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Random Access Memory: Improv Day

One day back when I was a high school teacher in Hyogo-prefecture, for the drama activity I let the students pair up and do impressions of me and my co-teacher Chelsea. It was a class called "Practical Communication," which basically meant that we could design the class to our liking so long as it taught the kids how to communicate. We thought it would be fun to have the students to lots of mini improve skits and dramas of their own devising. So, on this one day in October of 2004, I just said what the hell, why don't you guys do impressions of us, your teachers. After reassuring them that any interpretation was fine and that we would not get mad, the students went to it with zeal. Apparently, I came across to the students as very stern and angry all the time. One student went so far as to put his necktie around his forehead in an imitation of the ponytail I sported at the time. He continually flicked it behind his head and made me wonder if I am subconsciously looking like a shampoo commercial all the time. Everyone imitating Chelsea seemed to make overt and emphatic use of the word, "Awesome." We were, until that time, unaware that that was her word, apparently. All in all, slightly shocking, but wholly entertaining. Practical Communication Class 2004 was a phenomenal bunch. All those kids are grown up now, some married, all of them working hard and forging their own lives. I miss them.


About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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