Today, I went to a sort of workshop day for students in the international studies program at a very high level high school in my prefecture. There were nine other ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers) helping with the day, as well as myself, and we are all currently part of the JET Programme (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) in my prefecture.
The ALT who works at this particular school, John, happens to be from Texas, and is kind of what one might describe as a blonde babe. He now has a handlebar mustache, but that in no way changes the fact that he almost always looks like he’s in a sort of advertisement, usually of a sort of Calvin Klein style, but with clothes. He is tall and lean and fit, dirty blonde hair, tanned skin, and bright, bright blue eyes. AKA he is like an unreal dream for Japanese people.
As we were hanging out together this morning, we ALTs, before the workshop day was starting up, one of the guys asked John how students had reacted when he first showed up at the school, if they hadn’t just swooned at the sight of him, and if they didn’t still go gaga whenever he walked past them, wishing they could have class with him for all six class periods in a day. While things weren’t quite that dramatic, John assured us, it seems that all the girls certainly were and still are in full-on fangirl love with him and his beautiful eyes and hair, and everything else.
Later in the afternoon, that same ALT who asked John about girls being in love with him, turned a similar question to me. Are students not totally in love with me at my schools?
Now, I certainly do not see myself to be of a similar quality of model perfection as our friend John, so I asked about the background to his question. Well, he explained, when I had walked in a bit later than everyone else that morning, for our opening ceremony, the entire population of girls in the room had turned full attention to me, casually finding my spot at the front of the room, facing everyone. He continued, saying that the gazes that were following me were of a specific nature that suggested young girls looking up to their older sister, who is their own personal embodiment of womanly perfection… Wow. Wasn’t expecting that one.
“Well, students are still amazed whenever they look right at me and see that my eyes are blue – they announce it to all nearby students, and get all of their friends to gaze into my eyes for a few seconds.* I also get a lot of love from kids. Boys and girls alike tell me on a regular basis, whether passing me in the halls, or saying goodbye after we’ve been chatting, say to me, “I love youuu!” So I guess they kind of are totally in love with me…”
I wonder if I’ll ever be able to go back to being plain white bread after this adventure. I mean, I still totally am plain white bread. However, I’m plain white bread in a place that doesn’t really do plain bread in the first place.
*How odd is it, that I am totally comfortable with this now? Seeing as how it has happened consistently for the past seven+ months, how could I not be?