After three long years, it was time for my last week at the Ghetto School. Now, here is where you would ordinarily expect me to say some words like “bittersweet”, “mixed emotions”, “the good times, the bad times” or something. But really, there was one emotion overpowering all the rest – relief. Sweet, blessed, relief. I know I should have felt sad over not being able to work with the good kids, or have class with Ms. Forehead or trade witty banter with Ms. Americanized anymore, but more than that I was just glad to be getting out of there.
Perhaps the Saturday before my last week, Ms. Forehead called me to to work out a final lesson plan. This is way more time than I’m usually given for lesson plans. They will usually ask me the same day, perhaps 5 minutes before class, or in some special occasions, during class itself. So getting almost the WHOLE WEEKEND to think about a lesson plan was like striking rare gold.
Unfortunately, it took Ms. Forehead THE WHOLE WEEKEND to communicate the plans to me. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love Ms. Forehead to death. I am also supportive of Japanese people with English ability who actually do try to speak it. So many times we get the “No, I can’t speak English!” from Japanese people, that people who do use their abilities get an extra gold star in my book. I guess there’s no way to say this without sounding asshole-ish, so here goes anyway – she takes forever to get sentences out. It’d be light years faster if she spoke to me in Japanese. It’d also be faster if she sent a coded message by carrier pigeon, and the pigeon had in its beak a Cracker Jacks decoder ring.
Ms. F: Oh, hi!
Me: Hey, what’s up?
Ms. F: Well, you know, next week is your last….um…..your last…
Me: (thinking – supper?)
Ms. F: Your last…
Me: (rite of passage?)
Ms. F: Your last…
Ms. F: Your last…
Me: (action hero?)
Ms. F: …class. So, we were thinking, we’d like you to…
Me: (do a song and jig?)
Ms. F: We’d like you to…
Me: (be all that I can be?)
Ms. F: We’d like you to…
Me: (sexually destroy you in a three-day fit of hot, steamy, well-oiled goodbye sex?)
Ms. F: …give a talk about your three years. Can you do that?
Me: Sure, absolutely. I’ll bring the lube and the hot oils.
Ms. F: …Huh? What?
Me: …Oh, the speech bit. Yeah, I can do that too.
So my last classes at the Ghetto School were decided. After three years of doing this job, I think that I’ve got a feel at least for what students are and aren’t interested in, so I was able to put together an enjoyable speech detailing my three years working there. In the sannensei class where the Requiem For a Legacy incident occured, I was able to work a re-telling of that day’s epic events into my speech. Quite a few of the purpetrators, including Chidori Boy and Rasengan Boy, had a hearty laugh over it. Chidori Boy confesses that after repeated failed attempts, it motivated them all to work together to finally bring me down. I found that somewhat ironic. Despite all their differences, this group of boys was able to come together, unified in the common goal of violating my asshole. “C’mon, you gotta admit, we got you REALLY good!” Rasengan Boy boasts. I do admit that yes, that one day remains the one black, ugly blemish on an otherwise perfect Anti-Kancho record. The Gaijin got Nipponin Smashed. Right up his ass, as only the Japanese can do it.
The ninensei were sad to see me go. The ninensei were all angels and I had a lot of fun with them. The ichinensei weren’t as affected, more surprised than anything, as I’d only been their teacher for four months. Personally, I was kind of glad to be leaving at this point, because even though now they were still allright, there were a lot of kids I’d ear-marked to become little bastards as they got older. One such boy was Larry Jr., little brother of the loud-mouthed, “DARUI!” Larry of The Three Stooges. Larry Jr. is more or less a carbon copy of his sister, which really worries us because Larry didn’t even hit her stride until halfway through her ninensei year. At one point Larry Jr., deciding that sitting in his chair and paying attention was just too damn boring stood up *on his desk*, threw off his shirt, and yelled at the top of his lungs. And, despite this boy being a runt of a 12-year old, I’m almost positive his scream travelled BACK in time and caused a Viking army to go charging down into the battlefield. It was THAT loud. Ms. Americanized puts his shirt back on him and sits him down in his chair.
Ms. A: Now, why did you do that?
Larry Jr.: Dunno. Just felt like it. Felt good.
Ms. A: Well, don’t do it again.
Larry Jr.: I’ll try, but I really can’t make any promises.
Ms. A: (buries her forehead in her hands)
Ms. A; Not yet, but its coming.
Later, Ms. A and I talk about what an incredible family this is.
Ms. A: Man. Just when you think that Larry is only months away from graduation, she has to go and fuckin’ clone herself.
Me: Incredible how alike the two of them are. What in God’s name is the mom feeding these kids?
Ms. A: Pure, Columbian cocaine. Mixed right into their morning milk. It’s the only explanation.
Me: …Do they have any more siblings?
Ms. A: They better not! I’ll personally see to it that that woman doesn’t produce anymore kids.
Me: …Oh no. What are you gonna do?
