Archive for June, 2009

Don’t date your students!

Don’t date your students. Common sense, right? Hell no! Allow me to be the bad guy and say it: That’s easier said that done.

I don’t condone it and I’m not saying that I do. But if you’re a straight, 20-something year old male English teacher, I guarantee you’ll have some thoughts occasionally run through your mind.

It may be at a volleyball game or while walking around between classes. At some point, after a dry spell, you’ll realize that high school sannensei girl has already physically developed into a woman.

And that she’s really not that much younger than you.

And that she’s legal.

And that she’s your best student, not because she likes English, but because she likes you.

And that she’s currently giving you a look that screams “sex”…

Image borrowed from Neil Ducket

Don’t do it. I can’t give any explanation as to why not, but I assume it’ll come back to haunt you in the future. And at that point, it won’t matter if she showed up at your door late one night wearing an abbreviated version of her high school uniform sans-panties.

At that point, plain and simply, you’ll be fucked.


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The 5 Different Types of English Teachers in Rural Japan

Speaking, reading and writing English is and will continue to be an essential skill in today’s world. Japan knows this and has even mandated that all students start learning the language from elementary school. This has opened up a world of opportunity for westerners to come to Japan.

I’ve met many teachers and most can be grouped into 1 of 5 categories: Real Teachers, World Travelers, Japanophiles, Procrastinators and Runaways. My descriptions for each are below. And don’t shoot the messenger; I don’t make the stereotypes, I only see them.

1. Real Teachers – As irony would have it, only a small percentage of English Teachers in Japan really came to teach. But the few who do can inspire you to almost forget your own intentions. Many are certified and some previously taught in their home countries. For whatever reason, they decided that teaching was their purpose in life and they’re fucking incredible at it. Students adore them and Japanese teachers love taking credit for their work. God bless ’em, they make the world a better place to be.

If you decide you’re actually going to try and teach these kids and want some tips, talk to these guys.

2. World Travelers – Travel is their forte and teaching was just a way to have an extended layover in Japan. These teachers are explorers, foodies and will have something new planned every weekend.  They’re teaching English in Japan now but may be bar tending in Spain, volunteering in Kenya or cooking in a Costa Rican restaurant next. They can usually be identified by their collection of passport stamps,  a liberal arts degree and financially supportive parents.

next stop, Japan!

If you have any questions about what to do for fun in this country, talk to them.

3. Japanophiles – Lovers of all things Japanese, these teachers would’ve given up their first born child for a chance to live here.  They developed a fetish for Japanese women, fashion or anime in their adolescence and started eating sushi because they thought it’d increase their Japan appeal. They plan to live here forever and in their eyes, Japan can do no wrong. They’re probably fluent in the language and there’s a good chance they masturbate to the flag of Japan.

Flag of Japan. The rising makes a wonderful target.

If you have any questions about Japan’s culture, history, customs, politics, food, social norms, law or why Japan is so great, talk to them.

4. ProcrastinatorsJapan is just a pit stop for these folks. They’re likely just out of college, taking a break from work or planning to go to grad school. Teaching is a way for them to not do shit while doing shit. Japan was not their only option but they chose it anyway. Whatever their situation, they know Japan is not forever and are really just postponing the rest of their lives.

We don’t know shit. Don’t ask us anything.

5. Runaways – Easily identified by their obvious or self-asserted fucked up past, these teachers are on the run. Coming to Japan was an attempt to escape a less-desirable life back at home. Japan’s appeal was it’s cleanliness and order, both of which felt like a 180-degree turn from whatever shit they had going on beforehand. This is their safe haven.

If you have any questions about flight, as oppossed to fight, talk to them.

So there you have it. The 5 different types of teachers. Many English teachers will have traits from multiple groups but will still have a primary categorization. If you’re an English Teacher, know who the hell you are!

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Let me drink in peace!

I’m currently sipping on some whiskey I just bought from the neighborhood liquor store. I’m becoming a regular there and the owner let me know that she noticed.

I walked in, greeted the 60 year old woman who runs  the place, picked up my poison and proceeded to check out.

