Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Life in the Land of the Rising Sun: From a Shamelessly Doting Teacher

Will wonders never cease.
I guess I'd better start out with a little background.
A couple of years ago, there was a TV drama miniseries (as all TV dramas/soap operas in Japan thankfully are) called "Waterboys". It was about a group of loser high school students that, after a lot of fuss, bother, and just plain humiliation, put together a successful men's synchronized swimming team. It was really kind of an entertaining drama (for a change), and it was successful enough to allow a sequel.
Enter our school.
At our school's anniversary festival in September of last year a group of boys got together and put together a synchronized swimming exhibition which they called (surprise, surprise) "Waterboys". I didn't get to see it, since I was too busy with the music club's live music tearoom, but everybody said it went over really well. In fact, it got a lot of very favorable write-ups in the local newspapers.
The "Waterboys" also appeared at this year's anniversary festival, which wrapped up just a little over a week ago. Once again, I didn't get to see it, because I was too busy fussing over the live music tearoom again (as well as providing practically a fourth of their performances myself...). However, everyone said the boys looked even sharper this time around.
Cut to today.
We had another meaningless argument session/nap time (i.e. staff meeting) this evening at my school. Since I was giving individual interview tests to my 9th grade students, I had an excuse to miss most (but, sadly, not all of) it. I came in toward the end, so I never really figured out what this month's argument was about. However, when it all somehow managed to come to a close, we were all told to be sure and turn our TVs to a certain channel at 7:00 p.m..
I arrived home a little before 7:00 to find a huge mess of mangled laundry and a message from Kiharu saying she wouldn't be home for dinner. After getting all the laundry more or less folded up, I threw the kids in my BLUE car and rushed off to Mos Burger for the evening's meagre fare (if a mustard chicken burger qualifies for that...mmmmmm...). I managed to turn on the TV just a little before 8:00 to find....

The first All-Japan Boys' High School Synchronized Swimming Competition. I had missed almost all of it, and I had managed to tune in just in time for the final round. One of the finalists was an industrial school from Mie Prefecture (way in the south of the country).
The other finalist was Seishin Gakuen, my school.
My jaw just about hit the ground....
...especially when I saw who the students were.
The opposing team was made up entirely of seniors. Our team, on the other hand, was made up almost exclusively of 10th graders...members of what has often been called the worst class in our school's history. I'm sure you remember how much I griped about them last year when they were in my grade 9 classes.
I wish I could say that they won. They didn't. It was really close, but no cigar. Still, the boys put on one heck of a show. They looked absolutely brilliant. However, there were a couple of times where the formation wobbled a bit (leading the captain, watching from the bench, to make some truly classic faces that got broadcast to millions), and it cost them a lot...particularly because the opposing team from Mie was phenomenal. The Mie group's routine was also a bit more artistic. Even so, the captain of the Mie team was stunned. When the announcer asked him for a comment, he stammered, "I...I don't see how we won."
I guess I should also point out that, at the staff meeting this evening, it was pointed out that the recent achievement test results for our 10th graders turned out to be the best in the last eight years...even though they were such hopelessly aggravating suckwads last year. I guess there is a moral to all this: sometimes it pays to have a bit of faith in people. No matter how much they may seem like sodding hopeless wads of surplus sewage slick, they may still have the potential to turn around and impress you when you least suspect it.
Maybe that bodes well for this year's 9th grade class, because, as far as I'm concerned, they stink just as bad if not worse.

(I tried to find a news link, but they were all in Japanese. Sorry.)


The Oregonist said...

Which is the worse? The hopelessly aggravating suckwads or the sodding hopeless wads of surplus sewage slick or does it matter a pair of foetid dingo's kidneys? This is the just the kind of blinkered Phil... oh, yeah...you already covered that a couple years ago.

Cheerio then. Camembere, Gouda, Edam, Cheddar?

The Moody Minstrel said...

Sorry...cheese is one of the things the doctor ordered me to lay off of for a while.

Don't give me that, you useless heap of parrot droppings! Shut your festering gob, you twit! Your sort makes me puke! You vacuous, toffee-nosed, malodorous pervert!

Anonymous said...

Philrod Piddlewaif:

Well, I for one have had it up to here with all these blooming idiots with their bloody fake British accents in their bloody text blocks. Do us all a favor! TYPE AMERICAN!!!!

Yew gatcher butts kiacked in Vietnamm! Yeah, that's rahght! Y'all gat eggs in yer faises! Now them I-rackeys are stawmpin' ya all over that there daisert, yesiree! YEE-HAH!!!!!

Oh, your bloody opinion is inconsequential.