I like all of my English teachers, I really do. I’m lucky in that respect; not all JET’s can say they do. But working with the Big-Headed Boyfriend teacher and the Americanized teacher at the Ghetto School is especially fun.
One day I was in an ichinensei class with BHB teacher (I really have to think of a better way to refer to her). The ichinensei were playing a “Who are you?” game. They pick one of 4-5 historical Japanese families. They then walk around asking other students, “Are you Nobanaga? Are you Ieyasu?” If yes, then they are members of the same family, and united. To start off, me and the teacher demonstrated how to play. We showed a successful example… after finding out that we were of the same family, we shook hands. Improving a bit, I went to give her a half-hug, to effectively show the “family” concept. She went to give me a half-hug back, but she wasn’t really paying attention to what she was doing. So as she leaned in, she wound up headbutting me. Pretty hard, actually. It took me a moment to stop seeing stars and remember where I was.
After class ended, I was joking around with her about the headbutt. “That was surprisingly strong you know,” I said. “I know,” she replied, “I have a forehead of stone.” She then joked that the next time the bastard boys got out of line, she had a powerful weapon to use against them.
It was only later that I realized the humor of Big-Headed Boyfriend Teacher giving me a stonecutters headbutt. Maybe that’s why she was so opposed to her boyfriend’s large cranium; their potential children would come out as mutant egg-heads or something. With a fatal headbutt.
As we were leaving class, we ran into the Americanized teacher. She asked us how class went. “She headbutted me!” I exclaimed. The Americanized teacher turned to her, gave her the thumbs up and said in English, “You go girl!”
The next day I had class with the Americanized teacher. In this class, the students are supposed to write fan mail to a celebrity/sports star/musician/English teacher (ahem) of their choice. After the class, I casually remarked that I was actually getting fan mail myself now.
Her: Oh really? Why is that?
Me: Well…I kind of have this website where I talk about being a teacher in Japan. Strangely it’s gotten pretty popular.
Her: Oh, I see.
Notice her complete and total apathy here.
Me: Yeah, it seems that Westerners are shocked to learn about things that go on in Japanese schools, like kancho…
Her: That’s right, huh? And the constant talk about sex…
Her: Those noisy students…
Me: Don’t forget noisy teachers either.
Her: …Yeah. Japan’s weird, did you know that?
This just completely floored me. How perfect is that? That is one of the greatest sentences I’ve ever heard. I’m going to print it out and hang it as a banner on my wall. I told her that.
Her: Yeah, use that. Use it on your website too. Make me more popular.
Me: They already love you.
Her: Oh, well then, that’s all that matters.
And no, none of you can have her email/contact info, don’t even ask.