With a smile, she commented on how I had just bought a bottle last week. Finish it already? Hell yes, I finished it already! At the end of a full day of  smiling, following seemingly arbitrary rules that none of the Japanese teachers or principals can explain, avoiding konchos and resisting temptation from high school girls, few things hit the spot better than alcohol. Well, nothing allowed (legalize it!) in this country, at least.

I drink daily here. That’s more (more frequently but not more quantity) than I in did college. But because I’m a sensei I’m supposed to be an angel? Fuck that. As a foreigner teaching English, I have some complications that can only be simplified through a vice. So let me drink in peace.  Besides, there are much worse things I could be doing to CTFD.

That said, I still have it much better than the Japanese teachers. I don’t know how they fulfill their teacherly duties while maintaining the moral high ground set on them from the community. I wouldn’t be surprised if teachers comprised a large percentage of Japan’s growing suicide rate.

Anyway, I need another drink.

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Japanese TV: The Black Whistle – Perverted Teacher Edition

Found this online.

Japanese TV: The Black Whistle

‘The Black Whistle’ is a satirical Japanese TV segment from ‘The Black Wide Show’ in 2004. This video is a segment about four perverted high school teachers who all receive ‘The Black Whistle’. Web post edit and English translation by Rob Pongi. Used by legal permission.

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Holy Hell, I think the gym teachers at my school are having an affair!

While I can’t say this with 100% certainty, I’m pretty sure the gym teachers at my school are having an affair. I accidentally saw a glimpse of something while taking a siesta in the gym. I was trying to get a mid-day snooze in before being rudely awakened by the gym’s office door slamming. I peaked my head out from my makeshift bed/hiding spot to see what looked to be the male and female gym teachers kissing before walking out. Even if they weren’t swapping spit, they were still displaying an usually high amount of friendliness, much more than they usually do.

I wouldn’t have mentioned it if not for 2 things: 1, she’s hot (and I’m jealous) and 2, he’s married.

Adultery is on the rise in Japan and studies show that teachers tend to get it on with their fellow teachers. It was only a matter of time before the 2 trends converged and teachers started having affairs with each other. I need to figure out how to get in on this.

Anyway, the gym provides a perfect playground for promiscuous senseis. It’s located far from everything and the chances you’ll get caught are slim to none. Unless there is a class or reason to be in the gym, no one–except napping English Teachers–ever goes to the gym. And if someone were to show up, those 2 have reason to be there and could easily play it off.

This could turn out to be pretty interesting. I’m keeping an eye out for more evidence.

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I’m in the middle of Bum Fuck Japan

Like many, I thought Japan would be a land of milk and honies.  And it is…if you live in a big city. Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka; those are places that not only have hot women, but also hot women who aren’t afraid to be seen with foreign guys.

But as it turns out, getting into one of those cities isn’t as easy as it seems.

I thought I had it made. With a fresh diploma, I figured I could bang for a year or 3 in Tokyo before joining the rat race back in the states. I just need to hop on one of those teach-English-in-Japan-programs, pack a few bags of condoms and be on my way. Piece of cake, right?

If I wasn’t so damn overconfident, I probably would’ve done more research before applying, accepting a job offer and buying a $1000 one way ticket.  Many people want to teach in Japan. A good number of them are much more qualified than me (hey, did you know you could actually get a certification to teach English?). It’s economics 101: supply and demand. You put good teachers in good (read: urban) schools. And the rest of us get dumped wherever.

Even though I thought I was God’s gift to English, I got placed in rural Japan.

So here I am, teaching farm kids and drinking with old people. I see yama in all directions and more green than a liberal arts college. The population of my city town is about 3 Tokyo city blocks and you can’t find an open ANYTHING after 8:00 pm (one exception: the ever-prevalent Lawson konvini chain).

But fuck it, I’ve been making the most of it. And that’s why I started this blog. Usually when people talk, hear or even think about Japan, it’s usually Tokyo. But the rural life awaits many so you too may end up in Bum Fuck Japan.

But if you’re anything like me, you won’t let an insignificant little thing like location kill your experience.

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Japanese women aspire to become housewives

I just saw a blog post discussing educated Japanese women aspiring to be housewives.

If educated, city women have those aspirations, then rural, country girls definitely desire it.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

It’s just good to know your target market.

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