So the other day I was eating lunch with the cool teachers because that’s what I do. I used to eat lunch with the students quite often until I realized that eating in the staff room meant access to extra food. Here at Osato JHS, the kyuushoku (school lunch) is consistently amazing. Some ALTs complain about their lunch, but not this one. Not only is the food delicious, but the town doesn’t recycle the menu; there are constantly new culinary experiments that always yield a positive result.
Anyway, mid-meal I spot my kocho sensei (principle) walking into the staff room from his office. Strange. Normally he comes in only when he’s finished eating. Since I hadn’t even touched my gohan (rice) yet I knew he couldn’t have eaten his whole meal. My imagination takes off.
Then I see that he is holding something in his hand. I couldn’t make out what it was, but when he held it up to a female coworker she jumped back. Kocho was closer to me now so I thought I made out a dead mouse. Ok, so he killed a mouse and is parading around the staff room showing off his prey. Wrong.
He came over to the cool teacher table and held out his hand. In it was a squirming–very much alive–little bird. My eyes widened with astonishment and I started questioning in English; I was too shocked to attempt Japanese. I couldn’t believe that my kocho-sensei caught–with his bare hands–a living bird. What was even crazier is that NO ONE but me thought this feat was nothing less than amazing. I was wiggin’ out at how awesome this was and all the cool teachers were like “oh, a bird.”
I then asked my kocho-sensei if he was a ninja. He said no. Too bad true ninjas don’t reveal their identity.
And now on to dbags.
Starting a few weeks ago, the san-nen-sei English classes were divided up in to A-class and B-class. A-class is basic and B-class is advanced. It may seem out of order, but the point is that the class is divided based on skill, which I didn’t think happened (very often) in Japan. I’m in support of this idea and am excited to see how effective it actually is.
When the classes were divided, the students had the opportunity to think of a class name. One advanced class desperately wanted S&M because those are the initials of my JTE and just so happen to be associated with sexual deviants. That is, they thought it would be hilarious. I said they couldn’t just be “S&M” but had to think of English words instead. After collecting a list of their favorite words, the class picked two: Special and Mustards. I had to give it to them, they’re pretty clever. When I heard that a students favorite word was Mustards I knew something was up, but I went a long with it.
The other class was a little more classy and actually tried to think of a fitting name. After a few ideas were tossed around, the idea “Dream Boys and Girls” came up. Ok, sounds great until they started saying the initials instead…DBAG. I couldn’t explain how “The DBAG Class” sounded bad so I just told them to go with DBG instead. The students were happy with that and I was glad to have avoided the advanced students being called DBAGs.
All was well until my JTE asked during the first advanced class what their name was. The students said, “Dream Boys and Girls” to which my JTE said,”Ah, DBAG.” I tried to explain to her that DBAG was a shorted form of douche bag, which colloquially isn’t a positive thing. Unfortunately, the concept was difficult to explain. My best shot was to mention the movie E.T., which we watched last year. In the film, Elliot’s brother calls Elliot a douche bag and their mom says “No douche bag talk in my house.” I don’t think I successfully conveyed the meaning of douche bag, but we finally settled on DBG instead of DBAG.