PhD: Pretty huge Dick!

NOTE: To those who are going to get their knickers in a knot about my opinion, you are probably a person with a PhD. Yes, I KNOW there are always exceptions and I’ve been lucky enough to meet those people too. I can’t deny though, that I’ve met more of the former! 

Years ago I remember seeing a license plate sticker in Australia with the words, “I have a PhD!” and in brackets, “I have a pretty huge dick.”

I thought it was funny. Now I have a slightly different take on it.

I used to think universities were wonderful places of learning (and they can be!) and I had every intention of doing further study to get a PhD.

But, the longer time went on and the more people I met who had theirs and worked in various industries, the more I began to realise that PhD doesn’t mean, “I have a pretty huge dick,” it means, ” I AM a pretty huge dick!”

I remember one woman I knew in Australia who was phenomenally brilliant and who had her PhD in Education but could not for the life of her, teach and handle a class. It didn’t matter that she had that degree because learning and then actually putting into practice in real-life situations what you have learned, are two completely different things. She ended up leaving teaching.

I’ve met some wonderful teachers here in Japan and some of them didn’t even go to university.

I’ve come to see that degrees and marriage are pretty much the same thing: a piece of paper with very little substance.

I met another man here (unfortunately) who made it appear as a joke, but who wasn’t really joking, that when he got his PhD, he wanted the letters after his name on all his bank cards. He also said he wanted people to call him, ‘Doctor.’

I just thought he was a wanker and told him so.

To me, universities are places for people who believe/want to be, socially elite and boast that they have this degree, blah, blah, blah. Sure, you might have a degree, but you’re still a dickhead.

The same man is doing yet another degree and when I bluntly asked if it was because he didn’t know what else to do with his life, he said studying is fun and I love learning.

I had no problem with that, but I don’t for a second believe his bullshit.

This morning I listened to a podcast where a man described lectures at universities as, ‘social workshops for the socially challenged.’

I laughed out loud.

He had it spot on!

The above man and indeed, the above woman are both socially challenged. She is lovely, but just prefers to be by herself and of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. He, however, lacks any empathy or indeed, trace of humanity and as a result, has no friends.

I’d like to point out that education is a wonderful thing and learning for the sake of learning is fantastic and something that should be encouraged. Those people, however, who believe they need that piece of paper to justify their existence/knowledge/expertise/whatever word you want to insert are just DICKS.

I now have no intention of ever doing my PhD because I don’t feel the need to prove anything to myself or to others.

I guess that means I’m not a pretty huge dick.

 

 

 

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Quote of the Day (and other truths)…

Is from one of my students who announced loudly this morning,

“Jade, my bones are itchy!”

I told him that was impossible and that it was skin that was dry, not his bones. He thought that was hilarious.

About an hour or two later I found him sitting on the floor pinching his nose with an angry expression on his face.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“(insert child’s name) has a stinky bottom!”

I couldn’t stop laughing. In fact, I was laughing so much I couldn’t get my breath and tears were leaking out the side of my eyes.

The child with the stinky bottom doesn’t have a stinky bottom. He has incredibly foul breath which is a result of having bad teeth (not his fault, it’s a diagnosed problem). Lately though the kids have all been commenting on it and being as honest as kids are, they’re starting to tell him directly that he smells.

Oh how I wish sometimes I could say exactly what I think and feel directly to the person. I mean, I CAN, but it may not end well. Mind you, with some people I don’t actually give a shit how it ends. It would actually be great if it ended! 🙂

Third story of the day occurred when the kids were colouring and my little Monkey Man (that’s my nickname for my favourite- yes, teachers have favourites, despite what they say!) said he couldn’t colour anymore because something was moving in his pants.

My teaching assistant was worried because she thought it might be an insect or something. She asked him to show her. Big mistake, poor love.

He took his pants down, reached into his underwear, pulled out his penis and repeated what he’d said:

“I can’t colour because it keeps moving when I colour.”

Well, that topped everything I’ve ever heard from a man about what gives him an erection.

Colouring? Wow, powerful colouring.

At least he’s truthful though. No man will ever say, “I can’t think/continue to do this because I have an erection.” Sometimes though, they should!

Thank you, my little Monkey Man! That comment made my day!

 

Funny shit kids sing

The other morning I was in my classroom with one of my little guys when I heard him singing.

He sang one verse of the song and then another.

I thought hang on, what’s he singing?!

“One little, two little, three little aliens, four little, five little, six little aliens, seven little, eight little, nine little aliens, ten little alien boys and girls.”

At first I thought he’d said, ‘idiots,’ which would have been even funnier, but yep, ‘Ten Little Indians,’ just got a whole lot funnier!

English teaching in Japan: no sugarcoating

I know I’m going to get shit for posting this from someone who doesn’t agree with me, but since when has that ever stopped me? 😉

Everything I say, of course there are exceptions, but they are not the norm. What I’m going to say is the norm and so I’m going to just come straight out and say it:

English teaching in Japan (and many other foreign countries) is not a proper job.

