Saturday, October 08, 2005



And like a penny twisting in its metally drop to the floor, it all becomes clear...

Yesterday, being the first Friday in October, was the monthly Principal's School Address, an event which consists of all the students sitting in long lines according to their classes, all the teachers scuffing about in their socks, the sports teacher with the microphone trying to sound like a TV yakuza and - my favourite - the Student Appearance Evaluation.

It's really very simple. Two of the department teachers (one holding a red pen and the register, the other with a discerning eye and a two foot stick) call each of their students forward in turn and bark orders at them (show me your nails! show me your belt! turn around!). If their appearance is satisfactory, they walk back to where they were sitting and wait patiently. If there is any kind of quibble (boys = hair dye, tufty hair, hair longer than a couple of centimetres, shaven eyebrows, an under-tshirt any colour other than plain white, an elaborate belt, low-slung trousers, an unfastened top button, any kind of keyringage, any kind of fringe, unkempt nails girls = hair longer than the shoulder when tied, hair that almost covers the eyes, longer hair at the front that isn't pushed behind the ears, hair dye, unkempt nails, unfastened top button, cosmetics, skirt shorter than a determined length, and many many more) then the stick teacher gives them a cheerful but painful crack across the back of the legs, on the top of the head or across the backside, and the red pen teacher records the quibble in the register.

If you have hair dye? Get rid of it by Monday. If you have shaven your eyebrows? Get them back by next inspection, and so on. Once the inspection is complete, those students that passed may leave, and the ones who failed must sit in the traditional Japanese sitting style for 10 or so minutes whilst red pen and stick berate them and give them their speech about respecting the rules of society and considering their place at their high school.

And me? Well, I usually have to stand alongside red pen and stick, as well as the department boss (who incidentally is just like the skilled swordsman with an old face from The Seven Samurai) and watch the proceedings.

And after the inspection, and for the next 30 days until the next one? It's back to falling-down trousers, like-a-belt skirts and one trouser leg rolled up...

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?