BY EMMA JACOBSON, CONTRIBUTOR
It would’ve been hard to miss the 103 Japanese exchange students that joined Wilson for one day on Tuesday, November 3. The students traveled 6771 miles from their high school, Kachi Mirai, in Saitama, Japan. The students previously spent a few days in Philadelphia before coming to DC.
As soon as the exchange students arrived at Wilson, they were paired with Wilson students and taken to the auditorium for a presentation by the principal of Kachi Mirai, College and Career Center Coordinator Patrice Arrington, and a few Wilson students. The Japanese principal presented Wilson with a book about the horrific tsunami that hit Eastern Japan in 2011 and a Koinobori, a carp-shaped windsock that is flown to celebrate Children’s Day, a Japan national holiday. Following this introduction, the exchange students left with their Wilson buddies to go to their third period classes.
A few Japanese students said that the Wilson teachers they saw were friendly and held lots of discussions in class. This differs from the class environment at Kachi Mirai, the students said, because their teachers don’t make as much conversation and just teach instead.
During STEP, the Japanese students performed a dance and showed off some karate moves. The students were provided with food from Panera to eat during fifth period. They then attended seventh period with their buddies but left early to get a quick tour of the building. The day concluded in the atrium with a rendition of the Japanese national anthem and goodbyes between recently made friends.
This was the second year that the students from Kaichi Mirai came to Wilson. Arrington says that she definitely wants the tradition to be continued and hopes to take Wilson students to Japan next year.
PHOTO BY ANNA CESTARI