Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blue Sky

The lovely young woman on the left is none other than (following Japanese name forms) Aoi Sora (link NSFW), which means "Blue Sky". She's a popular "AV idol" (Adult Video star) here in Japan. She's starred in such films as Let's Go Blue in the Sky, Virgin Sky, 50/50, Sexy Fruit and Soap Heaven, to name but a few.
So why am talking about Aoi Sora and posting her picture here? Is it a cheap ploy to suck traffic in to my boring blog? Do I harbor some secret dream to be a porn king? Hell, yeah! But I digress...
In my classes today I asked my students (working in groups) to write down any words or phrases they associated with the term "the sky". (Note to the ESL/EFL uninitiated: Damned if I know whether or not this type of activity is of any use to the students, but it usually gives me an idea of what they do or don't know. We've been reading articles this month with weather-related content... please don't ask...). As the students were doing the activity I was walking around the room checking what they'd written, offering suggestions, getting clarifications, etc. Most everyone had written words commonly associated with "the sky"--clouds, rain, stars, UFOs, and the like. In one of my classes today, however, there was a group of four guys I noticed chuckling and whispering to each other, like they had some funny secret. There are no rules against having fun in my classes, and they were busy writing stuff down, so I didn't pay them much mind. Eventually I made my way over to them and took a look at what they had written. Pretty much the same as everyone else, but the first item on their paper was the phrase "Aoi Sora"...
Now, as fate would have it, and totally unbeknownst to my students, I know who Aoi Sora is. Yes, I admit it, I have gazed upon Japanese (and countless other types of) porn. Further, I have sought it out on the web. I suppose there are a few (straight) guys out there who don't like to look at pictures of naked women, but I'm not one of them. I can only imagine what goes on in their sick, twisted minds. The only creature lower on the evolutionary scale would be someone who likes to look at beautiful, naked women, but denies doing it (liars are worse than retards, although they probably live longer, proving irrevocably that evolution isn't always fair or sensible).
Anyway, playing dumb, I look at what these guys have written and say, "This is Japanese, what does it mean?" "Blue Sky", one of them says, with darting glances at, and shared smirks with, his partners. I ask, "Is she the most popular AV idol in Japan?" Their jaws drop. After some hushed consultation another one answers, "well, she's one of the most popular." Not willing to pass up the opportunity, I say, "ok, make me a list, will you?"
They did. They gave it to me after class, and lingered a bit to chat. It may sound strange, but this is how to teach English in Japan.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to check out this list...


  1. hahaha... Nice

    Just kinda stumbled across your blog. hope you dont mind. Gunna go bookmark it for some good reads.


  2. Thanks Mary, come back anytime. I'll try to post more than a few times a year!! By the way, why don't you read (I checked your blog)? Believe me, there are thousands of books more interesting than anything on the web (unless you read them on the web). Just some old fart advice...

  3. Good story. I could relate, but I have never been brave enough to ask to the students to list their favourite AV Stars. Well done.
    I like your English teacher as Sisyphus analogy. Again, I can relate, and it seems that no matter how fun one tries to make classroom teaching, it just doesn't work much of the time. I think most of the kids I'm teaching now speak more English when we're having a smoke together between classes.

  4. Mr. Stout,
    Please be advised: I wouldn't recommend this as an activity for the whole class! I happened to have chatted previously with those particular guys while having a smoke, so I felt I was on fairly safe ground!
    The Sisyphus thing, while certainly having an element of truth, was basically just me venting a bit of spleen. I rarely post about teaching and EFL, etc. (and this certainly isn't an EFL blog!), but when I do it's generally just to let off some steam. Please take it with a generous helping of salt!
    Thanks for dropping by and commenting.