Graduation Day

The classes were all but over. All was said and done. Wednesday was an exciting day, but also a sad day. No more classes, no more arranged activities. I spent the morning before our last class taking pictures of some things just for memory's sake.

The second cafeteria
The school convenience store
The delicious bread I ate almost every day.
After our final "class" was over, I said goodbye to the classroom, and the teacher.

Four students and one teacher had occupied
these desks each weekday of the month.
 We made our way down to I-Talk. There was no casual lunch, but instead a goodbye party. It was hard to keep myself composed.

We all left messages on the whiteboard. So did the Japanese students.

The Japanese students' introduction cards, which
had been posted since the beginning.
The next step was the graduation ceremony. A couple of the Japanese students came with us, but it was mostly just us and the faculty.

The top floor of the building was pretty fancy. There was a shrine outside this meeting room, where our quiet ceremony would be held.

 They gave us each little care packages, with goodies inside. There was also a folder to put our certificate in after we received it.

It wasn't designed for graduation ceremonies. It was more like a conference room. We played with the microphones a bit. Rick was the funniest, hands down.

 There was a certain method to the madness. We were coached on how to accept our certificates before the dean showed up. We were also each given unique uchiwa fans.

I had to trade with somebody to get this one.

After we had all received our certificates, we moved on with our days, many of us preparing to go home. I had a bunch of trinkets, but not as much space as I would have liked. My solution was to mail a big box of stuff home. About a week beforehand I had procured some cardboard and a list of prices for shipping certain sizes and weights. I met some of the girls at their dorm, and they came over to pick up some of my boxes, as well as the scale I had borrowed from the administration at I-Talk the day before.

My stuff was mostly all packed up. I had some cleaning to do, as well as some pictures to take.

I decided to throw away this box. It was
just way too much bulk.

That night we all headed down to Furuichi station again to go to a Chinese restaurant called "Osho."

It was a nice place, and it felt good to socialize after all that serious business.

They always give you a hot towel or something
similar at Japanese restaurants.

I ordered some shrimp fried rice and gyoza. Miho, the girl sitting next to me, said she hates shrimp. She's crazy. It was some good eatin'.

As the night drew to a close, we decided to wrap it up.

After paying and stepping outside, the Japanese students presented us with parting gifts. They gave us art boards with pictures all over the front, and tidbits with signatures from several students on the back.

It really felt like we were saying goodbye, but, little did I know, the last hoorah had yet to come.

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