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So, 西室先生 gets the brilliant idea to (starting next week) have each of the first-year (sophomore) boys take a 4-minute one-on-one with me out in the hallway, to practice their English and such. The news was greeted with great hoots, hollars, and hoorays. They have to think of at least two questions to ask me (but they can't be too personal, or too gross). One kid yelled, 「へー?ラブ・トーク?」 ("What? A love-talk [session]?") The concept has, so far, been wildly popular. Everybody wants to have a one-on-one with the young, new, blonde female teacher from America. (Even if I AM taller than half of them.) Btw, how come guys MY age are so much shorter than my students? (No fair!)

When 西室先生 and I were walking down the hall to class together yesterday (I didn't notice it, but then, I'm never looking), he complained that all the students were looking at me when they passed us down the hall and sort of gave him a "Oh, you're here too? Uh, hi," kind of greeting because they were too busy looking at me. My response: うれしい! 西室先生 wasn't nearly as pleased as I was.

One kid today, Tonai-kun (who has consequently moved from his original seat at the beginning of the semester near the back of the room all the way to the desk that's right under my left elbow) started pretending during class that there was a bird or something in his jacket that kept escaping. Then he pretended it was up the leg of his pants. He was trying to make me laugh (which I did), and he turned all red when I got tickled by what he was doing and had to take off his jacket. He TOTALLY has the hots for me (he's the kid who earlier in the semester blew kisses at me during class one day), which I think is hilarious. He kept trying to flirt with me before and during class, to the extent that one of his friends asked him what the heck was wrong with him and told him to knock it off. (Gah, I'm gorgeous sometimes.) My face is all broken-out, my hair is all curly and insane, and I'm PMSing, but to Tonai-kun, I am a goddess. (If only I could find a guy like that who was LEGAL....)

I walked down to Kotoen (甲東園) station yesterday with Margaret Yamamoto-先生. We got stuck behind a group of middle-schoolers heading home. They kept turning around and looking at the two tall, blonde foreigners behind them. Margaret said she bet they really wanted to say hi to us, so she shouted "Hello!" at them. Most of them said "Hello" back, somewhat loudly, but one kid (who didn't turn around) thrust his arm up in the air and shouted as loudly as he could, "HELLO!" and then ran ahead in embarrassment to a group of middle-schoolers that was further ahead. Being a foreigner here really sucks sometime, but it can definitely have its perks (they were so cute!)

Well, despite my general ugliness today, I am insanely popular now, kids have started bowing to me and greeting me in the hallway (even kids who aren't my students), and outside the sky was sapphire-blue with cotton-white clouds. Sometimes, life is REALLY good.

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September 2006
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