|This picture was taken on March 2nd, on Noah's Observation Day. Watching Noah's class in action was nice. The class was broken up into groups of 4 and they were making a mock newspaper article. : ) It was really cute to watch. There is only 1 fifth grade class in our school. This is the one and only. And they've been going to school together... since the first grade... so all these kids know each other really well. And they're going to be 6th graders this coming April/start of the new Japanese school year! I wonder who Noah's 6th grade teacher will be? This teacher in this pic is very nice and he's been Noah's teacher for the past 2 years...so I really doubt he'll be his teacher 3 years in a row, ykwim. Wish he could, but I doubt it.|
|The kids at my son's school sew a lot! Like a whole lot! This is the most recent project Noah made! It's a bag and the design is sharks! I think Mr. Gorgeous did a fantastic job on his latest sewing project! Noah and his classmates also cook and bake a lot at his school too! Good school...good school. : )|
Anyway what happened with the whole tons of meetings after Noah's observation day? And what happened regarding the PTA? Well here's the deal. In America you have the option to join the PTA or not. It's your own personal choice. However here in Japan. You do not get a choice or option. You are in the PTA whether you like it or not. Whether you are a hard working mom... working full time! It also...doesn't matter if you have kids at different schools (one in JHS or yochien) and that all on it's own....is a juggling fiasco all on it's own, if you have more than 1 kiddo here in Japan and deal with PTA stuff. Nope...they're not interested in your excuses. You're just...in the PTA whether you like it or not. So...now that you know the rules. @_@ Here's more. Again this is for our town. Not sure what other areas do for theirs. Just know how ours... does ours.
You must join the school PTA once in all 6 years per kid. So if you have 3 kids, you will be in the elementary school PTA 3 times. It is a 1 year of service per kid. Okay...so that means... me...Gina has 2 kids. So I had to do PTA at the elementary school 2 times. Okay, got it? : )
Also...now here comes another ball you can try and juggle too. We have something called the Kodomokai (Kids Club) in our town. And you must give 1 year of service for this too but this is just once...no matter how many kids you have. So if you have 3 kids, 1 year of service is enough. So...if I say kids club PTA that is this.: )
For Branden...I raised my hand the very first semester when Branden was a first grader. Why? Because Noah was not in yochien yet. He was only a toddler. And I had the time. And I also heard from the grapevine... the one to apply for...try for...is the traffic safety PTA. And I got that! What was my job? Super easy! I just drove down my area and looked for any PTA signs that needed replacing or signs that needed tightening. It was so easy. I had Noah strapped in his baby car seat. Branden in a booster seat since he was 6. And I drove my white minivan...the Mazda MPV at the time...around my town checking the signage. And that was so easy and I would say... I knocked that out of the way in an hour! Best...most easiest job ever!!!! And my PTA duty for Bran was done...finito! Since his first year of elementary school!
I also did the Kids Club PTA too. Vice Prez!
Now for Noah's elementary school years. I raised my hand when Noah was a first grader. I badly wanted to get that same job...traffic sign patrol again! The problem is...5 other mothers also raised their hands too. @_@ And so...we rock paper scissored. And I could not get it. I tried again in Noah's 2nd grade year. And nope. many mom's wanted that job. And I was once again..out-rock paper scissored. Noah's 3rd grade year...I was Fukukaicho for the Kids Club that year...and rules state...I can't be PTA for both places same year. Noah's 4th grade year I was...frankly burned out...by the whole PTA thing having just completed a whole year as fukukaicho. And didn't raise my hand at all. Lucky for me...I wasn't picked. Noah's 5th grade year...I got my energy back and I once again...tried for the traffic sign PTA. And once again...I lost. Clearly I suck at rock paper scissors! Haha! : ) And this year...manner wise? I know...I have to raise my hand for something. And manner wise...I have to volunteer as tribute! LOL...Hunger Games reference. So....I knew. Considering.. everyone should take a turn and it's now our family's turn. And I have yet to do PTA for Noah, I have to do it this year. It's right we do something this year. Because we cannot escape the PTA. I know that.
