Friday, March 02, 2007

"Dangerous" times at CHS

Apparently my blog resembles a "Spam Blog," but the kinks have been worked out and now I am able to post freely! As Carly hypothesized... maybe the Japanese have infiltrated Blogger. Or maybe it was my continuous mentions of Spam itself that drew attention to my modest little blog. I wonder if I was on a "Wanted List" at any time. I love feeling like a renegade.

Ok -- Graduation Day 2007 continues...

(A girl who studied in the States made this poster. I was impressed with her use of the "t" in congratulations, and didn't have the heart to tell her to add the "s.")

The san-nensei threw a party the night of their graduation ceremony at the community center which is conveniently a block away from my apartment... and the weekly meeting spot for a Bridgit/Starbucks run. Generally, the students invite the teachers but don't really want them to show up. However, this class was a bit unusual and really seemed to want a sensei presence. I couldn't let them down! And I was really curious about the whole thing because teachers were already expressing concern about how much skin was going to be shown by the newly free graduates. And I had heard that immediately after the ceremony, students dye their hair since it isn't allowed during the school year. (In fact, one girl dyed her hair "blonde" before the ceremony and wore a wig during the day.)

I showed up and was welcomed by these sweet girls who looked quite pretty and very different from their uniformed selves. The boys lingering around looked quite dashing and there was that bit of tension and awkwardness found before every mixed-gender social event.

As we filed into the banquet hall, all the girls ran around exclaiming at their winter ball-esque dresses and high heels/hair. Actually, for the most part I found them to look quite adorable. I love how some of the Japanese fashions look and even bubble skirts look cute on them. In fact, in some ways it looked like tons of little Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsens running around/tottering around with knock-knees and high heels. We ate our provided meal and waited for the "dangerous" girls to show up. That's what the teachers call them. "Dangerous." There were already at least a few scandalous dresses (one of which had me asking the teachers if anyone thought she had underwear on and another that looked like it went through a paper shredder and only three inches of the skirt remained) and I couldn't wait to see what the "dangerous" girls would come up with. Around 8:30, they showed up (the party began at 6...dangerous girls are always late). And actually, one girl looked great in a polka-dot dress that had a Audrey Hepburn sophistication about it. But then there was another one. Wow. I actually said, "HOW did I miss that one when she came in?!?!" Besides being shockingly short and with spaghetti straps, plus the obligatory six inch heels, she also had on fishnets and her entire bra was showing in the back. I don't even think I ever even saw these kids in class. Maybe because they were the ones who were constantly asleep and I only know them by the back of their heads.

Meanwhile, I was discussing prom with the teachers and all of the dresses that are popular in the States when suddenly the difference between these dressers and their American counterparts became shockingly obvious. Although the dresses were "sexy," every single girl (except Dangerous Bra Girl) had a shawl or little coat covering their shoulders/chest region. There were no bare shoulders or backs in the place. A strange observation, but somehow it made me feel better as I was beginning to become unsettled that something was just "different."

I posed for pictures with a couple of students, including two students who were foreign exchange students last year, Risa and Ryoko. I will miss these two for sure, although they always spoiled my games because they mopped up every time.

And then there was a slightly awkward moment when these four very very very shy and smart boys asked to take their picture with me. I love the stiff poses in this shot. It makes me laugh. I felt honored though. Sweet kids.

Oh, and the hairstyles. There were so many new highlights in all the colors of the rainbow, extreme haircuts (boys and girls) and other not-so-subtle changes. I could hardly recognize some of the students. This is my favorite. When I said, "It looks like an animal died on his head!" The other women senseis almost peed themselves. I didn't think it was that creative and actually it also looks like one of those umbrella hats that attaches to someone's (NOT MINE) head.

That picture really does not do it justice. There were literally two hair lengths with an obvious level change. He won "Best Dressed" because it was so shocking. Wow. I am still laughing.

So the evening was mostly spent snapping photos of these scandalous and dangerous girls. Games were played that were amusing and some robotic dancers and skanky girls performed. I spent about fifteen minutes trying to explain the subtle differences between "geek" and "nerd," plus the not-so-subtle difference of "freaks." (I was going to post a video for why this conversation was necessary, but in case that kid is a Japanese blogger lurker, I will resist. Poor kid.)

It was a nice evening and I was actually saddened a bit that I will never see these students again. Plus it provided some excellent conversation points over some hot chocolate at the Bucks.


Carly said...

Wow. I thought the leisure suit at my prom was bad...

I was walking through JCPenny a couple weeks ago. It looks like baby doll dresses are back in - FOR PROM. Why would anyone make a spectacle of themselves in something like that? (especially at a place with a lot of cameras to cherish the moment)

Mom said...

I wonder if the students would appreciate your Junior year prom dress. The back was scandalous. Enjoyed the pictures..

Kenneth Griggs said...

greato pictures