Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cheeky questions

The students at my junior high school are a contradictory bunch. They’re too shy to speak up in class but they’re not afraid to ask me some pretty bold questions.

I get the same questions every time I visit a new class: Do you have a boyfriend? Do you prefer older or younger men? What’s your type? Am I your type? Which teacher do you think is the most handsome? Do you think I’m handsome? How old are you? How much do you weigh? How tall are you? Are you wearing makeup right now? Do you like beer?

Instead of bailing me out, the Japanese English teacher forces me to answer these questions in front of the entire class.

For example, when one 14-year-old boy asked if I thought he was handsome, the Japanese teacher walked behind his desk, scooped her hands under his armpits, yanked him up out of his seat and marched him (kicking and screaming) towards me.

She stood behind him, clamped her hands down on his shoulders and said, “Look at this boy. Look deep into his eyes.”

[She paused here so that I could look deep into his eyes, which was impossible to do since his eyes were darting all over the place.]

“Do you think he’s handsome? Is he your type?”

Now, there’s no way to answer this without getting into trouble. If I said “yes,” I risked coming across as a pedophile. If I said “no,” I risked crushing the poor kid. I had a split second to choose between being a pervert and being cruel.

“Well, he’s very handsome,” I said. “But, um, he’s a little young for me.”

Bullet dodged. Jail term avoided. Cougar reputation solidified.

And then we move on to less delicate topics, like my weight. Fun!

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