Yamada High – Chapter 1 – My First Visit

The first time I went to the school was in late August 2007. I had to go with the CEO of my company. She picked me up at the station nearest to the school in her SUV. She’s a Japanese woman that speaks English very well. We made small talk in the car while we headed to the school. When we got to the school I was surprised. I found that the school had a striking resemblance to the prison on the TV show “Prison Break” (but without the grass).

As we entered and took off our shoes we got into our Japanese slippers then headed to the secretary. The CEO was doing all the talking at this time and I was just keeping it cool in my recently dry cleaned suit. The secretary then took us into the principal’s office. His office was huge; easily the size of a 2 bedroom apartment in Japan. He even had a big coffee table with 2 couches facing each on the long ends and 2 fancy chairs facing each other at the short ends.

The principal was tall and lanky (about 180 cm and 60 kg). He was extremely calm and always smiling.

He asked us to sit down. The CEO and I both sat on the couch, the principal sat in a chair diagonal to us and two other men that I had never seen again for the following eight months at this school sat on a couch opposite to us. They asked me to introduce myself (in Japanese) so I did so in a very simple way: name; where I’m from; how long I’ve been in Japan; a little bit about my work history in Japan and what I like to do in my free time.

All the jaws dropped. They were all surprised about my Japanese level. I then proceeded to tell them that I had been in Japan for almost 2 years now, so I should at least be able to introduce myself. This just amazed them. The principal then said in Japanese “Yeah, Canadians are pretty good workers. We’ve had trouble before with the English and Americans…” I just nodded and took a drink of the green tea that was on the table for me.

Stay tuned for: Chapter 2 – The Teachers Room


One thought on “Yamada High – Chapter 1 – My First Visit

  1. That’s F’ed up– I’m american and never caused a problem in any japanese school… aside from actually encouraging my students to think freely that is…. Me and my pesky “free wheeling”…


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