Thursday, September 22, 2005

Today's school and today's tattoo

Today I taught at a boarding school out in the country that houses kids who were kicked out of home or abandoned by shitty parents. The kids were great. So great. There were about 17 of them, all ages 12 to 14. We all ran barefoot in the morning around the dirt track, and played softball after lunch. Some of the older kids had homemade tattoos on their arms and hands, which were all the same color green, so they must have don’t them together (gang related perhaps). Anyway two kids, who were really lovely and cheerful, had swastikas on their arms. Swastikas are very popular in Japan. Traditionally they represent the Dharma, or teaching of Buddha, and can be found on any city map representing a temple. So I asked one “why that symbol” and he said “it means temple” and I said, “oh that is very cool.” (As many of you know I have actually pondered getting a swastika tattoo, refraining for obvious reasons). So a teacher heard me tell the boy “oh that is so cool” and she said “no. Bad. We don’t say those are cool. Kids are not supposed to have.” And I said, “Oh, im sorry. “ and I thought, “shit! Woops!” And then I thought, “Well, they are permanent, so maybe it's better to support the kids in befriending themselves and their tattoos instead of reinforcing regret.” But then I thought “however, I bet these teachers are trying to persuade the kids to not get any more tattoos.” And so went a tiny glitch in the day and in my life.
The last hours of the day were spent in the Gym practicing Taiko Drumming. I haven’t been able to beat on a drum since I left Kansas, so this was heaven on earth for me.
on my journey home i saw some beautiful rice fields covered in white netting. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how are you able to teach at so many different schools? it sounds like you're having a blast. i knew you'd get along with kids really well.


May all beings be Free and in Love.

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