This past Tuesday, I was at one of my favorite schools. Inside this school, is also one of my favorite classes. It's a Special Needs class with the most entertaining bunch of Japanese kids I have ever met. Made up mostly of boys, with one female student, and two pairs of brothers.
No matter what grade I eat lunch with, I make it my business to check in with this class after I finish lunch. I usually end up playing games with them, or faking an understanding of Japanese to humor the conversation of kids who simply don't care if I understand them or not...they speak regardless.
I walk in, to an uproar of excitement, but one boy in particular caught me off guard with his conversation. He'd, undoubtedly, be dubbed one of the fat kids. Six years old and 60 kg (132 pounds) he was half of one of the sets of brothers.
Looking plump, in his red shirt, I noted only having him in class once before, yet he went on a lingual rampage...
"Evita Sensei, do you like apples?"
"Yes, I do."
"Do you like grapes?"
"Yes, I do."
"Do you like bananas?"
"Yes, I do. Do you like apples?"
"Yes, ski des."
"Evita Sensei, do you know 'DBIC song'?
Now I'm lost. All of us teachers look around at one another confused.
"DBIC song? No, I don't know."
"Yes, DBIC song."
Still confused, I am trying to grasp onto some familiarity when he begins singing...
"A,B,C,D,B,I,C!" "Oh shit!" I said in my head. He's talking about the ABCs. This kid rearranged the alphabet, and apparently I didn't get the memo. He was singing, proudly and happily. He was thoroughly enjoying himself.
I love it. Looking at him, I responded..
"Yes. I know the ABCs. You're absolutely right A,B,C,D,B,I,C."
There was too much enjoyment and glee in this boys face to shatter his dreams. He'd learn the correction sooner rather than later, but in that moment I inherited his version and, frankly, I liked it better.
His teacher also happens to be the Head "English" Teacher for the school. During our meeting for the next lesson she thanked me for stopping in to say hello to the class. Then she expressed her surprise with this one student.
"He doesn't speak in class." I couldn't believe it. He was firing questions to me.
"Many times he absent. You only have him class once, but he knows many things. He ahh doesn't speak class. But Evita Sensei say hello and he not stop talking. We teachers very surprised. Sugoi! (amazing!)"
"Yes," I responded, "Sugoi!"