Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I think the subsiding of adrenaline in the body makes one really tired.

Last night, after throwing some too icy frozen shrimp into a pan, I had a fairly good sized fire on my hands. I threw the pan into the sink and turned on the tap, but the cupboards caught fire. I managed to extinguish them, and it was all pretty superficial; some scrubbing cleaned the dark smoky licks off everything. But an hour later, I was still shaking.

And then I was exhausted.

My sleep last night was deep when it was happening, and filled with wild dreams. I rode, for a time, in a car with my grandmother driving. She has never had a driver's license, but that didn't occur to me in the dream. It was very foggy and she was speeding like a Korean taxi driver, changing lanes wildly. It had me mildly concerned until she exited onto another highway, missed the road completely, and we sped alongside on bumpy grass at full speed. I kept saying "You missed the road, you missed the road," but she only replied with high pitched mechanical noise she is surely unable to actually make in real life. By the time we arrived at some subway station, she had morphed into my grandfather, who appeared the same stature and body type as Herve Villechaize, only he was Korean. He was definitely my grandfather, though. I was a little embarrassed because I was only wearing a nightshirt, big fuzzy Scooby-doo slippers and a furry Christmas blanket. I kept having to adjust it so my ass wasn't hanging out, which was difficult when my little grandfather got into a brawl with a Korean boy on the subway platform and I had to lift him off the kid.

The dream ended quickly with a black screen and a voice telling me I had used up all my sleep credits. I woke up to sunlight in my eyes, and a numb leg from where my beast of a cat had been sleeping on me for who knows how long.

Even though I didn't have to wake up for another hour or so, I couldn't doze off again, so finally reached for the jug of water I keep beside my bed and gulped thirstily. I then noticed a line of tiny brown ants crawling up the outside of the jug. I looked inside to see about 20 of their pals swimming in the water I'd just drank. Mmmm, protein for breakfast.

All of this was just foreshadowing for the day I was about to have.

Midway through my day, one of my problem boys had exhausted all his warnings in class and refused to take his "time out" in the lobby, even after I'd told him 4 or 5 times to get out. I walked back around the table and grabbed the back of his chair. I gave him warning I was about to pull, but instead of standing up, he fell to the floor, only to jump back up, whip his book to the ground (very hockey gloves onto the ice kind of move) swear at me, and take a swing!

I dodged it, and after stifling my surprising sudden compulsion to smack him in the head, went to fetch the Korean teacher. It eventually got sorted, with my boss making a call to the Korean mum (I learned after work from my co-worker) to explain how her son had a misunderstanding with the waygook.

Misunderstanding, my ass.

None of the students are stupid. They know what kind of behaviour is going to get them "yellow carded," most of it being hurting the other students, or disrupting my attempts to teach them. There's a difference in talking to your neighbour while I'm helping another student compared with turning your back to me to tell your buddy about last night's WWE match-ups while I'm at the board. I actually had my one and a half year anniversary pass me by yesterday, so it's not like the students should be surprised about what sort of behaviour I'll tolerate (getting loud will get them a couple warnings before an actual check against them) compared to what I won't. Likewise, after this amount of time, I'd think my boss would realize I'm not a schlepp, and she shouldn't have to ask why the kid got the yellow cards. The point is he did, and what he needs to do is then get up and get out when I open the door and invite him.

And as for a kid taking a swing at me, if he didn't feel his 3 checks were warranted before,...

About a third of the way through my next class (one of the loudest in the school) I was calm and collected, adrenaline once again receded.

But good lord, I'm exhausted.

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