There was nearly a fight in my second period today. Of course, no coteacher. There's this fucking weird kid... you all know the one I mean. Every class has one. Anyway, the kid's a tool. I'm not saying it excuses the fact that every time he comes in I have to physically make the boys allow him to sit at their table. And it's not cool how they jibe at him all the time. But seriously. It's one of those situations that just begs the phrase "asking for it". Anyway, I get him situated, and I tell Mr. Cool Guy behind him to turn the fuck around and leave it be, etc. etc. Anyway, long story short, I'm walking around helping with an exercise and I look over and the doofus kid has got the kid next to him seriously pissed off. These are not joking faces. Doofus took one too many swings on the other kid for it to be funny anymore. I tell Doofus to sit the fuck down and get the other kid by the shoulders and get his eye contact off the doofus kid. "Are you okay?"
"TEACHER! TEACHER! HE HIT! HE HIT!" Yes, my little cherubs. Thank you for the help, but I'm fairly certain I understand what's going on here.
The kid nods that he's okay. I rub his shoulders a little bit. "Calm down, okay?"
"TEACHER! TEACHER!" Yes, yes I know. Thank you.
I tell Doofus to grab his stuff and come with me, at which point Mr. Cool Guy decides to pop off and Doofus kicks him in the lower back in retaliation. I don't entirely mind this. But I'm the teacher -- I'm obligated to intervene. I grab the kid's shit and pull him up out of his chair and start to haul him out to the hallway. Kid busts out in streams of tears, at which point the entire class goes mental. I get the kid out in the hall, still sobbing hysterically and tell him to stay right where he is. Back into the classroom.
"Do you know what trust is?"
"I am trusting you. While I am away. Don't break my trust. Do you understand?"
Serious faces. "Yes."
Doofus, of course, is only crying because he thinks he's about to get some principal sized ass whooping for fighting in class. But you know ratting people out ain't my style. It wasn't anything any more serious (physically) than what I see five million times a day. It was just that tempers got involved. So I tell the kid to calm down -- of course he speaks/comprehends exactly zero English -- but I do manage to get him to understand "bathroom". "Bathroom. Understand? Wash your face. Take deep breaths. Calm down. Okay?"
Back in the classroom. "Teacher where did he go?"
"None of your business."
They all look confused until my darling, darling little South African translates for them.
I asked the two kids he hit and kicked if they were okay. The one kid nods that he is, and Mr. Cool Guy stands up and rubs his back, "Oooooh oooooooh. I hurt. I am sick."
"Yeah okay. I think you'll survive. Sit down. When he comes back, there is a wall. Do you understand? Do not look at him. Do not talk to him. Do not touch him. A wall. Understand?"
They said they did. And they appeared to. There was no more trouble the rest of the class, although I made the judgement call to put the doofus kid right back where he was sitting before. The boys took it upon themselves to put someone between him and the kid he hit, and then were perfect -- loud, but perfect -- for the rest of the period.
My darling South African called me over. "I am sitting here and just working on my book and that kid got mad at me for no reason."
"Yeah. Look, that kid is weird, okay? I know."
"But how can somebody be so weird?"
"I don't know. Maybe it's just how he is, or maybe it's because everyone picks on him all the time. But either way, you should just ignore him. People like him are not just in school -- you will meet them all your life. You are the bigger person, so just ignore him."
"I'm the what?"
"The bigger person. You are the bigger person."
"Ah. Thank you."
It's started snowing during my class with Mr. Wan and the boys lost all interest and I sort of let them. The truth is, I was more interested in the snow as well. It was a pretty great moment, watching them all gather around the windows. Then at lunch Mr. Wan had to ruin it by saying he misses his ex girlfriend today. Seriously. Get it together, Mr. Wan. Mr. No Name stole the show again I'm afraid by managing exactly the right English at exactly the right moment. He told Mr. Wan that he wanted to say something to me but he couldn't think of anything. When Mr. Wan translated this while laughing, Mr. No Name turned to him and just said, "Do you have a girlfriend yet?"
"Just eat your lunch. Talk about yourself only. Don't talk to me. Don't look at me," was Mr. Wan's response. Then he got wise and shot back, "Do you have a girlfriend yet?"
Korean Korean Korean.
Mr. Wan: "He says he is preparing for a girlfriend."
Mr. No Name: "Expensive cosmetics."