The students who applied ranged from first year students to repeat-customer third year students (who went on the program two years ago). Many of the poor first-years were terrified. A couple couldn't even manage to get out "once more?" or "I don't understand" in English. By the time it got to the more experienced second-years and third-years, though, they were answering in complete paragraphs. The Japanese interviewers were bemused by a couple of the school's immigrant applicants, who could answer the English interview questions just fine but had problems with the vocabulary in the Japanese part of the interview.
In the fall, I'll be participating in after-school workshops to give the participating students a crash course in survival English.
After work ended on Thursday, I headed off to Chiba to visit wednesday_10_00 and sara_tanaquil. We went to Tokyo Disneyland bright and early Friday morning and made the rounds of many of the more popular rides, returning home after the light parade at the end of the day. On Saturday we watched DVDs most of the morning, taking a break for takoyaki at lunch (discovering it's quite good with yakisoba and curry as fillings). We went out for three hours of karaoke in the evening, though we were saddened to discover when we stopped at a game center that the most recent version of the taiko game apparently no longer has the Odoru Daisousasen theme song available.
Sunday we caught up on sleep. We had intended to go to an event in Asakusa, but we found that it had been cancelled, so we went shopping in Ikebukuro instead. I took the last possible shinkansen home, arriving back at my apartment at about midnight.
sara_tanaquil will be staying a couple more days in Chiba (giving me a chance to clean more of my apartment). She should get to Moriyama late Tuesday night.