"working on my faults and cracks..."


making "batshit insane" look like a Sunday drive

For the past four weeks, she'd been like a machine. A hellish contraption on some diabolical singing mission. Ms. Catch-22, our head music teacher. Her modus operandi is simple: "teach" music as though the students' unwary, simpleton lives depended on it. The pressure-cooker classroom environment this method inevitably creates should be volatile, but in reality, is actually quite predictable. If she comes to class in a good mood, the student hellions take advantage of the fact, and effectively convert the classroom into a junior high circus complete with bearded ladies, trapeze artists, clowns, and one-legged boxing hobos. She administers vicious scoldings and platters of asses in turn, and class continues under a rain cloud. Invariably, they leave angry, and she leaves angry.

However, in the slightly more frequent event whence she arrives with anger preinstalled, the kids pick up on it, also get angry in return, then sullen, then grumpy and finally outright unruly before the period bell grants temporary reprieve. In keeping par for music class, she'll again leave angry.

It had been going on with amusing regularity over the four painful weeks in preparation for each grade's class song to be performed in the annual school spectacle that finally went down on Saturday. I'd heard those damn songs prehearsed, hearsed, and rehearsed so many times, I swear I'd even begun hearing them in my sleep. And yes, I realize I just added two new words to my English dictionary. Anyway, in those fitful sleeping hours, I think I dreamed terrible things, wherein I had assumed her role, and yelled at the children. Terrible things. I think sometimes I slapped them. I told them that properly singing their hearts out during their class chorus would be the one and only chance that they, as Japanese, would ever have to carve out their own identity. I yelled at them some more, and told them to sing louder, sing from their little hearts, and not to forget to f***ing smile.

I mean, music class is already a hard enough academic sell, why compound the difficulty by forcing the kids to care? Japan's got it all backwards. There's no greater good for this--no national pride that we're singing for. It's not like we're competing with Iceland for the gold in the Goddamn Junior Goodwill Games. Quite the contrary, it's a two-and-a-half-minute piano diddy about the power of dreams, for a stupid fucking chorus line.

But with all the song and dance over, classes, and thankfully, life as well, have slowly begun the return trickle towards normal. At least, until the next school-wide production.

sing, goddamnit!

More pics here if you simply must know.

2 contributions to this piece:

Fonz said...

The link is forbidden D:

diNexus said...

I think it's forbidden because the pictures are so terrible.

Let's just leave it at that.

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