Today I visited the elementary school of my fellow English teacher's daughter. It was a good trip, but we are receiving the rain from the typhoon and so I biked for half an hour straight uphill and got completely soaked despite my rain suit.
But, the school itself was quite fun. I spent two and a half hours with each of the two fourth grade classes. We did basic greetings, they introduced themselves, and played some games. Unfortunately, the pressure was a little too much for one girl and she burst into tears when it came for her turn to say "My name is ____/I am ___ years old."
The most chaotic moment of the day came at recess, which the students have for twenty minutes after lunch. Most students appear to be free to go mostly where they want, and I joined about 100 students in the gym for a game of dodgeball. There were no other teachers at first, and then other teachers stopped in to check only infrequently, which worried me a little, but we didn't have any injuries, despite all of the kids trying to bean each other in the head with the ball. They did nail several girls who weren't paying attention, but everyone was able to shake off the pain.
In their version of dodgeball, when you get hit, you have to go over to the other side, and your teammates have to throw you the ball so you can get someone out from their own side, at which point you are released. If you catch the ball when it's thrown at you, nothing happens. I remember it differently, but then it has been many years.
Anyway, here are some pictures of the school lunch:
students serving themselves lunch; no one can eat until they finish, so if one kid gets too excited serving as happened today, they can recall the first plates and redistribute the food
a close-up of the lunch; maybe I got a little bit more than your normal fourth grader... the lunch includes hayashi rice (peppers and onions and beef with rice), a fruit salad, and a cucumber-type salad, plus milk with some amount of fat
yours truly and one of the fourth grade classes