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Chatting Hell

Teachers talk, and students listen. Teachers write on the blackboard, and students take notes. Students rarely ask questions during class; they are supposed to be quiet.

For better or for worse, this is how classes go at school in Japan - traditionally.

That being so, that may not be so any longer. It seems that a lot of school teachers throughout Japan are having a hard time keeping their classes quiet, or conducting classes at all. Kids these days really talk a lot no matter what situation they are in. Trouble is, it's like they will chat without so much as realizing they ARE chatting, which makes them free from feeling guilty. There is no volume control. Their mute buttons are out of order.

Yesterday at a seventh grade class, I called on a student and she answered correctly. I said very good and she smiled. Then, she turned to the girl sitting next to her and said in a natural voice, "Sensei (teacher) sometimes raises his eyebrows. It's funny!" As a matter of course, I heard it, feeling amused, and said to her, "Oh, is that so?" To my surprise, she looked terribly surprised at it, and said in a panicky voice, "Uh...um, y, yes...isn't it funny?" Obviously, she never thought her chat could be heard by me. Wow. Good that was not something more terrible about me.