At Kaminishi elementary, all the students and staff make a birthday card every time the occasion rolls around. It is just another one of those things the school does in support of it’s family-like atmosphere. Every month there is a request or two for me to write these short notes for the other faculty and pupils, quite the burden. Finally, after waiting a long year, it was my turn again to relish in the joy that is the reception! So here was this year’s version. It is large and has big pages that fold out.
There was no convenient way to capture more than one element in a single photograph.
The notes from the students are always a sort of formulaic bit, set in a structure that it seems all children must learn. The content remains consistent as well, generally going on about thanking me for exciting English classes. Nevertheless, being given something as nice as this puts a big smile on my face, definitely something I’ll hold on to. For the ceremony, we all gather in a circle, and then sing a song. I don’t know the song by memory, but they have the lyrics posted. They are mostly congratulatory words until the 3rd verse or so, when it begins saying odd things like ‘Justin is a great friend, we want to be hugged into his bosom’, though in Japanese of course. I shared the limelight with the groundskeeper this day, who is an old guy from the community. I’ll be looking forward to the next year!
The last page was a collage of the students, which I thought was really nice as well.