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English SpeechEnglish Speech

A Special Place

Good Morning! My name is Mark Groenewold and I am an English teacher. I have been working with Otemae for many years. I am very happy to see many new students here and I want to welcome you and say hello.

I first came to Otemae about nine years ago. It was a very special place then. It is a very special place now. When I first came to Otemae I saw many cherry blossom trees here. The trees were full of cherry blossoms. When the wind came it blew the cherry blossoms everywhere. It is one of the most beautiful things I have seen.

I am very excited for you today. I am especially excited for our new junior high students and high school students. Soon you will also learn how special this school is. Otemae is a great school for learning. The teachers here are excellent. When you are in class, or meeting with your teacher in the teacher‘s room, you will get a wonderful education. Students who come to Otemae and go to university go to universities all over Japan, and many people go to top universities too. Otemae is a school that has an elite education for you.

The students at Otemae join all kinds of clubs. There are brass band and baseball, dance and soccer, iaido, tennis, badminton, track and field and many more. The students here at Otemae are active and tough. They play hard and they win. Otemae is a school that has winning teams, great teamwork, and good friends.

The students here at Otemae have all kinds of interesting experiences. They travel to many places. Students go to Guam and to England. They see many parts of Japan to learn about history and geography. Otemae is a school that has adventure and gives great fun experiences.

We are now at the beginning time of the school year and there are many things to do. There are many classes to go to, a lot of homework to do, tests to prepare for, new friends to make, things to try, and a lot of fun to have too. Otemae is a place with great variety and challenges too.

But here at Otemae is also a place where you will grow. Each week you will grow more. Each week you will be smarter, and tougher, and more experienced. Students start at the beginning of junior high, or join us in high school. Then, little by little you will grow and develop.

You are just like the cherry trees we see here on the Otemae campus.

Each year you grow more, learn more, and develop more. Each year you become smarter, more educated and more interesting. Just like the cherry blossom you will become bigger and bigger. Your mind and heart will open up. You will look up to face the sun. You will have become the person you are supposed to be.

Then the wind will come. And in full bloom you will blow away to all parts of this beautiful country.

Of course when that time comes, we will miss you, but we will also be grateful for the time we had together.

Let’s enjoy each day we have together. Welcome to Otemae.