So the last four days have been filled with school festivals, a good excuse to chill out, relax, and get paid for doing little. Seishi festival was on Wednesday and Thursday, and the last two days have been Shonan festival. Yesterday we had lots of singing and dancing, mostly by female students, mostly to Britney Spears, Steps and 90s Dance Music. But also one guy who chose to dress up in a skirt.

Today was the main day of the festival, with parents and friends coming for the stage performances and food. I spent most of the day going round the exhibitions in the classrooms with Takemoto-sensei, a lovely English teacher who works with both me and my friend Meghan. Also I saw Louis, a guy from Panama who used to teach at Shonan at the JET before Georgina and Me. For lunch we had a mixture of stuff- takoyaki, udon, yakitori, and cotton candy. As a gaijin, any attempt to make yourself blend in at a Japanese high school is doomed to failure, and I was near the centre of attention almost everywhere I went! Luckily I’m glad to be an ambassador for the UK, and the Steve Fan Club, which I’m glad to report is going well 🙂

It was a really really fun day, I got to chill out, and have a laugh with the genki students, who make working at school so much fun. Shonan is such a great school- I love the teachers there, including Yoden sensei who is so funny. And like I said, the students are really fun! The Japanese know how to foster a sense of community a lot better than we do in the UK; any excuse and theres a festival! The closing song of the festival was as cheesy as possible, but everyone linked arms and swayed together! Yoden-sensei even dashed across the room to grab me and bring me back to where him and some of his students were singing along! What can appear very superficial on the surface actually disguises a real sense of belonging, loyalty, and love for the school- not the bricks and desks but the people who you teach and teach with. Its groit.

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