Friday, February 27, 2009

My brother's big in Japan


My brother Tommy is really cool. As you can see, he's 21 years old, super tall, and has an epic head of hair. When I talk about my family during my self-introduction in elementary schools, the kids get really excited about my brother. Then if I go to erase my drawings to make room on the chalkboard, there's always a riot when my eraser approaches Tommy: "NOOO! TOMMYYY! NOOO!" Last time I left him in the corner, and when I came back to the school a week later he was still there. The homeroom teacher told me that the kids had begged her not to erase him and she ended up working around it for the whole week. Haha!

When I'm wrapping up my last class at a school, I let them ask questions about whatever they want, and 75% of them are always about TOMMY-SAN. The first three are always, "Why does he have an afro?" "How long has he had the afro?" and, "Do you like his afro?" The unanimous opinion among elementary school children in Yamagata is that Tommy is extremely cool.

Sometimes I get a really deadpan class and I'm braced for a difficult lesson, but as soon as Tommy shows up, everyone sits up and is ready to go. Seriously. It's really funny, like he's actually here with me as my teaching sidekick.

If my brother came to teach here he would probably revolutionize English education in Japan.

8 comments:

Whitney Turner said...

omg i love it. i'll use tommy as a prop when i'm a teacher someday.

jerylynism said...

Dude!
Inquiring minds want to know, OK?!

Actually, how the f does chalz have a fro? Where in your genes did that come from?

Beth said...

my father had an afro in high school. siletz elementary and middle school was once a high school, too, and when i was a kid all of the old high school class photos were still framed along the main hallway. my father's afro was famous and it was like my main cool point in elementary school, everyone knew that was my dad with the smirk and the fro. even through high school people who went to siletz would hear my last name and be like "DUDE THAT WAS YOUR DAD WITH THE FRO?" his mom had curly hair too, i think, and unfortunately that's as far back as i can trace the genealogy of tommy's fro.

aya said...

Hahaha so the elementary kids are cute! When Tommy come to visit to Japan, he will be at the center of attention!

Reannon said...

You should definitely have your brother visit. They'll freak out.

Your students' are pretty advanced if their able to use the present past perfect tense. As in, "How long has he had an Afro?" How old are they?

My students, on the other hand...are pretty damn slow. We're working on "The book is on the table"...they've been doing that for two months now. Frustrating..........

Beth said...

oh, god no. they're asking in japanese in the last five minutes of the last class. don't get me started.

sarah said...

:) my brother mike is this 193 cm tall south african airforce pilot with blonde hair and blue eyes. when he came to visit me in sapporo, i took him to school with me. this was about a year and a half ago. there are more pictures of mike around my school than there are of me :p

Beth said...

sarah - hahaha. the kids from that class gave me a big book of goodbye letters and about 80% of them were illustrated with pictures of tommy. if they did draw a picture of me it's always with chalk-tommy in the background. my favorite ones are of me teaching in front of the chalkboard which just has tommy's head and TOMMY written in giant katakana. i'm glad that's what they got out of my lessons, haha.