I spent today with a new group of 3-year olds. Children that young are refreshing in their lack of preconceived notions. Luckily, their teacher filled them in.
The teacher, who has never left Japan and still lives with her parents, announced, "Everyone, this is Karla sensei. She's from America."
[Karla sensei waves and smiles.]
"Look how Karla sensei is thin, even though everyone in America is big and fat [gesturing with her hands]. Really, really big. And fat."
I wanted to say, "Everyone in America also wears sweatpants everyday and always carries hamsteaks in their pockets!" Instead, I just smiled insincerely and looked at my shoes, and quietly rallied against those children's long-term memories.