Sensei, do you think my girlfriend is cute?

A student asked me if I thought his girlfriend was cute. Relationships tend to be kept out of ear-reach or eye-shot of teachers so I felt pretty proud that they were comfortable dropping the silence with me.

But on the other hand, what could I say? He obviously wanted an affirmation on his girlfriend choice but before I even made a judgement I realized there was no good that could come of any answer.

If I said “no”, I would have just told him, his girlfriend (who was standing there, smiling, waiting to hear a “yes”) and all the other students in the vicinity that I essentially find her–the love of his life and one of my students–ugly.

If I said “yes”, then both he she would content, but theres no telling what warped version of my statement would’ve started circulating the Rural Japan Town News Network.

I was at an impasse; do I shatter his fragile ego or risk having rumors start?

I ended up doing neither. I responded using a bunch of S.A.T. words, laughed as if some joke was told and then changed the subject. They didn’t catch what I said and needless to say, he opted not to ask again.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    RandomSurfer said,

    Well, in this situation, I would not give a philosophical answer or a generic optimistic answer. Something along the lines, “It’s more important what you think of her” or “Ofcourse! Everybody is lovely looking!” If he is still probing me for an answer, I would let him know why I cannot answer this question. I think this would be appropriate way to address the issue without injury to both parties and it looks natural.

  2. 2

    RandomSurfer said,

    Sorry, that should be: I would give a philosophical answer or a generic optimistic answer.

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