an airplane it's not technically Japan anymore, however the tarmac is Japan, so we needed Japan permission and US permission. Noboru, had to get ahold of the FAA. Basically, the heads at Delta gave permission for Bran to be there. And because Americans love...."go to work with your parent day" They absolutely said Yes, yes and totally...yes! Delta rocks! Noboru had to send a photo copy of Bran's American passport (identification) to Delta, an English ID is required, since it's an American airline, so they knew who they were granting permission to. And they of course loved seeing the American passport, a person at headquarters mentioned/remarked (about) it,  and the fact his name is Branden, just made...making out a name badge for the folks in the USA and also when speaking about him..way easier, hahaha. For what it's worth, American crews some of them... sometimes have the hardest time with Noboru's name. Hahaha. It's true.  Also, the crews for the most part are American, meaning the flight attendants and whatnot. So speaking English for this 2 day work experience was critical. And thank heavens Branden speaks English. Also this was the first time ever at...our local JHS, that there was ever a person/child granted access to work at Narita and not just the airport but for an actual airline and not just any airline...and American owned  international airline. So....all of Branden's classmates were truly blown away. Noboru went to the cobini once this summer and G's mom was there working. And she told Noboru..."is it true Branden is going to be working at Delta for the 2 days?" Her daughters dream is to be a flight attendant (her daughter/Genki's sister is so gorgeous, she could be a flight attendant or maybe a supermodel...truly not kidding) and the mom told Noboru how badly her daughter tried to be accepted for a 2 day program at the airport...anywhere at the airport, back years ago when she was an 8th grader. But she couldn't, she's a first year high schooler now, so no worries. Anyway...everyone's job was listed on a print out, for the rest to see.....the list was given to all 8th graders of...basically... who is working, which job. And Bran's said...last name, Branden, Delta Airlines. And so yeah...everyone was like @_@ What???! It might not seem like a big deal, by reading it. But it was a huge deal, this past summer. In fact so much so. One of Bran's classmates...his mom apparently called the actual airport and asked..."I hear you have 1 JHS kid working for Delta, are they accepting anymore?" They apparently told her...No and we don't know what you're talking about, but the answer is no...our airport doesn't accept JHS kids or any kids, so no. How do we know this? Because the kid went to school the next day and said his mom had called trying to get her son the same position Bran had, for the 2 day volunteer thing. Branden was only allowed to do this...because of his dad's job. And because he speaks English. Keep in mind...Noboru was taking full responsibility for Branden. And that's a huge deal. If Branden would have done anything bad (he didn't but)...Noboru would have been entirely responsible 100%. And so no, Noboru only felt comfortable offering this position to his son.  Anyway so back to the story. All of the kids were in different parts of the plaza and they were giving speeches on their 2 day work experience. What they learned. What were the requirements for your job? Branden said, many FAA licenses and English is a *huge* requirement. Bran's speech was 2nd to last. Noah and I enjoyed hearing all the other kids in our groups 2 day work experience. Where did they work, what did they do? What did they learn. Did they have fun? What are their thoughts. The one boy who worked at Sports Depot at Narita mall said, "*so many* foreigners were shopping and buying things there" That made me smile hearing that. The way he said it..."So many foreigners shop at Sports Depot in Narita," He did not know that!!!  And he was very surprised by that fact! : )  After all of these speeches, it was noon and lunch time. I knew Bran would be eating with his class. I did bring 2 single size leisure sheets for Noah and I. But, after looking around and watching what others were doing. They were all walking to their cars and eating in their cars. For example, K's mom was inside her car eating with her elementary aged child. Another mom was in her minivan. And so, Noah said, "let's go and eat inside our car mama" I said, "let's go" so we went and ate out lunches inside our car. I guess we didn't need our leisure sheets after all. Hahaha. : ) Oh well, better to be safe then sorry, I suppose. : ) We ate and then went inside the building.  

First up was the 8th graders, and they sang 2 songs! 

