Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mongolia and the Kama Sutra Scribble

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After learning about Mongolian culture last year, I gave my 2nd year students (8th grade in the US) short composition sheets with different images of Mongolia and asked them to describe what they would do there using the future tense. Afterwards we made a big bulletin board outside the English classroom my JTE and I had begged the Kocho Sensei (Principal) for. Usually, in Japan, teachers change rooms while students stay in their homeroom.

I rediscovered this gem today in a pile of old papers.


This is Mongolian Wrestlers. I don't like this.

Because I don't like naked men.

I won't see Mongolian Wrestlers.

Of course I won't play Mongolian Wrestlers

But, I will go to Mongolia.


Shortly thereafter, I discovered this on one of the students desks while we were in the midst of a conversation lesson...

And speaking of naked men...

This comes only a week after one of the sweetest 3rd grade (9th in the US) boys in the whole school invited me to the library during hiru yasumi (recess) to show me the school collection of Disney's books in Engish. Of course it was right about then that the crew that I usually play basketball with came looking for me, and finding me in the library, quickly set to work searching through a shelf of books. I was so impressed that they were giving up their beloved b-ball time to read, until one of them tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to a certain nether region on Michealangelo's famous statue of David in an art encyclopedia.


"Melissa, what's this?"

"Hmm...Yabai." I said, trying to think of a plan of escape. The rest of the crew gathered around, waiting anxiously for my reply.

"Melissa..." he said reassuringly, sensing my fear "Ok, Ok. Doctor's word Ok."

"Doctor's word is Ok?" I asked, still stalling and hoping for a reprieve. " Ok. What is the doctor's word in Japanese?"

"Dansei!" He calmy answered, and then sensing a bit of reverse pedegogy on my part, smiled and tried to translate it into Enlglish himslef.

"Dan nan no de...Man! No no! Man- ZU! Man-zu sei...Sei...Sei..PART! Man's part!"


By now, all the boys in the library were gathered around us in anticipation. We all bust out laughing. The sense of accomplishment on his face was priceless.

Eventually I told them the "doctor's word," which has and promises to lead to even more interesting eikaiwas (english conversations)...


Inge said...

The joys of being an English teacher huh :-). I can't believe the graphic nature of those drawings, how old are these kids?

Melissa said...

I know, right?! I was shocked ('o')! Its at my beautiful mountain school too, which is the most rural one I go to, so I always think of them as being so pure and innocent. I dont know who drew it...since we have an English classroom it could have been any of them.

*(Middle School in Japan is 7-9th grade in the US)*

Alyson said...

I love the Mongolian unit! Brilliant! That entry belongs in a book somewhere.

As for the sex... I guess 12 year old boys in any country are going to be the same. The news papers keep saying that all these rural Japanese kids are getting it on like crazy. I can (shudder) think of a few of mine who probably are. But then again, at that age some of my classmates were having sex at 12 and 13 too. What weirds me out is the lack of moral identification with sex. I know I'm the by product of a Christian society, but all the same! All the readily available porn here is nuts; that has got to do something to a child's mentality of how sex is/ought to be. I never know if I should shug it off in a 'boys will be boys' manner or address it head on. Last year, one of my teachers told me the kids aren't taught sex ed, they're taught 'appropriate public behavior'. Man oh man.

Sorry this is so long! Hope I'll actually SEE you soon ;-)!

Jean said...

Je visite souvent votre blog . J'ai beaucoup de plaisir à voir vos photos , à lire vos textes .
I often visit your blog. I have much pleasure to see your photographs, with reading your texts.

Anonymous said...

i dunno if you should have told them the 'doctors word' at all. Foreigners in Japan already have a bad rep for being sexed up, encouraging it just reinforces this.

Melissa said...

Well, anonymous, foreigners ARE sexed up! I mean, perhaps not indvidually, but culturally. I bought some teen magazines for my jr. high girls here and was almost embarassed to give them away (the provactive dress and poses of the models). How often do you get through a movie without seeing some people get it on? Not to mention TV. MTV=soft porn.Have you listened to the lyrics of half of the music put out in the west? Just look at Britney Spears. Have you ever noticed the amount of bare skin we feel comfortable exposing? I never noticed it until I got outside of the states, but now when I go back home, I feel almost naked if Im not wearing atleast 3 layers!

Barley said...

Hilarious! Your blog is awesome. I found it by accident while browsing pictures on Flickr and am now using to distract myself from Anthro homework.

Melissa said...

Yokoso, and thanks Barley. I'm glad to be of service, especially since procrastination was one of my specialties back in my days as an aspiring archeology student (^_<)/