Thursday, April 28, 2011

じゃんけんぽん (jyan-ken-pon)

As far as I have been told, these three little words have no real meaning.  This really doesn't matter though because these three words solve so many daily issues amongst my students. 

It’s a game, you see.  One that you know as “rock-paper-scissors.” 

If there is any dispute at all-big or small-fists are whipped out instantly.  Students pump their fists as they chant, “さいしょぐじゃんけんぽん!”  (Saishogu Jyan-ken-pon!) If the conflict is not immediately resolved, there are subsequent rounds of じゃんけん.  (Everyone says Jyan-ken for short.)

I have seen this resolve many-a-conflict over the past several months.  The winner typically yells out “やたあ!” (yataa!-This basically means “Woohoo!”, or, “I did it!”) The loser-“ざんねん!” (Too bad!) Either that, or they just put their hands on their head while yelling and acting dramatic.  And that is the end of it.

This entire process lasts approximately thirty seconds or so.  It’s remarkably efficient. 

Sometimes I think adults-especially politicians-could learn a thing or two from these kids.
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