They did a wonderful job! Then the 7th graders came out and sang 2 songs, they were lovely! Next and final were the 9th graders. They sang 2 songs and they did fabulous! 

Noah and I stayed until 2:30pm. All 3 grades sang. It looked to be winding down. And when I saw a few of my fellow mom friends, that I know.... start to head for the door. I whispered in Noah's ear, "let's go, I think it's over" And it was! It was a pretty full day for a Saturday. But it was an awesome day. Noah and I were entertained all day long.... by lots of interesting things and songs to hear, people dancing with glowing lights.....people to listen to and work experience stories to learn from. all in all, a wonderful JHS Cultural Day. Oh and for the record, during lunch, while Noah and I were eating in the car, we saw one lone, 7th grade mom walking all around without lunch. She saw many of us eating in our own cars. And I could totally empathize! I didn't know how fun this was last year and I didn't bring a lunch last year. So yeah, I could totally relate. We all feel like that sometimes..don't we. We all have times or experiences, like those. Which unless you're perfect...which of course, I am so far from perfect, so I totally could feel her pain during lunch. The bright side is..next year, she will have her lunch all ready! : )   Anyway that was Bran,'s JHS Culturual Day for 2015! October 17th. : ) 
This was, our towns Cultural Day Event! This was Noah's class, in this picture. It was held during the weekday. It was held October 22nd. I love that this picture is blurry. So we kinda see, but not really, if that makes sense at all. Both elementary schools performed. And the one and only JHS, from our town, brought the brass band. And some adult groups, came as well. One was a middle aged Japanese women's choir. They sang really lovely! And I noticed 1 of the women singing in that, was a mother from Bran's class. Hahaha. Pleasantly surprised and she sang beautifully, I might add! Much respect for her! Truly! The 4th graders from our elementary received a note 2 weeks ago, that said basically all 4th graders singing must wear a white shirt! I just bought a new plain Cherokee (Target) brand white long sleeve tee shirt from Nishimatsuya for 540 yen. Besides Noah can wear it under his short sleeve tops.  The 2nd graders from our elementary school, also sang a song or two and they did really well, as well. Noah and his class played 1 song on the recorder and sang 1 song and that was it. The adorable thing about our town is our school is truly a rural school in a country town... has only about 190 kids total, all 6 grades, which is not a whole lot of kids. However the *other* elementary school, has only about 48-50 kids for all 6 grades.  While our elementary school... only brought 2 grades to perform, the 2nd and 4th graders from our school. However, because the other school is so tiny population wise. And yes they have been asked by our town to close the school down... for years. But they want to keep it open. Good for them, don't give up, you guys! So anyways, because they have such few kids. #1 they brought the entire school population! Hahaha! And #2, their first couple songs were sung by their 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders combined! And that still... was less kids then our 4th graders... from our school! Hahaha how cute! And the next performances, by the tinier school, they sang a few songs and the 4th, 5th and 6th graders teamed up... to sing those songs and again their 3 grades were still...way less kids, then our schools 4th grade class. Their school is just seriously adorable and cute and small population wise. And boy do they have talent for days, that tiny school! The first song the 4th, 5th and 6th graders sang was...the song Burt (Dick VanDyke) sang in Marry Poppins. Chim Chim Cher-ee. But they sang this in such a truly unique way...so slow...almost melancholy or almost sounded sort of sad... type of way, the way they sang it. It was sorta eerie. But *very* cool! I mean seriously so cool. Their version gave me chills, arm goosebumps, truly. In fact so much so...that it was my favorite performance of the whole day! 

Noah, are you looking bored here or what kiddo! Hahaha. Anyway so there ya have it!  I have been a slightly busy mama over here, watching the JHS kiddos doing their Cultural Day. Loved it! And on another day, I enjoyed watching the town wide, cultural event as well. I'm certainly a mom on the go! Hahaha. : )  And this week, I have Observation Day at the JHS, I mentioned that already, plus a hair appointment and a dental check up/dental cleaning for the kids. Hahaha. After this Thursday, is done, I am pretty much free for a while. Which is nice. : )