Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Gaijin Goes to School

It is ironic that I have begun teaching at Japanese 中学校 (junior high school), because as a thirteen-year-old I absolutely and unequivocally refused to participate as a student in the said institution. Now that I’ve finally made it to Japanese middle school it doesn’t seem like such a bad place, after all. Of course, I have to take into account the “village factor” in this assessment, but all in all 風間浦中学校 (Kazamaura Junior High School) appears to be a pretty happy zoo. Yesterday I was a little too frazzled by my official, and very public, induction into the school to take any photos. However, today I have begun putting 携帯くん (Cell Phone kun) into service capturing the kind of images that people really want to see on a JET blog: kakkoii/kirei-na teachers and kawaii J-kids. Actually, I think the most popular genre is drunk JETs, but I’m sure the category I’m covering today is a close second.

Students generally begin the day in their famous “sailor-suit uniforms.” I wanted to get a shot of the seriously clashing white indoor shoes they wear with them, but I figured that attempting such a photograph on my second day would come across as a little “sukebe.”

It’s not long before they change into their uniform track suits. I’m pretty proud of my school, because its track suits have some pretty cool florescent yellow stripes. Unfortunately they are for students only.

I also wanted to get a good action photo, but junior high kids are a flighty and shy species, like the pushmepullyou, and therefore very difficult to observe in ordinary social interactions. Thus, the total absence of eye contact with the teacher. This JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) is my team teaching partner, Miss Rikiko Sakata.

This is a boring photo of the staffroom in which I spend most of my time. I only included it because I went to all the bother of “Super Mailing” it from my cell phone to my e-mail account.