Monday, April 10, 2017

Branden's high school entrance ceremony...

For those of you that have watched my kids grow up from being babies then to toddler aged. And watched them go from yochien, to shogakko to Chugakko. THANK YOU! This is for you. Can you believe Bran is officially in high school? OMG! I logically know he is. But somehow there is some part of my brain that just marvels and goes..."wow!!!" It's true...kids seriously do grow in the blink of an eye!!! What is that old saying. The days are long but the years are short! So true. Too true. : ) Anyways. As soon as Bran was accepted into high school in mid January. A note was sent with lots of info. One being...where to buy your child's high school uniform. And they suggested us 2 things. *Don't* buy it over a weekend!!! Because they are slammed with customers/high schoolers from about 20 or so different high schools plus JHS. Etc to infinity. *And* if you do go on a weekend you will be in line for ages and not get the best service or undivided attention. Suggestion #2 on the paper from the high school was...go and order it ASAP. They said if you order it immediately your outfit will come to your house faster. And if anything is wrong, meaning the size is off or anything you still have time to make corrections. The earliest delivery date was March 25th. So...the second we got that note. We went a few shorts days afterwards. We went on a Tuesday morning or Wednesday morning. They were dead. We were the only customers in the high school boys uniform section. The girls uniform section is across the hall. LOL. We (Noboru, Bran and I) had 2 very nice women helping us. We spent a good 75 minutes there. Being properly measured. We didn't feel rushed. They took their time with us. It was such a good suggestion to buy our uniform on a weekday. Again...us coming from a tiny rural town, we buy our local elementary school gym uniforms or local JHS uniforms locally and you can go any day of the week and never have a problem with it being too busy. So this info helped us since we were buying in a bustling big city. : ) Also...Kuroneko (the delivery truck people in Japan) sorta like UPS... they had about 3 other boxes that looked just like Bran's uniform box in the back of the truck the day they delivered Branden's uniform (nobody in our town entering high school this year is going to Bran's high school it's just Mitsukoshi sells a bunch of uniforms from the bigger city). The Kuroneko lady said to Bran in Japanese..."I see someone here got into high school!!! Congratulations!!!"  Noboru and Bran are who answered the door...they were both happily telling her. Thank you!!!! So...receiving the uniform was nice. And the picture on the box that has a graphic of high school uniforms on it, which is pictured right here.... lets everyone know. Your uniform arrived. : ) Super exciting. 
The lady said, the fastest day to arrive is March 25th, when we ordered B's uniform. Would you like it to arrive March 25th? We remembered the schools note, about getting it quicker means we can make sure it's all correct and fitting properly. And we said...okay. Plus it still gave them 30 days to make the uniforms, the boys pants and jackets are handmade/made to order, the dress shirts are not though). : ) It arrived and there was nothing wrong with the uniforms sizing at all. It was perfect! So, Branden's high school uniform had been hanging in his bedroom closet since March 25th. : ) 

