Sunday December 9th has come and gone, but I dare say the 2007 Koenji Smiths School of English year end party will remain in the minds of the 21 participants for a long long time.
We were pleased to welcome Dean from Smiths School of English Kichijoji/Ogikubo, his attendance was greatly appreciated by all those who had a chance to chat with him. In addition I invited a French friend of mine who communicated with various attendees in French, German. English and Japanese -fantastic!
The party kicked off on time at 4pm and we finished up at 9pm, although 8 of us moved on to one of my favourite Koenji izakaya, which sells beer for yen 350 and later still to Portobello, a Koenji British bar where the Japanese master speaks excellent, plumb in the mouth, British English. The first two beers for me were very refreshing as I had been on the go from 7am and had purposely not drunk much at the party.
I selected Australian wines and cheese for the party, although I had to buy cheese from other countries to supplement those from Australia. Some of the students brought some nibbles with them and I would particularly like to thank Jyunko for the tasty dishes that she provided and Yozo, who although he could not be present, hand delivered to me a large box of Mie mikan which were delicious.
The feed back from students has been superb. Students aged 24 to 58 attended the party and it was interesting to hear from both young and old students alike that they had so much enjoyment mixing and talking with students that were younger or older than themselves. The oldest student said that it was a most exciting time for her and that she was so pleased to get to spend time with younger students who later exchanged email addresses with her. I also had two younger students comment how much they had enjoyed being able to talk and interact with older students which in normal everyday Japanese society they have little, if any, opportunity to do so.
I personally was extremely happy to see everyone enjoying themselves, and although I was the host, I thought it was a sensational party which enabled students to create new friendships, by sharing 5 hours of their time to relax and to learn about and discuss their different likes and dislikes, experiences etc with fellow students of all ages who have a variety of interests, hobbies and jobs.
I want to thank all the Koenji Smith School of English students for their participation and wish all of them, their families and their loved ones, a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful and exciting 2008 – the year of the Rat.
Anyone for a glass of Australian red or white and/or cheese?