Anyone who’s kept up with the teaching posts knows that the current second year English Course was less than impressive last year.  When it came time for the kids to apply for the positions of directors of English Play and to audition for parts in it, we were worried.  Would anyone step up to the challenge?

I don’t know the inner workings of how it came to be, but the class clown, whom I will henceforth call “Ikkun” (イッ君) ended up being one of the directors.  Since the other two directors are girls (rather quiet ones at that), we may as well say that he’s the director. (-_-;) I wasn’t terribly surprised that Ikkun would want to take on the task, though I was surprised he was given the opportunity.

Given the rehearsal sessions I’ve helped at so far, it seems like Ikkun was the right kid for the job.  I must say I was impressed when I saw him chewing out some of the class’ biggest slackers! Inside I was saying, “YESSSSS!” ^o^; He even told these four boys who were screwing around during the voice practice to separate, and when one of them wouldn’t, Ikkun grabbed him by the shoulders and physically moved him! Epic WIN!

If my delight seems exaggerated, you have to understand that that Quartet is epic in their own negative way.  The kid Ikkun moved, on top of being a slacker, has a bad attitude in general, and along with another boy in the Quartet was punished for bullying last year. To actually be disciplined must mean that they were doing something horrendous.  So, I don’t feel too bad when I enjoy seeing them get put in their place by their own classmate. I do feel bad for including two of those boys in the Quartet.  They’re not kids with bad attitudes, they’re just lazy and unfortunately got mixed up with the other two.

The other thing that surprised me about Ikkun is how much his English has improved since rehearsals began barely a month ago.  It’s not that he can say grammatically correct things easily, but he’s actually communicating with me in English with much less delay in response time, and with me using relatively little Japanese.  One thing that’s really frustrating about teaching these kids is that, even when they have the right answer to a question, they’ll hesitate, ALWAYS second-guessing themselves.  Normally, they can’t just jump in, no matter how many times we say, “Mistakes are okay!” But Ikkun’s a lot less hesitant to speak now.  I think it’s not just that he was given a position of authority so he’s risen to it, it’s also that since the boy who plays Troy (the lead) participates in a club, in his place, Ikkun reads Troy’s abundant lines during the first hour of rehearsal, while Troy’s actor is still at his club.  I’m really glad to see this growth in him, and hope that he continues to lay down the law so that English Play will be successful!

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