"Shugaku Ryoko (School Excursion)" (I)
I'm back from our three-day school excursion, which was from last Wednesday. My colleagues and I were with our 320 students during all the scheduled trip. School excursions are called "Shugaku Ryoko," which originally means "Trip for learning." Most Japanese students experience these trips three times in their lives: one in the 6th grade, another in the 3rd grade of junior high, and the other in the 2nd grade of senior high. "Shugaku Ryoko" is the most important and memorable school event for most students.
As I said, 320 students follow the same schedule all the way. They all get on the same train, visit the same place, stay at the same hotel, and eat at the same place at the same time. Isn't it amazing? But it is very Japanese! How many teachers are with them? Just 14.
Students are excited from the beginning of the trip. They never be seated quietly in trains. We teachers are less irritated when we use a special train whose passengers are only us. But when we have to use a usual train with ordinary people on it, it is worse. We have to keep telling our students to behave theirselves all the time...
(This picture is intentionally blurred for the students' privacy. NOT that I am a poor photographer!)