So the current third year (last time I blogged about this they were second year) have lost three classmates to suicide during the three years (well two and a bit) they have been at Oshihara Chugakko. Now I knew about the poor kid who jumped but I didn’t know until today about the kid who hanged himself (in school) or the other who possibly (translation was uncertain) took an overdose.
When the Jedi and I played hangman with the third year yesterday we did so entirely innocently (though after being told off for playing Battleships I did wonder)… we were both told off quite severely for traumatising the third years. Now if we’d known we would never have played. I knew about the kid who jumped but didn’t equate it with hangman. If I’d known about the other kid…in British school and American summer camps there are forums for people to explain this type of thing to people who need to know. There seem to be no similar fora in Japanese schools. I did raise this with the Jedi and ask if it could be suggested but I was merely told that Japanese people don’t like to talk about this.
It’s not a matter of liking, its a matter of being told ‘this year group will get upset if you touch on these subjects because there have been three suicides of this nature since they came to the school’, ‘this girl will get upset if you ask her what her mother does for a living because her mother died last year’, ‘this boy will not respond if you ask him if he has any siblings because his twin brother is in hospital’. Its a matter of taking care of the children you are responsible for and having enough information to do that.
To be honest I haven’t had a great day, there was a health check this morning (compulsory for teachers) anyway they gave us this form, so I filled in the kanji I recognised, name, date of birth, female etc. But the nurse then pointed out all the boxes which described other things like family illnesses etc. My staffroom now thinks I’m really sick and liable to drop any minute! It took me a good while with a dictionary to fill out that damn form. The nurse made me do the eye test without my glasses on and then became concerned that I couldn’t speak Japanese…she asked me to tell her when I could see something…well obviously I couldn’t see anything without my glasses!
It was fun when they did the electrocardiogram thingy though. I’ve never had one before, they clipped my arms and legs in and put heart monitors on my chest, the electric current made my fingers and feet twitch and I felt all floaty, it was really cool!
Then I remembered that I am really not good with needles.You’d think I’d have had enough practice, but its the whole, something going into my flesh, I can’t deal with it. I don’t know which is worse, injections or blood tests but I got all white and woozy afterwards and really panicked the poor Jedi.
Tommorrow will be better.