May 30 2014
So everyone loves that song from Frozen, Let it Go. Lemme tell ya, it’s just as hot in Japan as anywhere else. As a result, kids all over the country are working it into their English studies. There’s a Japanese version (whose lyrics are quite different), but the preference seems to be on the original; this gets no objection from me, as I support the original language almost all the time. I’m not even sick of it yet, which surprises me, since I hear it every time I go to the preschool, every time I go to the junior high school, and every time a certain pair of students come to my house for their English lessons.
The kids in 3-nen-sei (Grade 3 of junior high — think 9th grade. Last year of junior high school) have the middle school equivalent of senioritis, so I always make sure to put out a high energy class. It keeps spirits high, holds their attention, makes them less shy about volunteering, and in the end, we all feel better. So today, Iga-sensei’s gotta play that song. She’s also gotta relentlessly egg me on, wanting me to get up and do some patented “Heath things.”
Understand that I am a showman — not a clown, but a man who knows how to please a crowd. Enough English teachers in Japan are just clowns with fancy titles, and I actually left the “Eikaiwa” racket because I got tired of that crap. But just like enjoying martial arts doesn’t make you a murderer, knowing how to please a crowd doesn’t make you a clown. (Can you tell I’ve cut loose on this subject before?)
What I’m trying to say is, I got swept up in the moment and I may or may not have jumped off a desk.
Like, fricking high.
I got some serious air.
This wasn’t my first time flying through great heights in a public school. One of my more memorable moments in high school was a talent show in which some friends and I played Bro Hymn by Pennywise. In mid-song, I (the vocalist) went soaring off the stage. What’s that saying about history? And the one about old dogs?
So right as Elsa is preparing for the final chorus, I leaped up onto a desk, much to the delight of the students. The laughter was riotous, but hey, my megaphone voice rises above all of them. For those three minutes, they had me shouting English at them and their ears were hearing it. As the chorus took off, so did I.
Upon landing, my mouth said, “And I’ll rise like the break of dawn,” but my brain said “Your foot is definitely broken.”
Fortunately, I have an incredible threshold for pain when edutainment is on the line. I kept it together, didn’t let on, and walked on my broken foot for the song’s remaining moments — I concealed it, didn’t feel it. I didn’t let the students in, nor did I let them see. Didn’t let them know about my injury.
When it was over, I took Jerry Seinfeld’s advice:
“Showmanship, George. When you hit that high note, say goodnight and walk off.”
I went to a hospital afterward, where x-rays confirmed that a chunk of bone kind of, uh, broke off of my foot, I guess. Right at the base of the big toe, where foot becomes toe. That spot right there, like the outside of it. I’m not gonna post a picture of it because ew.
Tomorrow is Saturday, which is the day I teach a pair of girls for 4 hours. We’ve been planning to go to every local train station and blog about what there is to do within its immediate vicinity (restaurants, parks, attractions, etc.), which naturally involves a lot of walking. And this broken foot isn’t gonna stop us.
Broken bones never bothered me, anyway.