Thursday, October 13, 2005

Your Friendly Local Recruiter

Here's something new...

I went out to a couple of local junior high schools (Eastlily and Otherhawk) today to ask teachers to please please pretty please send some more students to Starfish High's Open School.

This is definitely a new part of the job description.

I think the schools were a bit surprised as well. I'd say I'm going out on a limb with this one, but I doubt that many private high schools send out their foreigner teachers to do recruiting.

We've been really busy getting ready for the Open School Day (this Sunday). There's cleaning, organizing students, planning demonstration classes, ordering lunches for the visiting students...plus classes, helping our third-year students apply to various universities, translating for our visitors from the Navy, and Lord knows what else. Most teachers are pulling the "running-around-like-a-chicken-that-has-recently-been-separated-from-its-head" routine. With my schedule being fairly open today, I offered to run out to a couple schools and make the Starfish High pitch.

Here's the thing: we're not the biggest school around. In fact, we are the smallest private high school in all of Hokkaido. If we don't get more students next year, we will be, as I believe the official term goes, screwed. The applications for our Open School have been far less than plentiful. We need to get more students out to see what Starfish High is about. So, even though I really had no idea of the correct way to go about plugging the school, I ventured out into the unknown.

I'd say it went pretty well. I was acquainted with the teachers in charge of student advancement at both schools, so that made giving the pitch a lot easier. It was a great experience, too. I never had to plug a school while I worked on the JET Program. Good times all around. I guess we'll just have to see how things turn out day of.

This evening, after school, our boys' basketball team played a game of hoops against some of the crew of the USS Lassen. You could tell that our boys were feeling a bit...overwhelmed by the whole situation. "Man, they're HUGE!" "I'm scared of them." To be honest, I figured we were going to get stomped. I mean, while they are a good team, they are a team of Japanese high school students going up against members of the U.S. Navy. Age difference alone puts them at a disadvantage.

Funny thing, though. They won.

Whodathunkit? I guess the stars aligned in just the right way. The refs were more than a bit biased toward our guys. The Navy guys were obviously holding back at bit (our team is playing in the All-Hokkaido Basketball Tournament in the first part of November and we can't afford any injuries). The biggest thing, though, is that it looks good for our team to have beaten the Navy. Kind of a diplomatic/politically-motivated victory. The Navy is looking at possibly using Muroran as a port (see also: naval base) in case of emergencies/bad stuff happening in the region. A little goodwill can go a LONG way in cases such as this.

Why Starfish High, though? Apparently, we were recommended by the Mayor of Muroran when the request came through from the Lassen. Why? Being the best basketball team in Muroran helps, but the BIG advantage we have is that we are a private school. With public schools, you have to deal with the Teachers Union. And the Teachers Union does not look kindly upon high school students interacting with military types. There are more than a few left-wingers in the Teachers Union. Know what? Their freakin' loss. Our kids never looked happier once they got out on the court and started playing. It's not about the military, really. It's about people from two countries who love basketball getting out on the court and playing some hoops.

Plus, Starfish High gets to be in the paper as the school whose basketball team got to play against (and beat) the U.S. Navy. Can you ask for better press?

"I want YOU to come to Starfish High..."

1 Comments:

Blogger Havok said...

The picture there is of the second game of the night, when the Navy team played against a local adult team. This time, the Navy won.

Friday, October 14, 2005 12:35:00 AM  

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