About Me

maker, creative, living lightly, local, craft, minimalism, and taking joy in the small things

Sunday, 7 October 2007

The Joy of Cleaning Time

So at all the schools in Japan the students, and some teachers, have to help clean the schools. Usually when I arrive at a school early enough I find teachers and students gardening. Then at some stage throughout the day, depending on the school, there is inside cleaning time.
At Hagi Nishi the kids turn up in the morning, and sweep the staffroom, and then get down on their hands and knees and polish the floor with face washers.
At Sanmi cleaning time happens just after lunch, when The Carpenters 'Sing A Song' comes over the loudspeaker. The kids clean until, when at the end of cleaning time, the song is played twice more.
But my all time favourite has to be Mishima JHS, where they save the weirdest cleaning times for me. For the first couple of times I was out there I ended up weeding the unused oval. The justification was that the sports festival was coming up (even though the sports festival was being held down at the elementary school). But the best was to come, last week when I was out there cleaning time was picking up rocks from the same oval we had earlier weeded. No justification was given this time!
Possibly the best part of this is when the kids ask me about cleaning time in Australia, and they are flabbergasted when I tell them that students in Australia don't clean the schools!

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