Mirrored with permission from Outpost Nine and Azrael

In The Ghetto

I work in three different schools. Two of the schools are really nice - one was built just 7 years ago. The teacher described it to me as a "hotel" when he took me to it the first time. I thought it was just Engrish at work again, but it kind of does look like a hotel. Aside from the looks, the students are all pretty good. There are some rough and rowdy kids, but on the whole they're not bad.

One of my schools is in the ghetto.

Well, it's not actually in the ghetto. It's close though. In my town there's an old and new part. The new part is really, really nice. There's a science city and everything's new and shiny and the works. The old part is, well, old. But the REAL division lies behind the train tracks, where things turn really ghetto. Yes, the Japanese ghetto, if you can imagine. So it is literally "the wrong side of the tracks".

Amusingly enough, it's directly behind the tracks where my first apartment was located.

So anyway, this is the school for...the ghetto. Looks like it too. The school is old and crumbling, looks like a old WWII hangover that we didn't fail to bomb a few times. Old, that's the key word, everything's just old. And the students...well...the ninensei are all great. They're adorable, I love them. The ichinensei are mostly good, the exception being a group of boys who think they're cute by talking in class and making crude jokes. The first time I met them, before school started, they introduced themselves using dirty names. Only problem is they used Engrish, and while I understand English and a lot of Japanese, I don't get Engrish. So they all had great fun while I seriously made an effort to memorize their names; Mr, Sex, Mr. Condom, Mr. Cream, etc. Ha ha. It wasn't until one of them used a dirty word in Japanese when I caught on. And don't ask how I know the dirty words in Japanese, I just do.

And the sannensei are bastards. Okay, I know you're thinking it's a bit harsh to call some 15 year old kids bastards, but they really are. I can't generalize, there are a lot of good students who try hard, they really do. The rest are bastards though. They're trying so hard to be cool, which just isn't going to happen because

1. They're 15.
2. They don't listen in class, and just bother the ones who do, and thus are stupid.
3. You can leave your shirt untucked, roll up your skirt, unbutton your shirts, etc, but you're still wearing a school uniform, which will NEVER be cool.

There's more of course, but getting into it would require writing more of a novel than I'd like to. Unfortunately, Japanese Jr High Schools at least, have two rather silly rules.

1. The students have the right to attend class. So, no matter what they're doing, we can't kick them out. Also, there's nothing like detention.
2. No matter what, a student will pass through the grades and graduate. Even if he/she does ZERO work.

Think about that for a moment. You're 14 years old, in school. Someone tells you you can talk, skip class, basically do whatever you want, and not only *not* get in trouble for it, but you're going to graduate anyway? ....Yeah. So, this year we've got a lot of bastards. I consider it a good day when they all decide to skip, or put on their headphones, head for the back, and go to sleep.

Yes, this is a JAPANESE school. Surprising, aint it?

By far the worst are these two girls. Japan has a trend of young people dying their hair light brown/blonde and girls wearing lots of makeup. Okay, fine, whatever floats your boat, but you kind of figure it wouldn't extend to the 15 year olds. Not these two. Golden hair, more makeup than any respectable clown would wear, and they've got their skirts hiked up so far I don't know why they bother putting them on at all. I look at them and just see a waste of human parts. Yes, it's that bad.

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