On March 3rd, the school held the graduation ceremony for departing 3rd year students. There were many people in attendance, including the graduating and 2nd year students, parents, teachers, and a number of representatives from the local government and various other institutions. During the ceremony, speeches were given by the school principal, the director of the school, and the head of the Yonago Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These speeches all stressed the importance of new opportunities and experiences that graduating students will encounter, but also focused on the increased responsibilities they will have to take on as young adults. A short speech was also given by the representative of the 2nd year students, thanking them for their guidance and support. Once the ceremony finished, students returned to their classrooms to take pictures with their homeroom teachers, their parents, and each other. Some students came to the teachers’ room to wish their other teachers farewell and to take some final pictures to commemorate their high school experience. In total, the day was both happy and bittersweet, with students taking their first big step towards their future as adults, but parting with the teachers and classmates they had grown so familiar with.
On March 8th, a representative from the Yonago City Election Board came to provide students with information about voting and elections. This included showing students the machines involved in both the ballot process as well as those used for counting votes. In addition to covering the basics of the voting process, the two hour session also stressed the importance of becoming more socially engaged with the political process through various means such as social media. Although parts of the lecture were possibly a bit complex for the students, the general understanding was there, and for some students an additional sense of interest in politics and voting was sparked by the lecture.
From Thursday, November 9th to Friday, November 10th, the school held its annual cultural festival, which was attended by not only students, but many parents as well. The first day began with the opening ceremony, which showcased performances and a showing of videos made by students on a variety of subjects, including parodies of popular shows and commercials, as well as compilation videos of past activities. This was followed by a number of musical performances by students, including excellent showings from the school orchestra and choir. Afterwards there were a number of varying acts by students, such as dance/singing routines and live music, as well as a karaoke contest filled with stirring performances by the participants.
On the second day, the primary attractions were the many different types of food stalls and themed rooms setup by each of the classes, and some of the clubs specifically. Given the sheer number of attractions, it would be difficult to visit them all, but some personal highlights were the student art exhibits, the haunted houses, which the students painstakingly setup, and the tea ceremony room, which served as a relaxing break spot. As for the food, there was a tremendous variety of freshly prepared and delicious options, including meat stews, savory crepes, hot dogs, meatbuns, and desserts such as pancakes and cotton candy. Finally the festival was concluded with an assembly, which finished off with a heartwarming video cataloguing the events of the festival, which was recorded and edited by the student council during the festival. Overall it was a fun and tasty experience, which went smoothly thanks to the hard work of all the students and teachers, who worked tirelessly to organize and prepare everything.
Cleanup activities & Sennin-nabe
This past Friday, October 13th, everyone at Shoin took part in the annual fall cleaning. Students along with supervising teachers were assigned by class to different tasks, such as intensive cleaning of all the washrooms, trimming and maintaining the hedges and trees around the school grounds, and picking up trash in the local area outside the school. The cleaning process was carried out throughout the morning up until the afternoon, at which point students and teachers ate lunch. Lunch was prepared by the Parents’ Association who cooked a delicious and filling pork stew in large pots, known as ‘Sennin-nabe,’ enough to feed everyone in the school. Altogether it was a busy and productive day, and the students’ efforts were supported by warm and sunny weather, which was just right for the task at hand.
On September 29th Shoin High School held its annual athletic festival, with all the students from every class joining in to both organize and participate in the various events. These events included obstacle races, themed team races, and tests of athleticism and willpower, such as the tire battle. Students were separated into three teams, Blue, Yellow, and Red, each with their own team flag and choreographed dance/cheer routine. Of particular note, in terms of events, were the team relay and the dance competition, both of which were won by the Red team. Another popular event was the Tug of War, which was also won by the Red team, though the real winners were the parents who beat the Red team in a final match. The final results for the overall champions, after a closely competitive race were Red in first, Blue in second, and Yellow in third. Thanks to the efforts of teachers and students, and also the pleasant weather, everyone involved in the athletic festival had a great time, and the event was definitely a success.
This past Saturday, the 23rd, two Shoin students from class 1T attended the Tottori Prefectural Speech Contest. Fujimura Yuki, whose speech “Learn English by Using English” discussed how he improved his English skills by practicing with English songs and movies; and, Shimomura Akiko, whose speech “The Value of Challenging” explained how she learned to challenge herself and the importance of doing so for her own personal development as well as the benefit of others. Both students performed exceptionally after working very hard to prepare their speeches. Although neither were able to place in the top 3, both were given positive comments by the judges and encouraged to return next year to compete again.