Friday was the last day of school and there were no classes on this day, so what do you suppose the kids did?
I mentioned in a previous post that Japanese students clean their classrooms on a daily basis (something that American schools would benefit from immolating emulating (-; I believe). Well, on the last day of school they not only clean the classrooms, they clean the entire school! I’ve been tasked to post about the strangest thing about Japan (July Matsuri) and I’m not sure this fits exactly but walking around the school on the last day has a kind of twilight zone feel to it.
First, the classrooms: all the desks and chairs are moved into the hallway.
The students, dressed in their gym clothes, are split into teams and assigned various task…some are given the floor. This team will take to their hands and knees and, with erasers, remove all marks from the floors.
Meanwhile other teams are cleaning windows and blackboards and staircases, and yet others are cleaning the nurses office, the gymnasium and the doujou…all by hand.
Then, erasers become brooms…the floors are swept thoroughly.
And then out comes the scouring pads and rags and pails of soapy water.
Even the teachers get their hands dirty.
And the strangest part of all of this is that it’s done with not a hint of I’d rather be doing something else. It’s all done with a zest and enthusiasm that is frankly shocking to find in teenagers.