This year, my Monday/Tuesday’s elementary school moved up their undoukai, aka sports day, to the first semester of the school year in an attempt to prevent kids from getting heat exhaustion. Usually this event occurs in the second semester, around September where summer is still lingering in Japan. Unfortunately it was a very hot June day when we hosted it so there was almost no difference!
Unlike the past two years, I actually stuck around for the entire time. The reason was because I had another ALT that came with me so I had some English company. She’s in charge of the fifth graders, the kids I really wanted to teach this year but alas, I’m stuck with the sixth graders. The undoukai itself was pretty fun as usual—it was fun to see the little kids try to throw balls into the basket and the older kids do silly relay races. Of course, my favorite event is the one where students make a walking pyramid and try to remove the opposing team’s hat from the kid on the top:
The most surprising thing this year was running into my former sixth graders from last year. Most of them went to the nearby junior high school, which my friend ALT also teaches at. Since she mostly teaches 1st years there, they are very familiar with her. It was a lot of fun to catch up with them but I’m still weirded out to see them with iPhones! Mellow Man was definitely the most interesting character of the day; while I already knew that we were chums, I had no idea he liked me a lot. He hung around us the majority of the day and even gave me a back rub towards the end. At this point, nothing surprises me anymore. I’m glad to hear that everyone is doing well and I hope I can see them again someday!