Mar 2, 2007

Anecdotal Little Bits- The Sequel

The Death of Smalltalk
I like to begin all my lessons with easy smalltalk . I think of it sort of like stretching before exercise- something that gets students used to the language and ready to do more with it. And, I almost always ask "How are you," first thing.
"How are you," I asked a student.
"I'm very bad," she replied, looking depressed.
"Oh," I said, "why is that?" I thought, hopefully, I could cheer her up.
"My friend died."
The room was silent for what dramatists would call "a beat." I think my mouth hung open a little.
"I'm sorry," I said.
She blew her nose. The lesson was very, very low key.

Someone Likes Her Bishi Boys
So, this student was going on about makeup.
Here in Japan, women are basically expected to wear makeup more or less all the time. And, this girl was talking about how she was really, really annoyed by women who chose not to. "It looks messy," she said "women should be beautiful."
Personally, I think this is complete bullshit, and I'd much rather find myself in the company of a woman sans-makeup than with. But, I wasn't about to say as much. Japan has sexist stuff in it, and I'm not going to be able to change it. There are plenty of young, liberal people in Japan who want change, and they're the ones who are going to bring it about.
But, I couldn't resist saying-
"What about guys? Why don't guys have to wear makeup?"
"They should!" she said with surprising enthusiasm, "Guys in makeup are really hot! So hot!"
I couldn't very well call this conclusion "sexist," so I decided to change the subject.
"You'd look good with long eyelashes," she said.

"Not tonight kids, Fido is tired."
I was trying to teach some kids "I need to..." phrases. "I need to do my homework," "I need to clean my room," "I need to walk my dog," etc.
"I need to do my homework!' I said to them, holding up an illustration.
"I need to do my homework!" they all said.
"I need to walk my dog!" I said
"I need to do my dog!" they said.
I just started laughing. But, I have to give them credit for thinking about the verb "do."

Wrong On So Many Levels- Like Levels 58 and 305
We recently got a company email where one of the managers tried to be cute. She made this photoshop of the famous Iwo Jima picture- you know, the one where the American soldiers are all raising the flag together. But, she photoshopped out the American flag and replaced it with a flag bearing the company logo.
Hip Hop opened the email, and said "Look at this."
"Who the hell thought that was funny?" I asked.
He told me the manager's name. "As a Japanese person, I find that really offensive," he said.
"I can empathize," I replied. He asked me if I was offended that the American flag was desecrated in the name of "humor." I told him that us Americans desecrate the flag ourselves all the time, so that it wans't a big deal, but I did find it distasteful nonetheless because it was an image of war tweaked in the name of "cuteness."
He sent the manager in question a pissed off email, muttering the word "idiot" on several occasions.


Joseph said...

You would look awesome with long eyelashes. Also some rouge, perhaps, and nail polish. Oh! And a perm! Totally get a perm.

Eric said...

Does he have enough hair to get a perm now? But I can definitely see the eyelashes. So long and sexy, like a giraffe.

SonicLlama said...

Eric- I can see that you noticed the shaved head from my (what I thought amusing) profile pic from a while back.
No, that haircut was not intentional.
My hair has since grown back to standard legnth, so I could pull off a perm. But, I'm afraid that I would look more like some sort of grizzly poodle-beast more than anything else.