Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.
I'll get to go to the graduation ceremony for the kids who were my first group of 9th graders when I arrived in 2004.
Their high school graduation in March of 2008 will be the first class to include kids I taught at the Jr High level.
Looking back, I didn't get to know that first group of 9th graders very well. I was their ALT for only 7 months. And everything was so new and overwhleming for me, it was really tough to strike up any lasting bonds with those particular students. Plus, they were in the final months of their Jr High career, which is a stressful time for Japanese students as they have to prepare for their very important High School entrance exams.
But I did manage to connect with a few of the kids in that first graduating class, and I hope to attend Taisha HS's graduation ceremony next March to see some of them get their diplomas.
And I still run into some of them on occasion - out at a restaurant or at karaoke or in the supermarket or at a festival.
Like Arisa and Yasuka in the pictures here. The one above is from this year - their final year of high school. The one below was taken in the summer of 2005, just after they had graduated from my Jr High and were in their first year of high school.
It was great to see them again and I wish them the best of luck in their upcoming exams and life decisions.