The times between lessons - those ten minute frenzies of attempting to slip off to a hidden corner to smoke a crafty cigarette without being followed by an entourage of 14 year olds - are often the most rewarding. At my latest school there's this kid who's name is unfortunately lost to me amid an endless morass of Japanese monikers (I have, after all, over 1500 students to teach) but remains in my mind constantly. He's actually 'special needs' but is integrated into the school proper as his parents have requested it to be this way.
As far as I can make out he's autistic and it just so happens that his 'Rain Man' type ability is in English. He's very good at remembering English. Remembering but not understanding. Thus we have sentences such as; 'Welcome, I'm happy to think to look at the big dog.' and 'I'm so sorry, interesting sandwich eating funny coffee.' The particles are present, the English is superb, as is the pronunciation, yet it still feels as though I spend every lunch hour chatting with Yoda. A Yoda who also insists on touching my crotch, and not just with the Force.
Recently I have been showing him photos on my laptop - pictures of London and friends and what not - and to each he makes a comment such as 'Please come in' or 'You're welcome' or 'Piano' (Piano!? It was a photo of a baby).
I like this guy a lot and I respect his superb memory, I only wish the rest of the students could remember more than just 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' and 'I don't know'. This little guy lets me know how much they could have learnt if only they had listened and also serves as a reminder to me of how fucked up my Japanese must sound to native speakers, like the other day when, in the local convenience store, I found I had insufficient funds for my purchase. Embarrased and perturbed I spouted 'Watashi wa (I, me), en (yen, ¥, money, cash) nai (not) sumimasen (excuse me, I'm sorry) chotto matte (wait a minute)" and then ran out of the shop. What a great fucking sentence that was.


Blogger Hayato reckons...

One of the greatest entries I have ever read.
If there was a blog committee and I was a member to select the best one of 2004, I would nominate this entry...._φ(・c_・。)

4:25 午前 JST  
Blogger pik reckons...

Ahahaha, thanks Hayato, I'm glad you liked it, although I think your praise is too kind.

12:15 午前 JST  
Anonymous 匿名 reckons...

Please! Too kind, your praise , I think, is. Euphoric, I am.

7:42 午前 JST  


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