June 22, 2001
now I'm feeling: Weirded out
now I'm listening to: Maki Otsuki
Otsuki -- Miracle
Good, Bad Girls
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!
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
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
. 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.
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.
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.
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?
today, that was the real kicker.
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.
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,
desu ka?" Does that feel good?
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.
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
Can you believe
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.
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).