There are a number of reasons people (including me) chose or have chosen at some point, to do it. These are in no particular order.

  1. They want a gap year (either before or after high school or university).
  2. They have no idea what they want to do with their lives (and that’s PERFECTLY okay!)
  3. They’re running away from something or someone in their home country (and yes, I once met and made friends with a guy I later discovered was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, so I’m not making this shit up!)
  4. They love the foreign country they’re in so much and hate or don’t want to return to their home country, so they’ll do anything to stay.
  5. They’re scared of getting a proper job back home.
  6. They did an Arts Degree at university in something useless and couldn’t get a real job (I speak from personal experience!)
  7. They want a boyfriend or girlfriend in that country.

There are a rare few of us who are actually qualified teachers, but even then we are seriously over-qualified, under-utilised and majorly under-paid.

This pisses me off because we’re lumped in with the young, male, white dickheads who come here to get shit-faced at the foreigner bars and fuck pussy. I’m not sugarcoating this; I’m being real and using language I’ve heard more than once from men here. And yes, this is a male problem; women here don’t act like that.

Apart from the seven reasons I mentioned above, there are also the men (and the very, very occasional woman) who end up getting married to a local and who simply settle for teaching English despite their amazing qualifications in other fields. They give up their dreams and settle for far less than they’re worth.

Japan is notorious for assuming that just because you speak English that must mean you can also teach. Even if you can do other things and often times speak fluent Japanese, you will rarely be permitted to infiltrate Japanese society. You are only good enough to teach English because you’re a foreigner and you will never understand or be a part of the culture and society no matter how long you live here or how hard you try to fit in. Honestly, don’t bother. You need to know your place and not disturb the harmony and peace. This is what I’ve not only been told, but read and experienced.

I don’t want to be a 40-year-old single female teaching English in Japan. That is not, has not and will not ever be my destiny. The 40-year-old women I do know here are still teaching English despite being highly qualified and speaking fluent Japanese. And yes, all but one are single. And she is dating a foreign man, not a Japanese one.

I’m not being a pessimist; I’m painting a picture of reality. Google it and see how many other foreign females have a story identical to what I’ve just said.

All I can say is thank fuck I’m not a white man here. They fall into two main categories: drunk/alcoholic singles or unhappily married to someone who refuses to have sex with them after marriage and/or children or are divorced and bitter. And, trapped in the country because they have kids.

I realise this post has morphed into being about multiple issues, not just English teaching, but that’s because it’s all connected.

Anyway, that’s just my opinion and experience of it here. Some people aren’t going to like what I’ve written simply because I shattered their illusion. I’m not apologising for that. Japan (and every other country in the world!) is not perfect and the longer you live here, the more you see. Some people see it though, but refuse to believe the facts. I will never sugarcoat something in order to make someone more comfortable with the lies they are being fed to believe. If you don’t like what I’ve written, that’s fine, but if you choose to come to Japan or to work in another country as an English teacher, do not cry if you discover that what I said was actually true.

English teaching is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Out of the mouths of babes

This is a series of dialogue between me and two of my little guy students yesterday during playtime outside.

S: “Jade, A doesn’t have a mummy anymore!” (looks incredibly sad)

Me: “Yes, he does, she’s just in hospital having a baby.”

S: “Well then how did he get to school today?”

Me: (thinking, oh my God, men can drive and are capable of bringing kids to school too!) “His daddy dropped him to work. Isn’t that right, A?”

A: (nods) “Yes.”

Me: (thinking the conversation is over when A pipes up).

A: “Daddy said, ‘Grandma will bring dinner over tonight, okay?”

Me: (again, thinking the conversation was over).

A: “But when Mummy heard that, she said, ‘Nani ga? Papa wa baka da yo!’ ”

I couldn’t stop laughing. In other words, or in English, Mummy was like, “What?! Your daddy is an idiot.”

Thank you, A for making my day! 🙂

The funny things kids say

Okay, this post is long overdue. I’ve been working at my new job, an international kindergarten where all students are Japanese, for the past few months. During this time, I’ve learned a lot.

Firstly, I’ve discovered that kids are wonderful. I mean, I was the person who used to say I didn’t like them. That wasn’t technically true, but I wasn’t sure if I knew how to handle them. It turns out, neither do some parents. Sometimes I have to admit that the physical act of having a child does not make you a good mother (or father if we’re not talking physical). Truth be told, most parents have no idea what they’re doing when they first start out. There isn’t a manual on how to ‘operate’ a child and thus, most people just make it up as they go along. Life is similar; just a collection of trial and error moments.

Anyway, tangent aside, I realised that not only am I actually a natural with kids this age, but I relate to them in a way I never have with adults. They’re honest. Brutally so sometimes. Somewhere along the way kids are told to stop being like that.

“It’s rude to say that,” they’re told.

“You can’t say that,” they’re told.

