Reading this article about a study that found early English education in Japan to be useless (link found on Nippon Goro Goro) reminded me of the story of a Japanese kid named Ringo. “Ringo” is Japanese for “apple,” so right away you know that A. this kid’s parents were some really sadistic fuckers (Ringo was his real given name, and in Japan there are no middle names to fall back on) and B. this kid’s probably gonna end up on the news someday for disembowling schoolyard bullies and scrawling “I’m a BAAAD APPLE” in blood on the walls.
Anyhow, Ringo’s parents hired an English teaching acquaintance of mine to teach him English twice a week, 90 minutes per session, which seems all well and good and perfectly normal in a Japanese cram school-mentality sort of way until you hear that Ringo-kun was exactly ONE (1) FUCKING YEAR OLD! Obviously, his parents were on really good drugs or something, because they paid 50 bucks per session for this early education. It apparently is not easy teaching an infant English for a full hour and a half. The teacher said that at first, he made googling noises at the baby but that got boring real fast, so he switched to reading it stories, and later, at the mother’s insistence (she sat in on the classes to change diapers and offer tit, I guess) singing and dancing to please it (I guess you could say that he was Ringo-kun’s little bitch, but that sounds rather unflattering.). I think this points to a certain phenomenon called “smothering with love,” and there were other seriously disturbing signs of this as well.
Ringo-kun was dressed in different clothes every session, with one recurring theme: Ringo. Every piece of clothing had prints or photos of apples on it, and the baby even had a little red apple costume that he was wrapped in before leaving class. Ringo’s mother videotaped every single session, and took an average of one photo every twelve seconds. My favorite story is the time when Ringo’s parents were called in for a parent-teacher meeting and the mother kept pestering the director of the school about her son’s progress (“he can now properly pronounce, ‘WAAAAAAAAAA,’ in English). Apparently, the director managed to keep a straight face the entire time, and even tried to offer “advanced classes” for the baby.
As for the teacher, the last time I saw this guy I asked if he was still teaching Ringo-kun, but apparently his parents had started courses at another school. He didn’t seem too disappointed.

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