morning assemblies

I'm curious to know if my school is the exception, but one morning every week before classes start the whole school has an assembly. Today was the lucky day for this week's assembly. Since this morning was a little warmer than usual, it wasn't as painful as it has been. I feel for the kids especially, because for twenty minutes they have to sit in 正座 (せいざ) on the cold hard flooring of the gym and listen to whoever drone on and on about some mundanity.

I usually spare my legs the torture and stand at the back of the gym trying to look interested. Since the 9th graders no longer have to come to school, only the 7th and 8th graders were in attendance. The principal started off the assembly lecturing them how they need to be brave in the 9th graders absence and set a good example for the new students that will be arriving when the school year officially begins next month. I found it odd that the principal made two separate placards with the ENGLISH words Leader and Follower to emphasize his point. Why did he write it in English? He doesn't even speak English... (let alone the audience too).

After his five minutes of setting the tone, next up was the music teacher. She babbled on and on for the remainder of the assembly, first talking about how the kids should be strong in this lonely time (さびしい) and then somehow switched onto talking about bicycle safety... emphasizing the point with a story of how she was in a hurry once and ran into another bike.

Morning assemblies... a great way to sap any energy the students may have had when they arrived at school in the morning.