“You shouldn’t feel that way,” they’re told.

Fuck adults, I say.

The second thing I’ve learned is that you are utterly exhausted after a day with them. I come home most days now and fall asleep on my floor before dinner, wake up, eat and then crawl into my futon which I’ve barely been able to set up.

Perhaps the best thing though is that I’ve learned kids are hilarious. I mean, laugh out loud kind of stuff. Hence, this post.

Here is a collection of anecdotes I’ve been compiling since I started.

 

 

  • Friday is Snack Day. The kids get a snack if they’ve done good work and have been well behaved that week. Like a reward. Anyway, the other day I sat them down and said, “Why do we get snacks?” One little boy looked at me like I’d asked the dumbest thing ever (he might be right) and replied, “Because it’s Friday?” That wasn’t the response I was looking for, but yeah, he had a point…

 

  • I wear my glasses all the time and the other day I stopped to take them off to rub my eye. One boy started yelling, “Put your glasses back on!” I did because I wanted to stop him from yelling but was surprised when he said, “You’re not Jade without them.” His response was exactly what I wished some adult men and women I know need to hear. I have been told by some stupid people, “Oh, you have such beautiful eyes! You shouldn’t wear your glasses.” And the best one (by a stupid woman AND family friend I might add!): “Men would be more attracted to you if you didn’t wear your glasses.” Since I’m a contrary shit, that just made me wear them more often. Plus, A. Why would I want to attract a man who was that superficial? And B. I wouldn’t be able to see him anyway without my glasses. J

 

  • Ah yes, swimming. That brings up a whole new topic of conversation with the kids. I was telling my mum the other day that I have now seen more penises than I need (or want) to see in my lifetime. Four-year-old boys are obsessed with theirs and as I told the manager of the school, it gets worse as they get older. Anyway, the first week one boy jumped in front and me and said in Japanese, “Jade, look at my chin-chin!” Chin-chin is a slang word for penis. The thing was though, he used the honorific term with ‘o’ in front of it. Thus, he was basically saying, “Look at my magnificent penis!” That alone made me laugh and so I had to explain not to refer to his own as magnificent but that it was perfectly acceptable to say it to someone else. I may have scarred this boy for life… Dear God.

 

  • Second swimming penis story… The next one involves a different boy who decided to jump in front of me totally naked whilst I was supervising them getting changed and yelling, “Jade, look at my penis!” At this point I was so sick of them saying it that my response was, “You know what? I don’t care. Every week I see it and every week you want to show me and every week it looks the same. I’m not impressed.” He gave me a very adult male look that said I’d clearly hurt his ego and then tucked it back into his swimmers and said, “Ah okay, fine.”

 

  • The next swimming story involves a boy and a girl. The kids were changing after swimming and I turned around to find one of the boy’s eyes literally a few centimetres away from one of the girl’s pubic region. I yelled at him, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” He stood up, puzzled look on his face and asked, “Jade, why don’t girls have chin-chins?” In the two seconds I searched for an answer I found myself saying, “Because they’re girls.” It satisfied him and he said, “Hmm, okay,” and wandered off to continue changing.

 

  • We have a song and dance activity during the week where all classes sing and dance together in a circle with the songs they’re learning that month. One of the songs involves the words, “Baby shark, mommy shark, daddy shark,” etc. The other day during play time in the morning one of the boys told me he was daddy shark. Another little girl piped up she was mommy shark. I said, “I’m baby shark.” The boy shook his head. “No, you’re not. You’re grandma shark.” Shut down.

 

  • The last story happened just last week when the weather was getting hotter and the kids needed their hat to go outside. He was walking out of the classroom to line up with the others when I called him back to get his hat. He said, “Jade, it’s partly cloudy today, I don’t need my hat.” WHERE THE HELL DID YOU LEARN THAT LANGUAGE?! I thought to myself. Turns out he actually does listen and reads the weather chart we do each day. It was such an adult thing to say I had to laugh. And yes, I made him take his hat.

Phrase/Word of the Day

So today I learned a new phrase. It wasn’t a Japanese phrase, it was an English phrase. Yes, the Native English speaker learned a new English phrase.

Let me explain a little bit first.

I was in an English Communication class for second year students and they were looking at days of the week, months of the year and the seasons. I had asked them various questions about their favorite day, season, festivals etc. (and also their least favorite) and had asked them what they did in their free time on the weekends. I then asked them to write a detailed plan of their ‘typical’ weekend.

I noticed one of the girls had written, ‘iPhone time.’

Yes people. ‘iPhone time.’

She explained that just like me choosing to close Facebook because I spent too much time on it, she had decided she needed to limit her messaging time on her iPhone. She now gives herself one hour, YES, ONE HOUR, a day in which to respond to emails, texts and chat application messages.

WOW!

Her concept is absolutely brilliant and… I’m not quite sure I’d be able to do it. I don’t doubt that I could try it, I just don’t think I would like to do it.

But hey, I learned a new phrase.

🙂