The Board of Education showed up at School C today. Different guys from the ones that had shown up at School B, but with the same dynamic. Only this 偉い人 (big shot) had two underlings instead of one.
I wish I had a picture to show you what I mean by the following phrase: the teachers were quaking in their boots!
And, with good reason: School C, like School B, has been letting the lunatics run the asylum. I mean, even more so than School B, or maybe they just have more students (as I’ve mentioned the student body at School C almost doubles that of School B) so the problem looks worse. But, at least at School B there aren’t any students coming to school in street clothes, talking on their cellphones in class and on the balcony during class, and (and this the Board of Ed. would see for themselves on their visit today) cutting class to sit in front of the mirror in the hallway, doing their nails, trying on different shades of lipstick and blush, and putting liner on their eyes!
I had a free period so I was going outside for my daily constitutional for a nicotine/caffeine infusion, well after the bell to begin class had rung, when I almost stepped on one of, what I’ve come to call, “The girls in the hall.”
“Loco sensei! Kakko iiiii!” (You’re so cool!) she shouted.
Ayumi-chan, an extremely cute and old for a barely 16 year old student, was seated with her legs crossed, smiling at me like a future hostess while sucking on a lollipop! Her cellphone within reach in case she gets a text or call.
“Hi,” I replied and started pretending to read some of the wishes on the Tanabata tree.
Ayumi had her two partners in crime with her, Ayoko and Mai, also seated and mid-beautifying themselves. While Ayumi wears the uniform at least once or twice a week (though hiked up to an indecent height- which she covers with a sweater…sometimes), Ayoko and Mai, like a number of the boys, have completely renounced all semblances of being students at the school, and wear street clothes everyday. Mostly hoodies and sweatpants or torn cutoff jeans. Today, they were in sweat pants rolled up above the knees. Ayoko was sitting directly in the mirror with a lash brush in her hand stroking her fake lashes and intermittently looking indirectly at me through my reflection in the mirror with the kind of eye contact that only experienced women should be able to muster.
Mai is the hostile one of the bunch. She likes to burst into the teachers office and demand attention. We’ve basically just met, and though she has a tendency to act like she has a crush on me when she sees me in the hall or when I’m teaching a class she graces with her presence, most of he time she just acts like I’m a guest to be bowed to and then promptly ignored.
The three of them were not alone. There were four teachers posted in a broken perimeter around them, and as far as I’m concerned, sanctioning this education boycott. They were smiling, with sweat running down their cheeks, either from the heat or from the knowledge that at any moment the Sphincter police from the BOE could emerge from the Principal’s air-conditioned office and see what really goes on up in here.
Mai, who is the biggest and least cute of the trio, screamed at seeing me, like I was some J-pop idol, and one of the teachers had had the audacity to kindly tell her to pipe down. She let him have it with both barrels, finishing her harangue with a snide dismissive laugh. then she stomped away like this was all so boring to her and she was on a mission to find some excitement away from the circle of teachers and her overly pretentious buddies. Maybe with one of the guys in the halls on another floor, walking into classes in progress and coaxing there less untoward buddies into the halls to join him, or passing them a cellphone to chat with someone who’d apparently asked for him.
I keep my camera handy these days and so I proceeded to pretend that the Tanabata tree still held my fascination (I had already taken shots of it the day before yesterday.)
After, I went back into the office. Akiyama was seated at her desk.
“When the BOE sees those girls in the hall the Principal’s going to be embarrassed,” I said to her.
“Good!” she snapped. Though I’ve never asked her I got the distinct impression from her response that she’d gone to a junior high school where this kind of thing was not tolerated at all. “Maybe they’ll be some changes around here.”
“You really think the BOE doesn’t know what’s going on at their schools?” I asked. I certainly don’t believe it. “I mean, they’ve made the teachers essentially powerless to stop this kind of thing. Did you see them? All the teachers can do is stand around and try to make this look like it’s a normal. Mai just cussed one of them out like he was her a friend. What’s her story anyway?”
“Mai,” she said. “She has trouble at home. I heard her father is abusive…she tries to cover up the bruises with makeup, but you can see them, right?”
My self-proclaimed observant ass hadn’t even noticed.