The First Goodbye


Only post-2011 Earthquake kids would understand.


And like all things, good and bad, my time at the Shichikashuku Junior High School has come to an end.

The Day

The last day began like any other. Well, aside from the fact that I only had one class, and it was during the last period of the day. And the fact that I went to the pool with the kids during the third period. But aside from those things… Oh, and it was a Wednesday, and I tend to go to the Junior High School on Tuesdays and Thursdays… But all that aside, it still began roughly the same.

I woke up. Took a shower. Had breakfast. Went to school. Said “hi” to kids. Sat at my desk. Browsed the internet and studied while I waited for something to happen.

After the pool, we had lunch. Oh, yeah, so the part of town where the school lunches are made had a water problem so everyone had to bring their own lunch. That was different. But who’s asking?

After lunch, we had the final class.

Two students came to get me from the teacher’s room. “失礼します。3年のだれだれです。ジョシュア先生の用があってきました。Joshua-sensei, come with us.” They led me into the lunchroom for my final class.

For my final class, I took it rather plainly and had them write letters for the new ALT coming in. I try not to dwell too long on myself, unless I’m writing. If I could, I’d just disappear without so much as a goodbye, but that’s not really the Japanese way. So I took the next best step and made my final class about the new guy. Bridges, ends and beginnings, and all that.

Then, I had to give a speech. I actually spent a decent amount of time on it. The Japanese isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough. It’s written very similar to how I talk, too. When I was asking for edits, “I could change it, but it would lose your voice,” was the response I got. So, aside from a few words 初め->初めて, 体が崩れちゃって->体がついていかない, it’s basically unchanged.

I got up, stood in front of the whole school, opened up the google doc on my phone, and speeched away.

The Speech





それは、英語で、“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” どうやって説明しようか。直訳したら、「意志があることろに、道がある」。つまり、「志があったら、道がひらく」。似ている日本語のことわざだったら、「精神一到何事かならざらん」。まあ、簡単に言うと「成せば成る」ですね。









Where there’s a will, there’s a way. 今、やりたいことはあったら、やってみてください!今、できなければ、ほかのやり方を探してみてください。


じゃあ、この三年間、本当にありがとうございました。Thank you so much! お世話になりました。

The End

After that, I sat and watched a video with my students, about me. Always good for the narcissist in me. Then they handed me a bouquet as big as my body and a booklet of thank yous.

The students then walked to the doorway, put their hands into an arch, and I walked out to some j-rock.

And, like that, three years at the Junior High School came to an end.

. . .

I mean, I still have to go back to help with the English speech contest students next week and the week after that, but, really, who’s counting?


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