Critical Mass

It finally happened.  I reached my boiling point today.  Three times.

My classes have been getting worse each week; I assume it’s because they are getting comfortable with me and because I’m being too nice.  All three of my high school classes were terrible.  In my first class of the day (my third worst of the week), a kid turned around in his chair, faced away from me, and played a game on his friend’s desk.  I told him to turn around, and he said something to me in Korean.  All of the other kids laughed when he said it.  The coteacher translated for him: “he say you wait and he finish soon.”  Those of you who know me (especially my cop friends) can probably imagine how quickly this situation broke bad.  It got ugly.  Really ugly.

In my next two classes, I was blatantly disrespected by several other kids.  One of them was in a class that is usually pretty well-behaved, so I singled her out and let the other kids watch.  The last class is always hard to handle, so I didn’t feel the need to pull back on the reins.  I just let go.  I didn’t throw things or hit the kids, but I made damn sure that they thought I might.  I would never hit them, but I don’t want them to know that.

I made two kids cry in as many classes.  The first is one of my worst offenders.  He likes to mock me when I turn around; he seems to think I’m too dumb to figure out who’s doing it.  Today, he kept imitating the way I talk out loud while I was lecturing.  I said “please stop” and he imitated “please stop” and flashed a smug smile.  It was time for round 2.  He didn’t make it to round 3.  I got up close and personal, pointing at him and poking him in the chest.  Pointing is a bit taboo here, so poking is serious.  After I finished yelling, I made him kneel down in the front of the classroom for the last fifteen minutes of class.  That is the longest this kid has ever been quiet.  The rest of the class was a dream.

With two exceptions, none of the kids ever bowed to me before today.  They always bow to the Korean teachers and walk right by me.  I assumed that this was because I’m American.  Apparently it was because they don’t respect me.  Today, lots of kids bowed to me.  Makes me wish I had flipped my wig weeks ago.  My last class was 9th grade – they’re usually a bit rowdy.  They must have gotten wind of the pre-lunch explosions.  I snapped this picture about 30 minutes into class, when they’re usually at their worst:

It was worth every blood vessel I popped while I was yelling at their friends.

Until next time.

-Taft

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7 thoughts on “Critical Mass

  1. Patrick Moser says:

    NO FLASH, NO!!!

    Reminds me of that time you flipped out and made me cry.

  2. Drew pouniu says:

    I’m glad you flipped your wig, it must be awesome to have gotten rid of that anger 🙂 It sucks to have teenagers be so blatantly disrespectful to your face, what is worse what seems (IDK) lack of support from your co-t’s. They should be stepping in and managing behavior and making these asshole kids respect you. It’s awesome that they’re now bowing to you bro. It must feel awesome to have some respect at last. I reckon keep intimidating them. If you were my high school teacher I’d of towed the line on the first day. These kids are stupid to even test the waters with you! Have a better week bro, catch you around sometime 🙂

    • wtl0715 says:

      Drew, it was pretty great! It wasn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when. I’m also glad that they pushed me over the edge in the way they did – I would have felt pretty bad if I blew up at them on a day when they didn’t really deserve it. Honestly, that’s something I’ve been worried about because I knew it was coming. They definitely earned it yesterday.

  3. Drew pouniu says:

    *what is worse ‘is it seems (IDK)…
    I’ve lived too long in Korea, I’m turning into an asian FOB…

  4. Tonya Write says:

    Dang Taft, I’d have paid to see that. I think some of my classes are a second away from me unleashing on them to. I’m glad things are a bit better now.

    • wtl0715 says:

      Let ‘er rip! It seems to work. For cultural reasons (I assume) they are just not prepared for someone getting in their face. I think it works better here than at home. Good luck with your classes.

      -Taft

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