Ms. A: I dunno, seduce her husband? And then kick him in the nuts when I have a chance.
Ms: You wanna hook up with their father?
Ms. A: No, but if it’s between that and dealing with Larry The Third somewhere along the road, I have no choice. …God, my life sucks.
There’s also an ichinensei girl who is already starting to resemble Moe, so all we need is a boy-punching girl who can teleport anywhere and scream “BREASTS!” at my successor to have The Three Stooges: The Next Generation.
Speaking of incredible families though, Ms. A points out one ichinensei girl to me. She’s a nice, sweet girl, lovely smile, listened quietly all throughout class, and volunteered to help collect papers at the end of the class. Handed them to Ms. A with a smile, and quietly returned to her seat. Ms. A comes over to me and says, “You won’t believe this, but that’s the little sister of the worst bastard sannensei boy.”
My jaw hits the FLOOR.
Its difficult to call this boy the absolute worst bastard. Certainly, in terms of defiance, destruction, and outright nastiness, there were others who exceeded him. However, where the other boys seemed to specialize in one specific area, this little shit was bad all across the board. I haven’t talked about him much, as I hate him and don’t really want to talk about him. He was the boy who did tell me once “Now, you can’t just fuck your girlfriend”.
So that these two were from the same gene pool, much less the same household, was absolutely mind-numbing. I couldn’t help but to wonder how one set of parents could raise Satan Incarnate, and a Heavenly Angel, at the same fuckin’ time. I guess all we can do is chalk her up as another glitch in The Matrix.
Speaking of the older bastard, my last week at the Ghetto School, the vice principal gets off the phone one day laughing. He informs the rest of the teachers room what’s so funny – apparently, this shithead and 3 of his friends have gotten into trouble. They stole the car of one of the boy’s mothers, and were joyriding around town in it, driving excessively fast. They accidentally hit a truck near the railroad tracks. One of the boys was injured – the other three then freaked out and ran, abandoning their comrade. And what did this abandoned little shithead do? Rat out his friends the INSTANT the police and paramedics arrived. Upon hearing this, the other teachers share a nice little chuckle too.
Now, this isn’t really funny. Why are the teachers laughing, you ask? Though the vice-principal never actually directly says it, the sentiment is clear – this kind of behavior is nothing new from these bastards…but this time it’s not our problem anymore! The entire teachers room would have broken out in a Disney film-esque song and dance routine if we’d had music and a choreographer.
On my last day, each class gave me a posterboard with individual goodbye notes written on them. Most of the messages were along the same lines – thanks for teaching us. I enjoyed your class. Good luck with your next job. And so on. One sannensei boy however had written something different – “Kancho is Japanese beautiful culture.” Complete with a drawing of an ass getting poked and the words “direct hit!!” Japanese beautiful culture, eh? Well, sure. I guess we can roll with that. Tea ceremonies, ancient craftsmanship, poking people in the ass, they all go together. Let’s call Lonely Planet and convince them to include kancho in their next book on Japan. Perhaps foreigners can come to Japan, and instead of wearing those silly “Looking For a Japanese Girlfriend” or “Baka Gaijin” T-shirts, they can don a “Kancho Me, Please” T-shirt. Then hang around an elementary school all day, and experience “Japanese beautiful culture” about a hundred times.
Towards the end of the day, Chidori Boy stops by. He tells me he had a present for me, but he’d forgotten it at home. I told him I’d wait for him if he wanted to go get it. He does – he gives me a big Shinsengumi wall scroll. “Something cool and traditionally Japanese, for your next apartment,” he explains. I was a little surprised – Chidori Boy was by no means a bad student, but aside from the joking antagonism I didn’t think he cared enough about me to get me a present. I thanked him, and Chidori Boy asked me for my new address so he could write letters (which he does occasionally send).
And on my way out of the school, the teachers thanked me for three years of hard work. They too had a present for me – a nice 3-piece tie set. “For your next job,” Ms. Americanized explains. I also thanked them individually for everything they’d done for me in the past few years. Despite his cranial shortcomings, Ms. Forehead hopes to marry her boyfriend in the next few years. I told her I hoped the two of them would be very happy together. Ms. Americanzed hopes to one day be able to leave the Ghetto School – her ultimate goal is to leave Japan, but one baby step at a time. I thanked her for all the great classes and off-beat conversations we’d had that made my time here go that much smoother. And I hoped that she could find her path of escape – both out of the Ghetto School, and out of Japan, sometime soon. “Well,” she says, “if I don’t – look for me on the news. I’ll be the teacher who went crazy and brought a shotgun to school.”
And that was it. Three long years at the Ghetto School had come to an end. I left on a happy note – with Chidori Boy’s and the teachers presents to me. As I left the school, I passed by a lot of good students who waved goodbye and wished me well. I would miss them, but with the overall problems of the Ghetto School, I was more relieved than anything to have finished.
One down, two to go. Next would be my last week at the School of Peace.