Thursday, March 09, 2006

Memoirs of a gakusei.

As an alumni of the Georgetown District Christian School, I regrettably will not be able to attend the 40th Anniversary Celebration which is coming up on Saturday April 29.

In preparation the organizers are looking for memories of those years. For me there are quite a lot of good memories (*) but one in particular relates to Japan as well.

I recently had to write an essay in Japanese about a former teacher, and I wrote about Miss Groat. It is nice to rehash this topic in English, as it is very difficult to write about something with such a limited Japanese vocabulary. Two things readily come to mind about Miss Groat. I remember that occasionally I would play chess against Miss Groat during our lunch time. I always won except for the last time we played, when we drew. The other thing I remember was Miss Groat's tally system in Grade four. If we talked in class or did something that was improper Miss Groat would turn our happy face around to the black side. If something else happened then we got a tally, a little orange strip of paper to go with our turned around happy face. When you built up three tallys (four strikes altogether) you received the big prize, Heat for the Seat. In Japanese there is more than one word for receiving something, depending on the social relationship of the giver and the receiver. Since I was a student receiving Heat for the Seat from my Sensei (teacher), the way I would say it in Japanese roughly translates as "I was honoured and privileged to receive Heat for the Seat from my teacher". I must say the only thing I remember feeling honoured was my behind.

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