Sunday, March 13, 2005

Bye Bye, Grade Six: The Great Junior High Personality Shredder Awaits You

It is widely thought among historians of the later proto-world order period that the universal implementation of compulsory education may have been a little rash. It is generally agreed that abandoning the one room school house was poor planning. It is undisputed that the invention of junior high school was a tragic mistake.
--Zatrepalek on The End of Earthfolk

Ikokuma Elementary School is still a pleasant place to be. The size of this graduating class is probably a large factor in that . . . fact. Every body counts, nobody’s left behind. Moreover, the kids are happy, the teachers are popular, and the ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) is still appreciated for what he is—a fun and exciting anomaly in the local fabric of space and time.

Although the girls were a little reluctant to sport this t-shirt, there’s no doubt that they love their teacher. He was a great guy who had the pleasure of devoting his time and energy to the edification of nine great kids.

Many of the games played during the “Party for Sending off the Sixth Graders” demonstrated the degree of intimacy that is possible in a student body of sixty-one. For example, in this activity the sixth graders exposed different body parts from behind a screen and the rest of the school guessed which appendage belonged to which graduating student. All hands went up. There were no errors,

. . . and everyone knew which set of buttocks belonged to who.

To my delight, the absence of the grade three teacher opened up a spot for me in the teachers’ skit and I had the privilege of playing the time-honoured part of “Strange Uncle (man) #1” (へんなおじさん#1). This role gave me license to deliver verbal abuse in the local dialect and hurl the curriculum teacher off the stage (which is what he gets for playing the part of "Little Boy #1."