On the last few days of Kichijo's visiting, the girls performed some presentations and they had spent much time in communicating with NEGS students. They seemed to have enjoyed their time with the NEGS girls, and so did the NEGS girls with the Kichijos. And of course, it became a very memorable event for me as well.
On Friday night, which was the last weekday for the Kichijos, we had a farewell dinner. At the end of the dinner, we performed our school song for NEGS girls and teachers. I joined them and sang together. Well, for me, our school song is very special, because I sang it so often on each school events as a member of the Chorus Club. So it reminded me of my good old days when I was in Kichijo. It was as far as 5 years ago, but all the memories in my high school days came back to my mind so clearly. I loved singing when I was in high school, so happy to sing with my friends. I felt the same as I sang with the girls, very special feeling that I don't know how to describe. As they sang, some of them started to cry, being sad to leave NEGS in a few days. As we finished, all of us were in tears. I was not the one who was supposed to show tears because I'm going to stay here longer, but their tears made me feel like the same as them, and also my special feeling of joy and all the memories from high school days moved me to tears...
I spent one night with some of the Kichijo girls at their bording house. I talked a lot about our school. After my graduation, things changed a lot in Kichijo. First of all, the school buildings were rebuilt and they look much more beautiful now than my time. Not only the buildings but the school uniform changed as well. In my time, our uniform was said to be one of the ugliest of the schools along the East-West rail line in Tokyo(Chuou line). Now it has been redesigned and is very cute.
I wore the new uniform! Which one is the old woman of 24?!
As the buildings and the uniformed were renewed, a lot more students apply to Kichijo now, and Kichijo is becoming one of the hardest schools to enter. It should be a good tendency, but I also have a mixed feeling about this.
I really like the school motto "Let us develop our own individuality!". We are given so much opportunity to find interests in wide range or things, and the international exchange program like this is one good example. I really appreciate to be given such a good education in my high school age, especially the English education. Without it, I wouldn't have come to the idea of going out of Japan, nor do I ever know what I would be doing right now. The very thing that is moving me into actions is my own individuality which I've developed since my high school days.
However, situations are changing. From what I've heard from the girls, Kichijo is putting more enphasis on sending many students to good universities than ever. This must be a very good achievement. But I hope that this change won't affect their educational principle itself, encouraging them only in one direction: juken studying.(I mean 'juken studying' as cramming knowleges in order to enter university as a 'goal' rather than a process to make your future plan come true.)
I want Kichijo to remain its educational motto to develop each student's individuality. Even if it were going to be changed, I want the Kichijo girls to find and develop their own individualities. Especially, to the girls whom I spent time with at NEGS, I'd like you to remember this:
Please do not forget your strong feeling that you want to come back here again. Keep your antenas worldwide and keep up your English so that you'll always have a chance to go abroad. Do not ever forget that the world you live is not only Japan. And we have to appreciate our school to give us such a good opportunity to experience the international communication in young age!
I was really glad to see you all with such strong wills toward English. Thank you for reminding me important things, girls. I'm proud of being a graduate of Kichijo, and so will be you! Thanks Kichijo!