Everything for his outside uniform is from the Italian brand United Colors of Benetton. His dress (winter) dress shirts are Benetton. His summer shirts are Benetton. His slacks are Benetton. His jacket is Benetton. His sweater is also Benetton.  His gym uniform is FILA. And they stitched Bran's last name on it very fancy like. Very shiny fancy stitching on his gym shorts, gym pants. His gym shirt has the schools name on it and it's really big cool wording and all in English. Plus he also has a sweatshirt too all in English with his name on it. And it looks really cool. Even his school bag is Benetton. He has superly nice uniforms at this school. Noboru told me today...he has never been a fan of Japanese high school boys uniforms in Japan, because he used to wear one too his first year of high school before he moved to the US. But he said...Bran's uniform is *very* cool. And he's right. It's truly so cool. I wish I could show you guys. But...I really want to keep... which school Bran is attending private. So, that's why I'm not sharing pics of his uniform. I'm sorry. : )
Thank gawd, we can just buy normal socks. LOL. The note said, black socks needed. However in JHS, the note was extremely specific about required height of said socks. However at high school the note doesn't mention sock height at all. Hmm. 
Told ya. 3 pair of shoes. The Asics are Bran's gym shoes. The box that says...school shoes are his ballet shoes/inside shoes (they look just like elementary or yochien inside shoes, LOL.) Except they are colored by grade. And the orange box are a black pair of loafers. Nope..you can not just go and buy a cheap pair of loafers at ABC Mart for 3000 yen/US$30 bucks. You have to buy the pair that the school allows....they're black loafers that cost 12,000 yen. They are indeed pricey, however they are...extremely good quality and also made in Japan. @_@ So yep...3 pair of shoes. 
I took a ton of pictures during the entrance ceremony. I took pics of Bran near the entrance ceremony sign. Bran in his uniform. Bran and many of his classmates as they were walking into the gym. I'm glad I took so many. This is the only pic, I can share. I am really sorry about this you guys. But anyways...what I can share with you is a few stories. : ) The gymnasium was split into regular kids (the genius course is lumped with them) and the English course kids. So it is split into 2. So us English parents sat in our thin row for English parents. And the regular class kids parents sat in sections different than ours. 180 regular kids total. And 38 English kids (Bran is one of them) Oh and Noboru corrected me...he told me there is less than 10 boys total in the entire school that includes ALL grades. And for this year there are 3 English boys and 1 genius boy. So anyways...you know how in Japan entrance ceremonies are longer than life? They're so super long? Well this school had the fastest entrance ceremony, I have ever experienced. More like an American ceremony, since it is a unique school. #1 it was raining outside last Friday April 7th and all the other grade kids all held umbrellas...made a sorta makeshift umbrella roof for the new students to walk under as they entered the gym, we all saw this from our seats. I thought that was adorable. And so we were sitting in our seats. And Noboru is reading all the list of names of the kids. I'm meanwhile staring at the American flag and flowers at the front of all of us. They played happy music. And the kids came in. The teachers walked in with their class. Even in the regular kids course they have a western teacher who is fluent in Japanese but they have a western teacher as their main teacher. So this school is so incredible. So modern, this school rocks. And then in comes the last bunch of kids, the English kids. And everyone is clapping as the kids enter. And again...boys are so rare. And I spot Bran right away. And I clicked and clicked and took so many pics. Thank goodness my camera is silent. And they all sat in their seats. There was *very* little super long speeches like I was used to. The principal got up and said...as soon as I do roll call. You officially go here. So he took roll call for the 180 kids first. Oh and fwiw so many foreigners in the regular courses too. Which is so exciting and wonderful, growing up in America I loved that our country has so many different races and cultures and religions to respect. Oh some of the names listed during the ceremony. There was about 2 Lisa's. About 3 Alyssa's/Arissa's. There was 1 Angie. 1 Megan ( and yes a legit Megan not Megumi or anything else... her name is truly...Megan)...Plus 1 Branden awww. : ) There was also 2 girls of middle eastern decent. One wearing something covering her hair. She was simply gorgeous by the way, light brown hair, a dimple and had the warmest smile as she walked into the gym. And the other had her hair showing and she's tall and gorgeous. The one covering her hair... the super beautiful one, told Branden "hi" in English (he told me later) And Branden said he told her "hi" too. These 2 gals are in the regular course. But this school is super cool. People from all over the world. Plus returnees. 100% foreigners are going here too. And the coolest thing about the English course was....I was sitting in my seat and the couple behind us...were speaking a mile a minute...in Chinese! I loved that! Because....at this school. You can just be YOU. And be loved. Be accepted. This school is amaze-balls! Love love love this school. The entrance ceremony lasted about 30 minutes. There was a meeting afterwards. And then us English parents went upstairs again. But the entrance ceremony was the best most perfect length ever!!!
The English kids have their own wing/part/area of the school... that they stay in and the other regular kids are in the other part of the school. And this is on the handbook for English kids. See what it says for rule A. The English kids must use which language to speak with their friends with? To communicate with? As you walk down the halls, which language should you speak? English! The English course kids, have to take 3 English classes each day (writing, vocabulary and something else). They also have a Gtec or something English test to take in June. They are also expected to take the Eiken in July (what will Bran do, I don't know maybe start from scratch then?). They are also expected to take the TOEIC. They have English camp this summer. They have a California trip next year, where they are going to stay in a home-stay program (with Americans). Plus the English kids are going to Tokyo Disney this coming month too. And they better not be caught speaking Japanese at Disney either, hahaha. But they need to be speaking English. LOL. Which is no trouble for Branden at all. But fear not...these are kids who truly love English. Which is why they chose this school to begin with. So Bran is basically in school all day long with like minded people.

Also the kid formerly know as S O boy...he will now be referred to as J (his first name starts with a J). And the 3rd boy in the English course...his name starts with an S, so he will now be S. The 3 English boys are B (for Bran) J  and S. J came to me after entrance ceremony and greeted me. And...well...I'm a push-over. I was like...awww what an adorably polite boy. Plus Bran and him are like besties. So....his name starts with a J, so he's J now.  Oh and I also saw his mom and I like her!!! We didn't get a chance to speak. But I can definitely tell she wanted to talk to me. And I wanted to too. But...we will be seeing each other at undokai in May. We hear this school has the funnest sports day. And apparently the parents sit by class/course. So us English parents will get to know each other more that day too. I'm hoping J's mom attends. : )