Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jishin (Eartquake) Drills & Gomi Monkeys

In school today we had our Jishin drills, or earthquake drills. We had them at the end of third period today. What's so special about that you might be asking? Well it had to do with our "safety zone" as F-sensei called it. It seems that in the event of an earthquake students run out of the building onto the school grounds.

There were three rules for the procedure.
  1. No talking.
  2. No running.
  3. No Pushing
And sure enough, when he alarm rang, *which sounded like something out of a Star Trek convention, the kocho-sensei and all the other teachers ran to their designated stations throughout the school. And the kids followed the three rules as if they had been controlled by some hidden remote control inside the vice-principals underwear. All the teachers were yelling "Hashiri! Hayaku!!! etc..." It was comical. And the students filed in like little mute pokemon characters.. two by two in utter silence and without incident.

But did they go to our "safety zone" out on the sand coated field where students play their sports? Oh no, that would be too simple. Instead, because it was raining and the field was a bit wet, they all decided that the taikukan (gymnasium) would be a much better place. So I asked F-sensei, what happens if a real earthquake happens while it's raining. And she replied that of course we'd go out on the field.

And so there we were standing in the gym, each grade got their times "1 nensei, 3:10; 2 nensei, 3:40, and 3 nensei 4:20." Then the head of the discipline committee charges up, takes the mic and starts railing on the students for a poor performance.
And shortly thereafter, the kocho-sensei (principal) going off on a totally unrelated tangent, starts giving a speech to students about not littering. He even compares the students to monkeys. He said, "Monkey's don't know any better than to litter, but you humans should." That nearly cracked me the fuck up. I didn't mean to laugh because he was serious, and litter (gomi) has become a problem at our school. But him comparing the kids to monkeys was a bit too much for me... why not pigs... or dogs.... or something, anything besides a (saru).

Which reminded me of the video below:

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