Self-Introductions: Being in the Hot Seat

The way teachers introduce me to their classes is quite interesting. One teacher wanted me to have an English conversation with each student for exactly 1 minute. I’m not sure if the students didn’t know much English or were just too shy to use it, but our conversations usually went something like this:

Brandon: Hello!
Student: Hello, my name,  _______.
B: I’m Brandon. What club are you in? (Every student is required to be in an after-school club)
S: I’m in soccer club.
B: Oh cool! What position do you play?
S: Ehhhhh?
B: Position… *point to different positions on an imaginary field*
S: Ehhhh?
B: Defense, midfield, offense?
S: Offensu? (I think he just repeated the last word I said)
B: Nice! What else do you like?
S: Ehhhh?
B: You like? Hobby?
S: I like soccer.
*timer goes off*
S: Umm, nice meet you.

After 3 classes and 100 1-minute chats like this, I’m pretty sure I would make an excellent Speed Dating participant.

Another teacher had each student come up to me, say “I’m _______. Nice to meet you,” shake my hand, and then stand next to me to compare height, hand, and foot size. Although each student had more or less the same appendage sizes, it didn’t dampen the “Ooooohhh”s and “Ahhhhhh”s as they each compared themselves to the White Giant.

Although these activities are quite entertaining, the most common way I introduce myself is by giving an introduction speech (where I’m from, my family, friends, hobbies), and then answering a series of questions from the students. The teachers, who enjoy either using up most of the class period or watching me squirm, have no problem translating any and all of the students’ questions. I’ve chosen a sample for your enjoyment:

– How tall are you?
– How did you get so tall? (Drink lots of milk)
– How much do you weigh?
– How big are your feet? (33cm, which always gets the biggest “Oooooooh!” from students)
– Do you have a girlfriend? (I tried both “No” and “It’s a secret” in different classes, but I received an equal “Ooooooh!” reaction)
– Have you ever written a love letter? (I tell them when I was little I wrote a note to a girl in my class saying “Do you like me?” with boxes for Yes and No. She checked No. The students laugh at this, then say “Keep trying!”)
– Do you like me? (asked by a junior high school girl. I said “Of course!” She shrieked. Then I said “As a friend.” She looked confused.)
– Do you like me? (asked by a kindergarten boy. I said “Of course!” He continued to stare at me and raised his arms. I tossed him up in the air twice. I think he was satisfied with that response.)
– What is your favorite American food, Japanese food, animal, Harry Potter book, athlete, movie, Beyonce song?
– Have you ever met anyone famous? (I met Lil Bow Wow in the mall. This was received by blank stares from the students, except for one who excitedly showed me his pen case that had a picture of the rapper on it.)
– Do you play video games? Do you like Mario Bros? Grand Theft Auto?! METAL GEAR SOLID?!!? (After replying yes to all video game questions, they taught me how to say in Japanese “I am a video game nerd.”)
– Have you ever killed a crook, touched a frog, seen a UFO?

And my personal favorite…
– If you stand in a pool, where does the water level come up to you?

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Molly on September 11, 2008 at 12:14 am

    this is one of the best blog posts i’ve ever read, ever. almost as good as “can i help you, or are you just good looking?”


  2. Posted by Edwizzard on September 11, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    wow… i have to agree with molly… i read it at work in a room with 4 other people and my uncontrollable laughter was a bit out of place… i should probably get back to work but don’t forget about ashton kutcher and demi! oh and you will have to teach me how to tell people that i am a nerd


  3. Posted by Andwap on September 14, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Haha, I’m sitting in my room and decided to check out the new post cuz Edward said it was rockin’ and I definitely second the sentiment of uncontrollable laughter. Hopefully everyone in the living room doesn’t think I’m really weird since it’s just me in my room. I miss you dude, but I’m glad you’re making lots of cool Japanese friends. Oh and here’s a new hit song that I heard this summer and now for the first time on the radio tonight: Enjoy.


  4. Posted by Lubzy Lubz on September 15, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    I think you should have the kids refer to you as Sense B-Cline. Just a thought. Also, you should see how gullible the kids are there… play the “Elevator” song and tell them that you made it for a project for your Technosonics class. See if they are smarter than me or not.

    p.s. my favorite question was “have you touched a frog?”. Are there even frogs in Japan?

    Anyway, keep up the good times.


  5. Posted by Meera on September 16, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    These kids are going to think America breeds giants!

    So proud of you brandon. I recently printed a picture of us from the ball last winter and it makes me laugh everytime I see it!

    Do you have a mailing address?


  6. 1. I also have laughed out loud inappropriately while reading this post.

    2. I want to point out a little known fact about that video Andrew posted.
    It doesn’t surprise me at all that Andrew has only just heard it on the radio in the last week, even though it came out at the beginning of the summer and I heard it in the relatively rap-free state of Maine back in June. But just in case you wanted yet another reason to watch Step Up 2: The Streets (which, by the way, I own), that song was written for the movie and the video includes clips from the movie. See? You should watch it.


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