Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Dragonfly

I'm a bit reluctant to post anything because I think it's going to knock the big huge penis off my start page. By the way, what exactly IS the guy doing with the ziplock bag in that picture?!

Today was Speech Contest Day at school. It's when all the kids get up, one at a time, and read the speeches we've been working on for a month to the rest of the students. I read first (and BEST!) and then I sit up front beside the speeching kid to help him or her out if they need it.

I like this day because it's easy on me, and kind of fun. The Korean teachers sit in chairs or wander around with sticks and hit anyone who's talking or misbehaving. Elizabeth got out of her chair today with a rolled up bunch of papers (she had forgotten her stick in the staffroom) to hit this one kid who'd been kicking a girl nearby him. She hit him once, then twice, and then seemed to decide that wasn't good enough, so kind of started beating him with the papers. I put MY pile of papers in front of my face to stop the kids from seeing me laugh. It was only the equivalent of a rolled up newspaper she was using: puppy punishment; but this class is pushing her over the edge. One of the kids told her to "fuck off" yesterday and she told me after that she was so angry and depressed. She spent this morning praying to Jesus to send her some holy spirit so she could call the kid's mom. I don't blame her, I mean, for losing her cool. I've been guilty of that, with this class, a couple times in the last couple months as well. There are only 6 of them in that class, 3 of them being quite exceptional, and the other 3 forming "the triangle of evil." The last time I lost it with them, a couple weeks ago, I just walked out and went to commiserate with Liz in the staffroom. I then returned, demanded complete silence, and ordered me up some line-writing for the last 10 minutes of class. Writing lines as punishment is total BS, I think; I've only done it 4 times is the past 3 years, but as a last resort, when you NEED silence, it works.

Today's Speech Contest was actually a bit on the quiet side, since one of the two elementary schools in town had gone field trips. In the earlier classes, about half the students were absent. In my 5th class of the day, I had only one student. He's one of the kids I had a date with a couple weeks ago. Just as I walked into class, a dragonfly flew in through the open window and right into the fan the kid had turned onto high power. The dragonfly rebounded and landed on the wall, but the wings on his right side were injured. Just after my student mentioned this, the dragonfly took flight again, he headed toward the window, but then reeled around back into the classroom. I put my hand up and he landed right on my palm. I showed him to my student.

We admired him. He was a short and stocky dragonfly, with a rust coloured body and black veined absolutely transparent wings that were tipped in brown as if they'd been painted by delicate brush strokes. He was missing the brown on the right side, as well as a leg, but he was still good to go, and when I brought him to the window and gave him a little shove he was off high into the dusky evening sky.

I've been feeling a little like this dragonfly lately. A little more blue than I dare to admit, or enjoy being. A bit battered, but ok. If you've got a minute, check out this post, which really resonated with me. It's extremely well written. I have other thoughts on this, and will try to gather them over the weekend.

Until then, be cool, and don't fly into the fans.

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