Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer's over...

I'm a teacher. This is the last weekend of the summer. I'm sad.

A few years ago I went to Japan for 3 weeks as part of the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher's Program. We visited schools, government, and industry, participated in numerous educational seminars and "I shopped til I dropped" in Ginza:
I survived with a vocabulary of about 35 Japanese words, almost starved to death because I don't particularly like fish or rice, and I met the most interesting people.

Tokyo is just fascinating and I would love to return. The Japanese are the most welcoming people, kind and helpful. The elementary children were so eager to learn and the middle school students were typical adolescents: arm wrestling, rambunctious boys and make-up sharing, giggly girls. The high school and university students take education very seriously. The teachers work longer days for less pay and the schools are very competitive. They are beginning to face some of the challenges we have here in the US: kids skipping school, drop-outs, drugs, etc.

My favorite photo was this one. The fourth graders were preparing and serving me lunch - can you tell which one is me?And here was my morning view during a week in Minami Alps:

Here's a view from Mt Fuji. looking back to my hotel:
Summer's over....and kids are kids....and teachers are teachers. We work very diligently to help children develop into healthy, happy, functioning adults....Cheers to all the teachers out there!


  1. My daughter was a teacher in Japan for 3 years. It was quite an experience!

  2. Patti, this must have been an amazing experience. I'm so happy for you that you were one of the teachers to go on this trip. We spent 2 weeks in Tokyo in the 1980s. My husband had a business trip, and I tagged along because it was during my Christmas vacation. It was a wonderful experience, and I agree with your description of the Japanese people. '-)


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