However also please keep in mind. I do have 1 more kiddo. And I very well...might be elected in the PTA for Bran's high school. Everyone pretty much speaks English. So...yeah...it's pretty much...a possibility too.
But...do I want to be in the PTA at 2 different schools this year? elementary and high school? Honestly? Not really. 1 is fine. But 2? Ehhh. Not too crazy about juggling... the PTA for both schools. So, Noboru and I talked about the possibility. The night before Noah's observation day. And the morning of Noah's observation day. And Noboru said. You will never believe what he told me. He said..."You did the PTA for Branden. You did the Kids Club PTA too. We don't know how Branden's high school will handle the PTA or even if they have one. However thinking back on you doing the trash pick up with the other mothers. Hauling all those heavy newspapers and beer cans. You did more than your fair share. And they're my kids too. So, I should do something too. So, I will raise MY hand and I will do the PTA for Noah this year" .....my face. was like. @_@ "Really?" He said, really. I said...Are you sure? He said reassuringly..... "I'm so sure, I've got this." What a guy! Talk about being happily surprised. So, I said...okay. Thanks. Truly thank you! I'm very glad...that my husband is very modern thinking. Sure living 16 years in America helped. I'm just glad that he doesn't just *expect* absolutely everything should fall to my shoulders. So for me...that's reassuring and helps me a great deal. : )
So, we drove 2 cars to the school for one, because we had talked about it at home beforehand. And we both went to Observation day. We then both sat at the class meeting. PTA was brought up almost immediately. 3 houses out of 39 kids have not done PTA yet. Noboru raised his hand and said...we are one of the families and that he would like to volunteer. He did immediately cover me pretty much from the get go... because he knows how to deal and speak with Japanese because he's Japanese. He said right away...."my wife did the PTA for our older son at this shoggako as many of you know. She was also fukukaicho for the Kids Club too, as many of you know. And our older son is going to an English high school starting this April...and we are thinking my wife has a strong chance of being picked for the PTA. So...to take the burden off my wife since she will more than likely be doing PTA this year also...but for our older son. I will take the PTA duty for Noah's final year this year."...by Noboru saying that immediately and right away! He nips anything in the bud ASAP! And everyone chimed in and said...oh yes you're wife is always helpful....yes she was in the PTA. And you see people shaking their heads. And one says...Branden is going to an English high school? How wonderful. Yes...I bet they will pick your wife for the PTA!" And heads were nodding. And they said...We agree. And they then said...how wonderful you are taking this on. And so...they asked Noboru...would you like to do the yearbook? Side note...yearbook duty meets every single week of your year. @_@ Newspaper duty...newspaper they meet every week too (parents of this write what the grade/class was up to and what they will be up to next). He also tried for PTA for the traffic signs. But nope. But he and 1 other person signed up for ...."undokai and weed cutting day"...the lady said she's done it before...it's super easy and she will raise her hand to be kaicho since she's a 6th grade parent and Noboru can be VP if he wants. But they do not meet once a week. They get together 1 day before undokai and stream up the flag banners. Help on the field. And help the day of undokai too And that's it. And as for grass weed day...just make sure everyone signs in. And then cut the weeds. That's it. He's very happy with this. And so...PTA duties are done. For our town.
To be fair. There is one papa, in Noah's class. He has been in the PTA every year. He loves being in the PTA. He also has a JHS daughter. So the dad's in our town do volunteer. Volunteering for dad's in our town at least...is not that uncommon. Good dad's...good dad's. : )
After the class meeting. I found Noah and we also met up with Branden and the 3 of us went home. I popped the enchiladas in the oven and made the spanish rice. Got dinner all ready to go. And Noboru went to the school wide meeting. He went to the district meeting. Then he came home. To a nice hot piping dinner. So a win win for everyone. : )