4.01.2010

All I'm saying.

Yeah, it ain't happening tonight babies. I'll get around to the important post eventually, but my mental faculties are more than a little impaired at the moment. Instead I'll get into the struggles I have with finding myself on the opposite side of the authoritarian equation at times.

Insoo. He's a student I've mentioned here before, who I've had some little run-ins with, but who I eventually won over. When I came into the office after six class today, he was standing in front of the private school teacher's desk, as she shook with evident fury. They both looked up at me.

"인수야.... 왜~~~~~.... 요."

He giggled at my intentionally ridiculous Korean.

The private school teacher nearly came out of her seat: "YOU KNOW THIS STUDENT!? THIS... THIS STUDENT.... NUMBER ONE PROBLEM!"

"Number one problem? Insooya, you are a number ONE problem? What did you do?"

"HE ALWAYS IS TALKING AND THEN HE MAKE KIND OF .... UGH! KIND OF SEXUAL JOKE! AND EMBARRASS THE TEACHER!"

I gasped in mock shock. "Sexual joke? What did he say?"

"EVEN I HAVE TO HIT HIM! EVEN I HIT HIM TEN TIMES, THEN HE SAYS TO ME SOMETHING LIKE, 'Oh, now you turn me on!' IT'S SO EMBARRASSING! ALL THE STUDENTS ARE LAUGHING!"

"야 인수.... 너는 변태야?"

"아니오!"

By this time, the private school teacher had taken my cue and was downshifting from stark raving mad into trying to find the situation somewhat humorous. Thank god for that. I know this student, and I know escalating the situation is only going to make him get real, real stubborn and hold a grudge. She continued on to tell me that he's been sneaking into a B level class instead of attending the C level class he was placed in. Completely ridiculous. I was laughing my ass off, and for a moment, he seemed to think that me finding the whole thing funny had gotten him off the hook. His posture relaxed. She turned back to him and told him to give her his mother's phone number. OH WAEYO! WAAAAAAEYOOOOO!

I piped back up. "야 선생님 질문을 있어요. 빨리 말해요!"

My Korean is bound to add an element of humor to any given situation. He stopped whining and stomping his feet and gave the number. After he had given it, she decided not to call, but warned him that next time, he wouldn't be so lucky. He bounded around the office in a literal victory lap.

"야! That's not how you do it! Come here.... I was a student not so long ago too. I got into trouble sometimes. Let me show you the right way." The private school teacher translated for me.

I stood in front of the teacher's desk. "이것요....." I jumped up and down with a huge smile on my face. "안되요! 이것...." I stood solemnly in front of the desk and bowed deeply. "감사합니다 선생님. 죄송합니다 선생님."

"Aaaah! Okay okay!" He mimicked me exactly and backed toward the door, shouting out a loud and respectful goodbye, adding one last bow for good measure, as he left.

Here's the thing: the kid was totally out of line to pop off to a teacher like that, and I personally know what it's like to be on the other side of this kid's wrath. But. What it comes down to is....

If someone hit me in the face ten times in front of all of my classmates, I'd find it pretty fucking difficult to keep my mouth shut as well. In some way, I'm a little bit proud of him for sticking up for himself and his pride. If it was me on the receiving end of it, no doubt my opinion would be different. But I get where the kid is coming from.

That's all I'm saying.

2 comments:

asadalthought said...

I'm with you on that one, I would have done what you did!

I'm no Picasso said...

Thank you!

I think the thing to remember is, no matter where you fall on the issue of corporal punishment, it is punishment. It is not a method of classroom management. If you confuse the two, you're going to get nowhere. In my humblest of humble opinions.