June 22, 2001


Right now I'm feeling: Weirded out

Right now I'm listening to: Maki Otsuki

Maki Otsuki -- Miracle   

Schoolyard Vixens

Good, Bad Girls

Something very unusual is happening at this school. The atmosphere, teachers, and students are growing much more relaxed. Teachers listen to music on headphones in the teachers' room. Girls, both bad and good, have grown their hair long and wear it past their shoulders, untied, without the teachers saying a peep. Uniform and hair restrictions have been let go. Skirts are shorter, socks are looser, students' hair is brown or red, shirts and shoes are non-regulation, but no one seems to care. It's great. The only thing I've seen them crack down on is the nail polish. None allowed. The only reason I've seen a girl tie long hair up is because it's hot!

The students are so much better behaved. I'm not sure which came first, the students or the teachers relaxing, but it seems to me that the teachers got so tired of fighting it all at this school They just let it all go. And when they did the students didn't: have too much to rebel against. The result is that even a "bad girl" with a short, short skirt and long, dyed brown hair is sitting there quietly in class, doing her worksheets or trying to speak English for the whatever little interview game I'd whipped up for the lesson. Such a drastic change from some of the schools around here.

Good, Naughty Girls

There's a girl named Sayaka who tries to speak English to me sometimes. She comes around my desk, asks how I am, what I'm doing that day…. Y'know, just idle chit-chat. I visited her after school when she had judo practice last year to take pictures for the web page I still haven't put up yet. Good kid.

Her demeanor changed last week when she came by my desk the first time I came to Towa. She had found out from her teacher that this was to be my last visit to this school and she kept going on about how sad that was and how sad she was.

Then on Wednesday I was passing her in the hallway on my way to a class. She smiled at me, then touched my arm. Her hand stayed in place as she passed me and it caressed down my arm as we passed each other, all the while giving me a look that no 15-year old girl should know.

Y'know… that look.

It happened so fast that I didn't have time to react to it. It really bothered me, but what could I do about it? Haul her in the teachers' room after school and make her write sentences for trying to flirt with her teacher?

Then today, that was the real kicker.

OK. So, many of you don't know this, but there's massaging going on in the teachers' room. Occasionally female students will give a massage to some of the male teachers, briefly.

So, today, I was working at my desk and someone started massaging my shoulders behind me and I let my shoulders go slack. I heard some laughter. I began to turn around to tell them that it was all right, they didn't have to and I was fine, but then I was suddenly aware of someone's head near my ear and I heard a voice whisper,

"Kimochi desu ka?" Does that feel good?

I was immediately jerked back to reality and I asked her to stop and told her how much better I was. She laughed, called me a liar and told me how tense I was and offered to massage more. No, no, that's ok, I said. I'm fine, really. She shrugged her shoulders and we made idle chit-chat until the bell rang.
I couldn't believe that this girl could come on so strong. Two years ago, Sayaka came to my apartment with a friend and camped outside my door for two hours before she went away. (Felt guilty about that, but the apartment, and myself for that matter, were a mess). She was only 13 back then, a first-grader.

Good, Butch Girls

The biggest news this week was news of an accident that happened during practice of the judo club. A group of students were watching the club practice and one of the watching students thought it would be neat to learn one of the advanced throws he had just seen. So one of the girls threw him. He broke his collarbone.

Can you believe that???
He broke his freaking collarbone. He was in the hospital for a while and apparently won't be at school for much longer. There's been meetings about what to do with those students all this week. I didn't find out that it was one of the girls who did it until after school and I never found out if Sayaka was involved in the maneuver.

Good, Talented Girls

On Tuesday I discovered that one of my students has a CD out. Y'know, that she has professionally recorded and actually sells. Can you believe that? I couldn't believe it. She sings "black music", which I took to be rap, and sings in English. I know her. She's a good kid and tries to talk to me but never stood out in my mind as one of the better English speakers. She goes to professional singing lessons where she teamed up with a boy, and the two of them are going to America in August, maybe to promote their CD (couldn't: figure it out from what she was trying to tell me).

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