part53, disapline

Friday, March 19, 2010, I have been a real
hard arse today. The first class I had in Jin pan school was primary grade 4, they
were badly behaved and I was a model disciplinarian. When they didn’t listen to
me when I asked them to sit down I let out a short bellow and they all looked
scared and sat down and shut up. Then when I asked them to stand up they were
all chatting and randomly shouting “good morning”. I made them wait for about 5
minutes and eventually they all shut up and where attentive. Then when one
student consistently turned around in his chair and  chatting with the people behind him. I stormed
up to his desk and brought my hand down on his desk hard and he jumped and
turned around, he started laughing and I gave him a stiff eye balling and he
stopped his stupid grinning. One girl was reading a comic I took it away,
another was reading the paper (why the hell was a little kid old reading the
newspaper?) I took that away as well. Another girl was handed some chewing gum
I held my hand out for her to give it to me and she refused. I stood there with
my hand out and waited until the whole class was getting annoyed and told her
to give it to me. I took a big magnet away from a boy in the front that had his
hand down his pants and I confiscated a fan from another girl. I generally disciplined
the hell out of them. At the end of the class they were better behaved. I think
it will take a few classes to break them.


As I was walking out of the school to go
home for lunch a middle school girl came up to me and asked “do you know how to
get home?” she seemed genuinely concerned about it. It was very sweet. I did
know how to get home and in fact I had to direct a taxi driver on the way here.
Haikou taxi drivers are a far cry away from the impressive black cabs in


Sarah cooked me Duck and potatoes for lunch
and then I had a quick sleep before going to Shuang Dao School. When I arrived
I noticed that all the students were gathered in neat rows in the outside
sports stadium. A man was shouting threw a mic and the students where
unenthusiastically clapping every so obtain. I went to my class but no one was
their so I went into the teachers office and asked Tom an English teacher from
Shanxi province what was going on. “One of the cooks at the school needs an
organ transplant and they are raising money for him”. I was very surprised and
impressed. Apparently this sort of thing is quiet common; because health care
is not free sometimes people help each other out like this. I was please that I
would be missing a class but then a teacher came up and said, “You can do the
classes after they have finished”. I was a bit annoyed, they didn’t even call
in advance and now they expected me to make up the time. I didn’t show that I
was angry because I didn’t want to give Catherine any trouble. The students all
came back to their classrooms and I went into my class and was about to begin
when a teacher came up to me and said “no your class is in number 15”, I was
confused and the students all giggled and laughed as I tried to understand what
the teacher was saying in Chinese. So a student took me down to the other class
and I was about to teach this class as well when another teacher came in and
said “no you’re not in this class you have no classes today”. Although I was confused
and miffed I called Catherine and she told me she didn’t know what was going on
at all so I handed the phone to one of the teachers and while she was talking a
flustered teacher ran up to me and said “what are you doing your late!”, after
more confusion I went back to my original class and started teaching there. By
this time I was seething with resentment and confusion and the student picked
up on it. At one point they were all talking and I said “the next one to talk
is going out”, immediately one boy said something to his friend. I had to
restrain myself from launching myself at him and gouging his face off. I told
him to get out and then everyone finally shut up. He looked so surprised and
scared when I told him to leave, as if he didn’t believe what I had said, we
you believe it now don’t you? Making examples is important when teaching; it
gets the right message across. Namely, I mean what I say. I did a bad job of
teaching and most of the class was confused by what I was saying but frankly I didn’t
care. The next class went much the same, I shouted very loudly once and then
almost lost my voice and then it was all over and I dragged myself back home.


I had a quick supper and then took the bus
to new window school, the bus was jam packed and I spent the 40 minute bus ride
like a sardine in a tin. I arrived and started my lesson with Mr. Lin. We
talked about his medical experience. He told me about spending hours holding
peoples stomachs open with metal hooks and how he became so tired he would obtain
fall asleep while he was keeping people open, then the head surgeon would whack
him with his tools. Also how he practiced operations like intestine cutting and
reconnecting on dogs and how the mounds of decapitated dogs would pile up
outside. He said he found it a little impressive (I think he meant shocking).
We talked about what the most common illness in the army was. I expected it to
be something quite interesting like trench foot or something I hadn’t heard of
but in fact it was a common cold. The two hours went quickly and Mr. Lin kindly
offered to take me back home on his electric motor bike. It was a traditional
hair raising Chinese ride, whizzing past cars and trucks and weaving in and out
of obstacles. It was a cool night and the city was beautifully lit, It had neon
lights everywhere and as we drove down the wide roads with palm trees on either
side I realized that I had hardly seen any of the place I was living. I will
have to change that.


I was dropped off at home with a very numb
bum from the long drive. I told Mr. Lin that Sarah had found another rat in our
house. “Oh if you do not want him you can give him to be to play with”, he said
with a smile. As I walked up the flights of stairs to our apartment I thought
that he probably thought I said cat not rat. I blocked up a hole we found near
our air con unit and then sat down and opened a bottle of rice wine I had
brought. It was the foulest thing I have ever tasted, and I have tasted some pretty
noxious rice strainings in my time. “This brand is famous for giving you a headache”,
Sarah told me. I am not surprised it was very unrefined stuff. I went to bed suspicious
at my next two days off. I half expected Catherine to call me and tell me to
work the next day. As I lay in bed I could not stop thinking about work. I
tried hard to think about something else but my mind would always come back to
thinking about students, lesson plans and things like that. I found myself involuntarily
talking to Sarah about my day or how a lesson went.


One thought on “part53, disapline

  1. Am up to date with you now . Tim tim tim . This is a life changing experience to be sure . Patience and self discipline beyond your years . If they know you are stronger than them they will feel safe .By stronger I mean if they know they cannot influence your mood or that they cannot make you lose your self control they will start to relax and feel secure . Then the respect will come . Its coming already isn’t it . phew .xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx you should come and teach sport at my school one day xxxxxxxxxx

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