This year, Marlene and I have started going to the JHS first-year’s homeroom classes and cleaning time. It has been a very interesting experience and has helped me learn a lot about the Japanese school system. Homeroom classes are very important in Japanese schools, and homeroom teachers have a lot of responsibility for their students. Some junior high schools in America have homeroom classes, but mine did not. Students in America do not clean their schools. The cleaning is done by professional janitors. I like the idea of cleaning time in Japanese schools, because it teaches students responsibility and makes them respect their learning environment. I think American students might learn some valuable lessons if they had cleaning time, but it would be very difficult to get started in America!
Over the break I was able to visit the United States and see my family. It was really cool to share my stories about Japan with them! I am the only one of my family who has been to Japan and they had a lot of questions. Everyone was surprised to hear that I have been commuting by train everywhere. In my state, the only way you can travel is by car. There is not enough public transportation for people to use it regularly. They were also surprised to hear that I usually walked around with yen. In America, people usually use credit cards. It is unusual for people to walk around with a large amount of US dollars.
I brought my family a lot of Japanese candy and they were excited to try all of the different flavors. I brought home a bunch of different kitkats, Pure gummies, and chocolates. Matcha was especially popular amongst my cousins! My grandmother really liked the strawberry kitkats as well. All of them really wish they could have tried different types of udon and ramen I described as well. All in all, it was really fun to be able to share a bit about my life in Japan with my family!