I get no kick from champagne

Today was my school's Yosenkai (予餞会): a sort of graduation party held a month or two before graduation. Imagine a graduation ceremony where all of the solemness is replaced by sentiment (I think I exceeded my weekly quota of the words "senpai" and "arigatou") and the third-year homeroom teachers put on a goofy skit, and you're practically there.

took my banjo and joined the brass band for their renditions of 卒業 ("Graduation") and 未来へ ("To the Future") and, sadly, the brass band has so few members that I rang out loud and clear. Perhaps too loudly. And quite possibly not all that clearly, now that I think of it. The stage has no foldback, you see. I was entirely at the mercy of the students in the control booth. (To be more accurate, my audience was at their mercy.)

Another notable feature of the 予餞会 is the video messages. Every year, all of the teachers who taught the graduating students at some point over the past three years, but transferred to a different school afterwards, record a greeting which is projected onto a gigantic screen at the front of the auditorium. It was a little eerie the first time I saw it two years ago, because I didn't know any of the faces and didn't speak enough Japanese to understand what they were saying. "Giant unknown face saying something unintelligible in harshly recorded but powerfully amplified audio" is a recipe for unease. But this year I knew everyone. Hey, it's Mr Y! Heh, he's put on weight! And Ms S! I didn't know she could play guitar!

And, of course, there was the obligatory three kids who have a punk band. The lead singer rambled a bit in between songs, but the songs themselves, for want of a less stereotypical phrase, rocked.

Popularity factor: 3


I wonder if middle schools have that. I'll be on the look out.

Your rant on Whitey has been slow in coming. But it's next. I know you've been anxiously waiting.


Banjo! Why, Banjo, why?!

No one tired of Space Ghost references.


I don't even UNDERSTAND Space Ghost references... I've never seen an episode. Stupid Antipodes!

And Roy -- I'm still waiting! Impatiently!

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