Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Went to Minami Osawa Gakuen School. 40 minutes after leaving home, I found myself riding on the way to Tsurukawa School. A wry smile. Since I took a long way around, I arrived at the school at 7:50, but still earlier than the Principal.

The Principal stopped at me with a fake smile. "Good morning," I said. "Good morning," he replied. No other words. I asked him,"Do you have anything to say to me today? He said,"If possible..." I asked him, "you would like me to be here?” He replied, "No, if possible I would not like you to be here." I said, "I have asked you over and over to show me the law that prohibits me from being here." He just made a light bow and went through the gate, without answering my question.

I thought this kind of 'instruction' or what I would call 'control' was his duty as a principal, but I wondered where his pride was. I wanted him to give some thought to the fact that such behaviour of 'duty' separated from his true thought would corrupt the society.

It was very hot today even in the morning. It was not so uncomfortable though, due to the low humidity, but the weather report had said the temperature would rise to the average of the end of July. Some students were sweaty, wearing their jackets. "It is very hot. Are you OK?", one of the students in the high school division talked to me. He kindly said, "Would you like to come and have something to drink as it is so hot?"

We went to the coffee shop a little before noon, since I thought it was better to go there before the high school division's practical training finished. We ordered iced coffee and rested for a while. My friends I and J who had visited me at the school gate came with me.

I asked the Vice Principal to allow me to enter the school, as I needed something from the teaching materials that I had brought on March 30th, the day I was notified of my transfer.

That request was approved so everything was okay today, but another Vice Principal came to me and said, "You are not allowed to enter the school until September 30. From now on, please do not do this kind of thing. You can use the bathroom only when it is an emergency.” I said, "You know I will not enter here without an approval. Sometimes I need to get access to my private belongings." He said "No, please do not do it." I said, "I cannot say that I won't." Then we separated at the entrance. I wondered how many of these words of the Vice Principals and the Principal had been instructed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education!

Today, K, a graduate from Tachikawa Daini Junior High School, came and talked to me for a long time as there was no club activity after school. He clearly remembered the speech that I once made at the school assembly when I was transferred to the Daini High. "I was very impressed," he said. For the past few years, I had had very few opportunities to speak in front of all the students, except for self-introductions. So it was so moving that this student remembered that one time when I made the speech three years ago! The speech was like this. I showed a ball or something, and asked the students what they saw. Then I asked them what they thought it would be on the side that they could not see. I taught that in this way, things were not always what they seemed like. Seem from the other side, they might look different. In summary, I encouraged the students to try to look at things from different angles and think about them, then use their imagination to the parts that they were not seeing.

That day I went home with great satisfaction.