Wednesday, June 27, 2007

oh no/ japanese education

Great. My mom read the post where I quoted the John/Kai non-sex sex scene. Nice.

I have taught at both schools now. Mikuni, where I teach Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, has been great. Most of the teachers talk to me. I am kind of part of the team after two days. Imaichi was (if you speak Japanese insert your Imaichi joke here-I'm not going to do it for you) was a little bit cold. The head English teacher looks like a Japanese Darren from Bewitched. He is pretty nice to me, but absurdly organized. He made me an all English seating chart for all of the teachers in the office. He changed it once when the vice-principal moved my desk, then he brought me a special, colored one later. No other teachers really talked to me. One, who seems like the BMOC, talked about me a few times punctuated, but he speaks Japanese so he probably understands this. I wasn't listening. The lady who teaches the "weak children" (according to the seating chart) made sure I had lunch and then asked me if I wanted to come to her class sometime. I took her up on it right then so I could get out of the office. I taught one autistic girl. She was great. All I had to tell her was, "English isn't Japanese. Just say the word like you hear me say it." She was better than 90% of my students from that moment on. This whole concept will be a stumbling block for most Japanese students throughout their lives. They are hammered so hard about the right way to do things that they can't just let go and do things.

One of the English teachers came over to speak to me. I thought he might just be really shy. No. He can barely communicate. Not just in English. The autistic girl had better communication skills than him. He seriously can't speak English. Let me emphasize the word 'CAN'T.' As in cannot. Is incapable of. He is an English teacher in a large middle school in Osaka. He can't speak English. He couldn't do anything with the class either. Good thing I am a super teacher. Anyway.

The principal at Imaichi is the man. He used to be the principal at Mikuni also. I heard a story about how he used to bring his dog to Mikuni. It could sleep wherever it wanted in his office, but the teachers had to wear special slippers as not to dirty the floor. When I was in his office on my first morning he asked, "Are you married?"
"You have lots of girlfriends?"
"Oh! You will soon. Japanese girls are great! GREAT! We have a lot of single teachers here, but their faces are all messed up."

At this point he starts waving his hand over his face and sticking out his tongue.
"I'm sorry. They're ugly." He says.

Actually, the home-ec. teacher ain't that bad...but I digress. Tomorrow and Friday are the national tests, so I get to go to school and do nothing all day.

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attempting to silence the voices in my head.