I've decided that I can't recap everything that's happened sequentially so I'm just going to write about different topics until everyone is brought up to speed. Today I'll do school since that's taking up most of my time right now (plus I'm typing this in school right now, IT class).
I started school a few weeks ago and it's been interesting to say the least. I have to take the bus to school and back every day and on the first day, my host dad put me on the wrong bus. I was told the bus I was on would go straight to my stop with no changes so I stayed on the bus until the last stop. Luckily the bus driver I had that day was the nicest one I've come across so far so she was very helpful in making sure I got to where I needed to go. After a few small problems (no bus going to my stop), I finally made it to school (only an hour or two late). Thank goodness it wasn't an actual day with classes. I walked around the school and got lots of stares and pointing. I found my room and as I walked to it, two girls were standing outside the door and saw me. Smiling and with excitement they boldly and eloquently asked...."Jared?" and I answered with a triumphant "Yes!" Queue excitement and stares as I walk into the class. All the girls wanted a picture with me and asked me questions like "Do you have girlfriend?" Then the guys came up to me and asked things like "How tall are you?"
That day (and the day that followed) turned out to be days in preparation for the school festival that weekend! The days were basically me helping out my class with their room theme and watching the many dance groups practice. They really take it to the next level here. School festivas are all out with coordinated hip hop dancing, Japanese food stalls, bands playing on a stage, and rooms with themes like a haunted house or a quiz of some sort. Keep in mind that most of the dances were comprised of homeroom classes (not dance clubs or anything like that) and they were doing things like jump rope stunts and breakdancing and everything.
My class turned the room into a giant board game. I got to help as a person who sat outside the class inviting people to come to it. Most of the time I was going around to different rooms with some people from my class. There was a group of girls that weren't students that asked to take a picture with me and then would all giggle if they saw me around the school. I just found it kinda crazy because I would just stand there or say "Hi" or wave and they would go "Kakkoiiiiiiiiii" (So cool!). So, if you're planning on going on exchange and you have:
Non brown eyes
Non black hair
and/or you are:
People will think you're cool. (If you're a girl, everyone will think you're cute)
Since then I've been having regular school days. Everyone stays as a class and we stay in the same room for most classes. Class goes from 8:40 until 4:05 on every day except Friday (which gets out around 3:05). It's definitely been an interesting experience so far! I don't understand a lot of the classes so I just practice kanji or doodle for the time being. Except English classes. In those classes I help with pronunciation or grammar or things like that. My English reading teacher kind of annoyed me the other day because he pronounces everything himself and his accent isn't that great. He insisted to the class that wolf was pronounced as "oorf."
I'll write more about school in later posts. My next post will probably be about my recent trip to Kyoto and Osaka during Silver Week :D