The Jr. High graduation ceremony is VERY formal. All the senseis and parents wear dark suits and dresses, though the sannensei senseis and a few of the parents wore kimono and hakama instead. The principal wore a jacket with coat tails. all the sannensei wore red felt flowers the ninensei had made for them. There was the handing out of diplomas, in which each student's name was called, and they went up and received it from the principal, though I'm told we only did this because our school is small enough to do so. Larger schools don't have the time for it. Then there were speeches from the principal, someone from the board of ed, someone from the PTA, etc. After these formal speeches came the student speeches, first the representative of the first and second year students, and then the reply speech from the graduating class's representative. And these are the speeches where everyone lost it. The students started crying like crazy, as did the parents and the senseis. After these emotional speeches, with the students still balling their eyes out, it's time for them to perform their chorus songs. (Why not do speeches after the singing, I wonder? Half the kids couldn't sing they were crying so hard, poor things). The boys and girls are crying still as it's time for them to process out of the auditorium. I suppose in Japan leaving Jr. High is more emotional because these kids aren't all going on to the same high school, but rather to whatever high school they applied to and passed the entrance exams for. They%2 l be splitting up, for the most part, and so it's a very sad time for them. Remembering my Jr. High didn't even HAVE a graduation ceremony, I had to admit when the other senseis asked that yes, it was very different from when I left Jr. High.
Afterward, the students stood outside and talked with the other students and parents and s. I took some adorable photos that are apparently lost forever. Bleh. But at least the kids will have their copies of the photos with me in them, even if I only saw them for two classes this whole year. And at least I look good in them, as I got my first chance to wear the suit that's been gathering dust in my closet the last six months or so.
The senseis ate special box lunches and sweets, and now I'm just killing time until it's time to go home. Of course, I'm actually waiting until the Board of Ed. calls back, because they called me earlier to say there was a problem with my phone bill because according the phone company, my bank account's been canceled. This is news to me, as I just took money out of it yesterday to buy groceries. I'm kinda freaking out waiting to find out if they found the mistake or what. It's just been that kind of day for me, so I'm doing my best not to flip out all over the place, but to stay in my seat and quietly freak out. ::sigh:: It's been a day of extreme emotions, and I fear it's not over yet. Everyone, let's hope I still have a bank account!
EDIT: Tried changing some words to see if the internet will still eat them. Also, I went to the bank, which says I do in fact still have an account and still have money in it, so I'm hoping this was a Brazil-style typing error.