Long time no see!
It’s time for another random Japanese word for you to learn. Just for context, my school had closing ceremony(修了式/しゅうりょうしき/shūryōshiki) this morning, so today was officially the last day of the school year. Coincidentally, I received a wonderful thank you card from one of my worst classes. To clarify, they had some behavior problems, but tbh what group of children doesn’t have them? Anyway, today’s word 色紙/しきし/Shikishi, is a little bit more personal.
This word is surprisingly simple but conplicated. As always, let’s breakdown these kanji.
Colored paper is an extremely direct translation, but shouldn’t be confused with “construction paper”. Coincidentally, construction paper uses the same characters but has a different pronunciation based on context, 色紙/いろがみ/irogami**. Since that is the case, our word’s definition doesn’t necessarily tell us its function.
*pronunciation of individual characters may change depending on context
**not to be confused with origami
So, What is it exactly?
色紙 is used as a gift to convey short messages from a group of friends/colleagues/subordinates to a single individual. It’s used for many celebratory occasions including graduations, birthdays, and farewells, but also to show gratitude for service.
I received 色紙 from one of seven, 2nd grade classes, the other day. It’s filled with many nice messages and photos from my students. Sometimes they can be generic since there is so little space, but the gesture is very nice. Even though the whole class didn't contribute, many of whom getting the best of my nerves at times, I would love to teach them again next year. A few of the messages read as follows:
"Bingo was super fun! Thank you for teaching us this year. Do your best!"-Momoka
"It was fun to win at Bingo!"-Ryo
"Thank you for teaching me various things."-Sachiko
"Fruits basket was fun, I really liked it. Don't forget about me!"-Kokoa
"The lesson about vehicles was fun. I want to have class with you again."-Yuuna
"Through International studies, I became able to say food(names) in English."- Kaede
OMG, its overwhelmingly cute right?! I felt like I was gonna explode when I received my 色紙. I have received similar things like this from other schools in the past, but this was the first year in which I got to speak to these children on a daily basis inside and outside of class. That extra amount of time makes the job more enjoyable compared to being dispatched to multiple schools during the week.
Teaching has its moments, and this is certainly one of the finer ones. Hope you enjoyed the feels! Have you ever worked with children before? Do you like them? Have you ever considered teaching in a foreign country? Leave your thoughts below and dont forget to share or like this post.
Until next time,