. And I should mention at the start and end of every assembly in the gym you stand in lines of your classes with your feet together and hands by your side and then the teacher at the front says something and every spreads their legs apart a bit and puts there hands behind there back and waits to be told to go back to normal. Then you bow. Then you file out of the gym, or listen to announcements. I didn't really realize how extremely different this was to the western way until today especially since they all found it extremely normal, they didn't even mention what I had to do they just assumed I would follow along. Which in the end I did.
Tuesday started with waking up to rainy snow and wind. The journey to school was warm though for the most part as long as I wasn't outside, like waiting ten minutes for the bus to arrive. In school it was warm for the most part except the hallways definitely colder then the class rooms because they aren't heated. I had art and music again and in music we learnt a new song and it is my goal to have the song memorized by the end, even though I don't know what I am singing. After lunch with Muni I had classes with my actual class and we had changed seating so I am becoming talkative with some other kids from class. After school I didn't have any club because of the weather and I am worried what I am going to do after school as the only club that will continue is Judo once a week. I don't want to get bored so today I decided to do 2 hours of Japanese studying before supper; the most I have done in one sitting
On Wednesday the first class I had me and Honda-san went over what to bring on the school trip and I got super excited realizing we would be leaving next week. I found out along with Marine sports and disney land we are going to be going to be cave crawling. After I had gym and we did handstands for half and badminton for half. During the handstand part I just talked to some of the girls/ tried to talk to them and watched the boys class that was also happening. The badminton part was really fun with my partner and I actually got some exercise during that. What I realised though how different gym class in Canada and in Japan is. I mean we would never be allowed to do stuff on beams and do handstands, because it would be unsafe and all that. But here they are doing handstands and cartwheels on beams, just different perspective I guess.
On Thursday all the snow that Wednesday brought was mostly gone except in a few places. It was a little chilly outside and also in the corridors at school but the classrooms are warm. It's a shock going from cozy classrooms to the hallways and it's hard to remember to out back on the sweater or jacket you took off in the classroom. The first three classes were in the exchange students room and we are now making christmas cards for our host families for when christmas comes. The best part is that host dad during christmas is a Shinto monk and his family lives in a Temple, I think I will be given the card to my host family at the moment. After school the fields still had a bit of snow so the soccer club wasn't practicing, instead I went to Judo. This time was by myself because Muni was gone and I was a little scared but it ended up being fun again.
By Friday all the snow was gone and it was just cold which I think is the worst part about any winter, the coldness before there is snow on the ground
. No matter what the temperature is, when there is snow, everything is better. I had normal classes in the morning and I though I had soccer in the afternoon but it seems they are waiting until next week for the grounds to be completely rid of snow. So instead we had self study time in the Library which can be fun sometimes and can be boring. I have started reading the few english books that they have there but soon those we will run out. Maybe I will start reading some Japanese picture books instead. After school my host mom took me to get my influenza shot at the hospital. But to my surprise I realized that what they call hospital is really just a family clinic. That cleared up a lot about when I was sick and they asked if I needed to go to the hospital, I realize now what they were talking about. The needle wasn't to bad as I am getting used to taking those but unfortunately I didn't get to go home with a lollipop.
On Saturday morning I taught my host sister and brother how to carve a pumpkin. We only did the taking out the guts part because it was a tight schedule and we are going to do the rest tomorrow. I showed them photos of pumpkins on google and let them choose what the face was going to be and told them to tell me tomorrow. They were really excited and it was fun seeing there faces. Afterwards I had Japanese Rotary lesson and then I went to Odori to meet up with Okinuki-san who is apart of my rotary and invited me to stay over at his house which he said was "canadian" style
. First though we went to lunch and two Chinese exchange students to the Sapporo International University came with us. They spoke english pretty well so I got to know them and together with Okinuki-san we visited the bell tower and then went to their university. I wouldn't quite call it an university, its more like a college but they don't have different names in Japanese for university and college. When we walked around we had a mini snowball fight and after they told me that that was their first one, they had never seen snow before, so that was pretty cool. When we went to Okinuki's house I had to laugh because he had taken two house, that were pretty big own their own, and attached them by this mini bridge thing. We spent most of the time in one of the houses but He took us over to see the other and there was a lot of Canadian stuff. He was really excited while he was showing me the wood, of the house and table, were canadian as well he has 3 pictures of the banff springs which he said the roof of his house, which is green, was modelled after. For supper we were joined by 4 more Chinese exchange students. Only one of them spoke english well but we made out taking in a english/japanese way. They were really good in Japanese even though they had only been here for 2 months and I was jealous but it seems they were majoring in Japanse back in China. It was cool talking to them about the difference between China and Japan and how China restricts certain things. Afterwards I spent the night in the house that we spent most of our time and the Okinuki family went to the other side. It would of been cool to live there as I would of had my own house almost and I would of lived close to the Chinese exchange students.
On Sunday two of the exchange students met at the house to go to on some more tours of the city. It was two of the students that didn't speak english to well so I think it was good that they came so I could try talking to them some more
. We went to the old parliament buildings and then walked over the to Hokkaido University to meet up with one more of the Chinese exchange students as well as Javi, who I met early when I went to the Mental Institution, and another student studying at the University from Columbia. After we walked around and the University might as well be a mini village in itself. Beautiful streets and mini cafe's along the side and tons of people walking through. We stopped at this pond for a bit and there was a mini show going on with people playing folky music. Felt very old and class, especially when we started a leave fight. After that we said good bye to each other with promises to go skiing together, eat pancakes and have a really big snowball fight sometime in the future. When I got home me and my family had a mini halloween party for dinner. Me Antan and Taro finished carving the pumpkin and then my host mom took out some halloween hats that she bought and halloween cake so for dinner we had sushi and halloween cake.
Monday was another day at school which the morning was spent with Japanese classes and lessons. Nothing exciting or new happened until lunch were, instead of eating with my normal friends, I went downstairs and ate with some of the 3rd years I had become friends with through soccer and their friends. That was fun, albeit a little awkward, but they invited me to go eat with them again so I guess it went all good. They had a lot of questions since they hadn't really talked to me before so I spent the lunch time trying to answer (and understand) the questions. After lunch we had LHR where we went down into the gym for the every 3 or so monthly check up on hair, to see if its died or for boys cut above the ear, ears for piercings, and length of pants. It was seemed really strict but the kids just talked together for the most part and both the students and teachers went through the process like it was normal and expected, which i guess it is. I liked it because I got to hang out with some of the girls in a few classes over that I don't see as often and goofed around with them