monday i was a pirate and a fairly convincing one at that. with hand made sword, hat, and patch, a white shirt with rufles sticking out from under the sleeves of a black jacket, black pants, tall white thin socks, platform black loafers, and even a neckerchief to seal the deal. The kids ate it up. It was a lot of fun. I played Halloween games with two classes and it was the first time i gave out candy as prizes. Tuesday and Wednesday i played the same games with the three other classes along with regularly scheduled programming for the other ones. Things went really well. Tomorrow is a national holiday, yeah! for Japan and its random mid-week holidays. This one is called Culture Day, so presumingly i will be doing something to expand my cultural knowledge of Okinawa.
so about the fire drill.
Monday morning, after the meeting, my JTE comes up to me and says that we will have "starto fire," and i somehow deduce correctly that we will have a drill. He says that it will be at 2:45pm and the science teacher will "starto fire"....i say, "wha?!" that's right folks, at 2:47pm i heared the science teacher yelling something at the entrance on the first floor, everyone was where they were supposed to be, 5 teachers with their homeroom classes and everyone else variously occupied throughout the school. I wasn't given an escape plan (who cares about the ALT, right?) so i followed the accountant lady, Noriko-san, out of the teachers' office. I walked into smoke! Real smoke and then i understood what they meant by "starto fire." Noriko-san and i walked out onto the athletic field where i expected to see all the students gathered. It took students another 2-3 minutes to come out of the "burning" building, led by their teachers. They lined up in rows as usual and three people proceeded to tell them things. One of them is the village fire marshall who came along with an assistant in a small fire pick-up truck. He spoke as a man knowing that he has a captive audience in teenagers...and they were bored out of their minds...and they could understand the man! imagine me..standing there in my pirate outfit, drawing skull and bones on the field with my loafers. he he
So in order to spice things up, the assistant brought out a metal pan and 4 big spray canisters. Several kids practiced spraying water into the pan from a 5 m distance. Then he brought out lighter fluid, dumped some in the pan and lit it!
See that happenning in an MPS school anytime soon?!
The science teacher put it out with a fire extinguisher and it was lit again for a 3rd grade girl to put out. (don't forget that 3rd grade J.H.S. is equivalent to 9th grade)....so not a tiny kid, but still..quite impressive.
The kids were talked at a bit more, I found out that this is done once a year, and we all piled back into the building. On the way in, my JTE confessed that he and two other taechers made a mistake taking kids out of the building. They walked their classes right into the corridor where the wind was blowing smoke in their direction, so the kids would have burned or died of smoke inhalation. But that was the route indicated on the plan and they just didn't think about another option that would have led the kids outside via another way.
When that was over, i only had 30 more minutes of my day, so if i remember correctly, i spent them on the net. :)