Monday, April 8
And, like that, Nicolai entered elementary school.
We not only made it to the highly anticipated entrance ceremony, somehow it is already over. I'm pretty sure we just did this ordeal with Sebastian yesterday and yet he tells me that tomorrow he starts as a fourth grader. Though sometimes a little sneaky, he is fairly honest so I guess I have to believe him.
For the first time in years there will be two first grade classes at the neighborhood elementary school. Both of them have 30 plus students. In America, I am sure this would not be something to be celebrated but in a country suffering from a rapidly declining population, it is a good sign.
Nicolai's new teacher's name is Ruriko-sensei and she is new to the school. Luckily, Sebastian's old teacher who speaks excellent English, will be around to help Nicolai transition to elementary school life. Though his Japanese is good, it is still developing so knowing he will have a little extra support is comforting for everyone (including his new sensei, I suspect).
At the entrance ceremony, the sixth grade students led the first graders in which is just so utterly symbolic that you can't miss it. This year, we know quite a few of the sixth graders because when Sebastian started they were just third graders. The benefit of staying in one place for a while has been the honor of watching the neighborhood kids unfold. It all happens so quick, too quick. You can watch it but in one blink they go from babes in arms to thriving, independent adolescents, showing the new class the way.