Friday, November 26, 2010

Society's Window

For Thanksgiving I made mashed potatoes and ate them with ketchup and salt. I felt sick afterwards. Potatoes a little too green maybe? It’s a good thing potatoes are a part of the deadly nightshade family because that might explain my feeling. Some type of acid builds up in old potatoes that are exposed to light for too long. This makes for some serious spud sickness when eaten. I think I just ate too much in general so no worries mom.

I haven’t had a full day of English class for what seems like a long time. It must be a blast for the middle school students who are forced to learn English against their will. It’s not like their wills are bent much by the expectations of the Japanese school system though. I’m not sure what the consequences are for students who get bad grades or ignore class work. It is too bad we never see the worth of foreign language learning until later in life or never at all. If English wasn’t the lingua franca then I wonder what the situation would be like in America. Would we be learning more languages or would we still be following the path of blissful ignorance American English speakers have come to expect?

The second year students are always a welcome change in my daily routine. I never know what to expect from them on any given day. Okay I take that back because I can expect them to ask me questions or teach me words that fall towards the vulgar/useless spectrum. When I think of being a middle school student this type of vocabulary just wasn’t floating around in my mind compared to some students. However, we all probably knew a good deal of vulgar, moronic, and profane words learned from our less innocent peers. I just never cared much. The second year students, a few and definitely not most, have a desire to teach me such vocabulary in Japanese. On the one hand I don’t want to know but then again its useful for navigating Japanese life when you run into people that want to play mean tricks on you by exacerbating what little vulgar vocabulary you know. I would never do this in English so I kind of loathe these types of people even if they are just kids.

Before we started the second year English class one of the girls said to me, “社会の窓 (shakai no mado).” Based on my knowledge of Japanese this sounds like she literally said ‘society’s window’. Seemed harmless enough but it surely had some meaning impossible to infer from the literal meaning. The English teacher took an oath of silence and moved on with the lesson for the day without saying what it was. Upon returning to my desk I looked up what this ‘society window’ means. Can’t say I’m surprised to find out it meant the zipper or fly on a pair of pants. Supposedly a first year student told her to say it to me. Not sure I believe that but whatever. During the lunch break I was upstairs talking to some second year students again. It’s dangerous to be alone with some of them in particular because they will revert into that category of people I said that I loathe. A couple other words I learned today were おっぱい(oppai) and 贅肉(zeiniku). Oppai is just a more colloquial way to say breasts and zeiniku means excess flab. Due to the fact of my muscular chest, which I find no reason to brag about mind you, the students were just trying to be facetious. Guess it’s good to have learned these words. Who knows when they will come in handy for a good laugh or two when I have some intoxicated Japanese people in my midst.

Goals for this weekend: get panty hose and balloons.


Nancy said...

cha-ching! you got me in the first paragraph!darn! you know me too well, beanerboy. how are u feeling today? i don't think your body likes US favorites anymore. u are japanized. thought of u on thanksgiving. missed you! turkey was really good. would you have joked around w/your EMS teachers the way your students joke with you? i think not. good luck finding panty hose. dollar store? love u!

Nancy said...

you changed your blog appearance again. it IS easier on the eyes. thanks!

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