There’s a group of kids at school that are bullying me. Their ring leader-Phillip. The ironic thing is that this group of kids are the oddest, nerdiest, anime-loving, goobers that I have ever met. And they hate me.
I have been interested in teaching English in Japan for 2 years. I heard of these awesome programs, I was intrigued by a country that was completely foreign to me and my previous experiences, new culture, new language, hell even a new freakin’ alphabet! My interest in this post-grad option sparked pursuit of learning the Japanese language and all about the Japanese culture. I went on a cultural immersion to Japan, I took a class on culture and economics, I took Japanese Language I, I’m currently enrolled in Japanese Language II. Most recently, I have joined a “buddy program” at my university so that I can hang out and be a “buddy” to a visiting Japanese student from one of our partner universities.
Confession-I’m horrible at Japanese.
I begged for an A in Japanese Culture, barely skirted by with a B in Language I, and I’m currently borderline failing Language II.
That’s where Phillip comes in. Phillip is the TA in my Japanese Language class. He’s two years younger than me and is REAL odd. In preparation for my test this week, I enlisted Phillip’s help. He’s so awkward! I FB messaged him to schedule a time and place and I felt as uncomfortable as I did attempting to flirt with boys in jr. high.
Long story short, we met up to study and it was the worst experience of my life! “Um,” I began, “I really need some help on sentence structure and particles”. He stared at my chin blankly-Phillip never makes eye contact… “Ok,” he spoke robotically, “let’s begin with some practice sentences. Translate what I say into Japanese”.
This went on for approximately 3 minutes. Halfway through the struggle bus of the second sentence he stopped me. “Ok, you clearly don’t know your vocab good enough. Let’s stop and review some of these words before we go on”.
And so we did, again for approximately 3 minutes. These 3 minutes were the most dreadful 3 minutes of my pathetic Japanese career. Phillip…
- scoffed at me. Literally scoffed at my inability to remember a “simple” word. FUCK THAT-these word’s ain’t simple dude, kay?
- Pointed out my short term memory problems. “You literally just told me this word 30 seconds ago”
- Meticulously corrected my pronunciations. To the T.
- Visually became angry.
10 minutes into this sad, sad, study session Phillip slammed my textbook closed and put it in front of me. “I can’t help you if you haven’t prepared and studied any of your vocab at all!” He then pulled out his laptop and began fiddling around with it. “Goodluck tomorrow, I suggest you go review that vocab”. Uhhh, okay… Although I have like, a good 4 inches on this kid I suddenly in that moment felt very, very small. I gathered my books and stood up to leave borderline embarrassed and annoyed.
“Oh and just so you know,” he spat his words at me as I was making my way through the door to leave, “I had to ignore your request to join the Buddy Group on Facebook because it’s for buddies only and you’re not a real buddy. You’re just a buddy helper.”