Saturday, March 10

How to Do Good Souji

In the interest of rationing this week's material, I've been holding on to Monday's photos. That and I've just been tired and lazy this week.

Anyway, the topic for Monday is Souji. Souji is generally 15 minutes long, and usually takes place right after the afternoon recess after lunch. Lately I've been doing outdoor souji at GS because it's easy to find a job and it's nice to get outside and not be around hundreds of kids at a time for a while. Plus, my outdoor souji group is cool, and I enjoy talking with them. Maybe I'll get them on Monday. At any rate, this week it was raining something fierce so obviously Outdoor Souji was moot. So, I grabbed my camera and set to "work" photographing the kids.

Here are some of the highlights on How to Do (or Not Do) Good Souji, courtesy of the Genki School kids.

Here you see three 6nensei maximizing their efforts to sweep the hallway.
The girl on the left is the daughter of one of the teachers at LMS.

Example of a student who is not entirely on board with my being there, or having her picture taken. In any event, she was doing fine souji on top of the shoe lockers.
Imagine encouraging elementary school kids to climb on top of things...unattended?

A zoukin rack and dutiful sweeper.

This young lady is attending to the Patrol flags used when walking to and from school. The leaders and maybe the bringing-up-the-rearers will carry a yellow flag as they walk in groups.

As the kids have indoor shoes and outdoor shoes, they must have a place to leave them. And as their outdoor play areas are basically fine gravel, a lot of stuff gets carried in on their shoes and subsequently into their shoe lockers. These two are taking care of that.

As a front to justify my not doing souji and to encourage the kids to not stop doing theirs just because I had my camera out, I told them I was only taking "souji pictures." Here, this group makes a see-through effort to appear busy. Except for "Keeper," the guy second from the left. He was just straight-up trying to get in the pictures.

Tri-Level Zoukin
The optimal way to get the zoukin souji done is in a step formation. This also goes for sweeping. These 1nensei are doing a fantastic job.

Kaidan Souji
Doing souji on the stairs is not fun, but these two are doing great.

To break the monotony, a sample of a Japanese Pay Phone available at many fine schools.

The Souji Locker
While it comes in a variety of forms, this is the typical style.

Souji Wrap-Up
At the beginning of souji the kids line up in front of the souji leaders, have an aisatsu (greeting) and get to work. At the end of souji, the leader asks who did a good job: who was quiet, who did I don't know what, etc., etc.. I just raise my hand for everything.

This is how NOT to be a good listener and partaker in the post-souji review.
But I forgive him because he's such a cutie pie.


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