I should explain that I’d been in a bad mood pretty much all week. I won’t get into why, but I’ll just say I had trangressed above and beyond the limits of any Xanga/Live Journal angst. No! I’d ventured into true ANGST! territory. Linkin Park would have taken one look at me and said, “Wow! Even we can’t out-ANGST! him.” It was that bad.
If you saw Spiderman 2, you know that everything is going the wrong way for Peter Parker, and he just doesn’t feel like being Spiderman anymore. He goes into a personal funk, and as a result, loses his powers. I think something like that happened for me and my Kancho Sense™ and Dodgedick Sense™ With my ANGST!-y apathy reaching astronomical levels, I just didn’t have the heart for dick/ass preservation. This would be my downfall.
So without my senses, wounded and vulnerable, I went to the ichinensei class.
It’s in the quiet moments, after all the dust has settled and the bodies have fallen, that you can take a moment to stop and think about how exactly you got here. Where did it all go wrong? What could I have done differently? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? This is how I find myself one Wednesday afternoon in the ghetto school, still favoring my now tenderized ass and slowly sipping a ginger ale.
Lots of people start off these kinds of stories with something cliche, like, “It was a day like any other day.” I on the other hand, knew some bad shit was coming. I’d barely slept the night before, and when I eventually did, I had a horrible, horrible dream. It involved my ex, and it was sexual. I’m shuddering at the very notion of it.
I knew that dream was an omen of something bad. But what? I had no idea as I made my usual trek (aka “three minute bike ride”) to the ghetto school.
I started the day with the Americanized teacher in a ninensei class. We played a geography game, and all was well. One of the bastard boys was in the class, but he quietly read a comic book in the back of the room, so even that was good. For a moment, I almost forgot about the bad omen I had just hours ago.
Note: I make no claims for the possible entertainment value of this editorial. In fact, there may be none.
I went to the sannensei’s graduation. Back in America, junior high school graduation is no big deal. In fact, most of us were pretty happy to get the hell out of there. The same held true for high school too. Some person, in their infinite wisdom, chose Sarah MacLaughlin’s “I Will Remember You” as our graduation song. Bah. I still say the person responsible for that should be imprisoned with no hope of parole. We all ad-libbed it anyway, so the result was a graduating class of about 400 seniors bitterly singing, “I WON’T remember you. And you WON’T remember me.” Yeah, we were a tight-knit bunch.
In Japan, it’s a big deal. These kids are all going to different high schools, and for the past three years this has been their lives. Seriously, they probably spend more time at their Jr. High Schools than they do at home. So it’s quite a change for them, and graduation is taken seriously as such.
If you ever find yourself in a Japanese graduation ceremony for some reason, be prepared for a lot of crying.
This is one crying culture I have to say. It seems like every TV show is built upon making the viewer cry at some point. They love showing touching human drama stories on the variety shows, and then as soon as the story is finished, they cut to the celebrities watching, and make sure to get them crying on camera. Some shows don’t even wait – they do a picture in picture of the celebrity watching, so you can see them crying as the story unfolds. There’s a show on Monday evenings starring a member from SMAP (Goro, if you are familiar with them), who hosts little kids (elementary schoolers) and tells them ghost stories designed to freak the holy shit out of them. Every episode has them at recoiling in horror at least twice, and crying over some touching ghost story. How much is this fucking them up? Seriously. I oftentimes wonder how the men and women of this country get to be so fucked up, but then I see shows like this and I don’t wonder so much anymore.
I had 5th period with the ichinensei. Gulp. This caused a tiny wave of terror in me, because if you know anything about kids, you know that at 12 years old, they are nothing more than little balls of energy. Japanese kids are no exception. I’d swear they’re snorting Pixy Sticks in the hallway. For those of you who don’t know what Pixy Sticks are, it’s a “candy” which is more or less sugar flavored sugar. I’d rather see my kids snorting pure, unprocessed crack than eating Pixy Sticks. I once bought a HUGE Pixy Stick at an amusement park. It was about as wide as a soda can and maybe two feet tall. I’d only gotten through half of it and I was completely out of my mind. At one point I was on a roller coaster, and in my Pixy Stick-tripped out mind, the ride was rolling way too slowly, and if I hadn’t been strapped in I would have gotten out and pushed.
But I digress. That’s what these kids are like, and 5th period is dangerous because it’s right after lunch. We just fed the beasts and now we expected them to sit still for 50 minutes and learn English? Riiiiiight. This class was with the Americanzed teacher, and she expressed her concerns to me, as she was pretty tired today. We got to the base of the steps and heard her class yelling from floors away.
“They are going to eat us alive,” I said. She nodded in quiet horror.
I had just finished an ichinensei class with the “Big-Headed Boyfriend” teacher at the ghetto school. I was talking to a boy near the front, when another boy entered the room from the rear, and started walking towards us. “Hello,” I casually said to him.
He said nothing in response. He did nothing except keep walking forward. Suddenly, my Kancho Sense™ started BLARING. Sure enough, without one word he simply walked behind me and tried to kancho. This freaked me out a bit– the kid was a mindless, soulless, kancho assassin! Thanks to my trusted Sense, I was able to reach behind me and successfully grab his hand.
The boy in front of me decided that now would be a great opportunity to grab my dick. Thankfully, my Dodgedick Sense™ went off as well, so I grabbed his hand in time. Now both my hands were tied, while each boy still had a free hand with which to go for my dick and poke me up the ass. I have a bad feeling about this.
At the ghetto school, we often open up the textbook skits and allow the students to ad-lib the presentations. They come up with a lot of interesting stuff (Michael Jackson juice, anyone?), but there was one sannensei class in particular that always stood out. Showtime at the Ghetto, if you will.
This particular skit was shopping. The students got to pick exactly what they were shopping for. Since we did this in the winter, most students picked things like gloves, hates, scarves, things like that. These two girls however had another idea.
Girl 1: Welcome, how may I help you?
Girl 2: I’m looking for some sexy panties.
Girl 1: What color are you looking for?
Girl 2: Something red.
Girl 1: Ok, how about these?
Girl 2: Do you have anything a little smaller?
Me: [Smaller?! Good Lord this aint right.]
I was completely unprepared for what happened next though. Girl 1 reached into her uniform blazer and pulled out a pair of panties she’d made out of her notebook paper, complete with red colored hearts.
I know Japanese ingenuity is renowned all over the world, but I certainly didn’t expect it to extend to creating a pair of panties out of notebook paper.
I was scheduled to go into the school where I sit next to Noisy Fucker. I was mentally preparing myself for it like I always do, only to discover that he’d taken a vacation day that day.
Yes!!! Sweet, blessed silence!
Apparently though, I’m not the only one who thinks this. All day long, all the other teachers kept saying, “It’s so quiet today.” After the 4,000th “It’s so quiet” remark, one teacher finally decided to say what everyone else was thinking. He sat back, “Yeah, and you know exactly why. He’s not here.”
The sannensei are going to graduate this March, about a week from now, in fact. This is actually kind of depressing, as the sannensei at all three of my schools are really great, and I can honestly say I’m going to miss them.
I love these guys, and apparently the feeling is mutual.
Last week I had the final sannensei class at one of my schools. At the end of class, they gave me an envelope, containing goodbye letters they’d written to me. In English! [*sniff*] While working this job, I’ve found that if you give a Japanese student a piece of paper, they’re a lot more willing to write down their feelings and impressions than they are to say them out loud. I was not aware, however, of how… uh… spirited they can be.