Everyday, regardless of the time or weather, as soon as I arrive at Smith’s School of English Kyobashi, the first thing I do is look out the windows. Not just one window, or several detached singular windows, but a wide expanse of windows that encompass the entire lounge area. The view is quite spectacular from these windows, especially on a clear day. From these windows you can see many tall buildings like IMP, YTV, and MID. Speaking of YTV, one of Smith’s School of English Kyobashi students made an appearance on that television station back in December! Was that ever exciting news!
Perhaps the greatest sight that can be seen from the windows is the majestic Mt. Ikoma that trails behind the office buildings in the distance. Then there’s the bridge that crosses over the river where boats and barges occasionally travel. If you add the JR railway into the mix, it makes for an ever-changing backdrop for the school.
I know that many students also enjoy the view. As they walk through the front door, warm rays from the sun filtering in through the large clear panels sometimes distract them. When the students sit down in the lounge to enjoy their hot drinks, they always stare out the windows as if in a trance.
We’ve had quite a few conversations with the students about what lies beyond the glass that separates us from the outside. There’s never a dull moment when we pick up something interesting outside to focus a conversation on. Once we gathered in the lounge – a few of the teachers and students – between classes to watch the full moon that could be spotted not far in the distance. We took turns sharing our creative opinions on what the shapes on the moon’s craterous surface looked like. One student mentioned that it looked like a man hard at work, while I insisted that it had to be a rabbit making mochi. We had a good laugh over that, even drawing some pictures for fun. On another day, we hung out in front of the windows with a pair of binoculars that one student had brought in. He was really into astrology and liked to watch shooting stars or look up at the planets and constellations. We took the opportunity to use the binoculars, testing them to see how much of the mountain we could zoom in on.
I really enjoy looking out these windows – even as I am writing this – because it’s so relaxing and wondrous at the same time.