"working on my faults and cracks..."

7.31.2008

no child left, to leave behind

The pre-summer vacation buzz is marred by the open school season in Japan. "Open school," meaning employing copious amounts of redundant adjectives to shamelessly peddle pretentious academic tedium in blazing 95 degree heat. Our school has never had the cards playing in our favor though. For one, we are on the top of a mountain that no potential student with a functioning mind wants to climb every day (which would probably explain why our classroom averages hover between a tepid C-, and a gaping hole in the floor), and we are a fairly young private institution without any famous graduates to accentuate a proper history.

But the biggest problem our school faces is neither geographical nor historical--it's societal. Enrollment competition for students between schools in Japan is an interesting nationwide conundrum--characterized mostly by its animalistic ferocity. It seems to be only growing worse, as the national birthrate continues to enjoy its catastrophically amusing downward spiral. Sorry 2007 Census Bureau, but last time I checked, "1.34 children" is just a fancy way of saying "one child." I may not be good with numbers, but the last math course I miraculously passed taught me that "0.34 children" contribute jack shit to society, because they can't be rounded up to "1 child." What a surprise. You'd think that an island nation of 127 million people, would get around to annually having more than 1.34 babies worth of sex, but that's a whole separate issue for me to misquote, and blow entirely out of context, so for now, I'll digress.

In short, open school is not used as a means to trick the students into enrolling, but rather to simply find them--as Japan obviously has children in increasingly short supply. Using the classic "blood from a stone" metaphor to illustrate the growing difficulty of finding little J-butts to put in an equally growing number of empty seats, would hardly begin to suffice. Perhaps "drawing blood from a stone using only a box of generic q-tips and a secondhand penis pump," would be closer to explaining the thinning hair and furrowed brow on Vice Principal Suzuki. This year, he employed live television cameras, and bribed potential applicants with the promise of free tote bags and ice cream, to attract students to our most recent "open school" circus. Unfortunately, the exposure of late night cable television ads and the allure of Haagen Dazs were obviously incapable of expediting the penis/vagina manufacturing process in time to give our school the boost in enrollment figures needed to stay afloat.

In the event that a Japanese public school cannot enroll enough students, they will usually merge their resources and pupils with other nearby public schools, and soldier on. However, private schools like ours will simply be forced to close, and accept the reality that Japan is merrily commanding the population helm of its own sinking ship.

So where does this leave Japan's future generations? Its future workforce? Its economy? Will there be anyone of age to lead them? All I know is that it's good news for me. Maybe when the birth rate finally sinks to a paltry 0.27 children, I won't have to come to school on a vacation day to sweat my balls off in front of a damn camera anymore.

 I don't recall seeing this part anywhere in my contract

8 contributions to this piece:

Fonz said...

Are those the same tote bags you had a contest for ages ago?

What was the result of that contest anyway?

Dagbert said...

Yes, the very same.
Holy shit your memory scares me.

The contest result? Two words:

"Grammatical meltdown."

Tristan said...

Haha, nice picture.

Remember to make your best "whitey" face when you smile for the camera!

Kathryn said...

are you wearing a skirt, too? kinda looks like it. :)

Valerie said...

Everyone there looks so amazingly enthused.

Dagbert said...

The skirts lent themselves well to the enthusiasm I'm afraid. Moreso for the cameramen that showed up en masse.

Fonz said...

I've been known to do it before, scare people with my (mostly worthless) memory talents. Usually it uses itself to remind me of all my failures.

So nobody on here won the contest?

Argh! and I thought some of the entries were so grand D:

Dagbert said...

The result of that contest was that I was forced to go with something a little more acceptable. What actually went on the bag was subject to far more scrutiny that you could have ever imagined.

The only reason I never posted a follow-up, was because I was too embarrassed of the final product.

 
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