Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sick People are Stupid

The thing about corners is you turn one and inevitably there's another one just waiting for you. And you don't know what might be lurking around the bend. It might be something like flowers. It might be something ready to kick your head in.

It's been a long week and praise Allah and all His Buddies that tomorrow is Friday. I get a bonus because it's Speech Contest Day once again, and thankfully I don't have to do much speaking. Toward the end of the day lately my voice sounds like sandpaper on gravel. I've pretty much begged the students this past week to take it easy on me. Pay attention. Keep the noise down. Be GOOD. For the most part they've come through with the exception of a couple classes who are always challenging. In my second to last class on Tuesday, I did something I almost never do. I bailed.

I'd spent the whole class trying to reign three students in, and they weren't having it. It was two boys and a girl who always give me trouble. It's not that they're malicious or anything. They just like to joke around and talk. Constantly. I was getting frustrated because they weren't listening, and I was having to repeat myself over and over. We were working on giving directions, and I'd put many examples on the board, we'd done a couple listening exercises and worked with a map where I'd place a token marked "ME" and ask questions like, "How can I get to the playground?" I was wrapping up the lesson by getting the kids to translate phrases. When one of the disruptive students couldn't manage "walk past the pharmacy," even after I'd picked up my pencil case, pointed to it, "It's a PHARMACY!" put it back on the table and walked my fingers by it, "Walk,....PAST,...the pharmacy." I felt like I ws starting to lose it. None of the trio of Talky Amigos could would translate. The third one started at me blankly and then said "Teacher?"

I flipped the marker I'd been holding up in the air and just walked out. Buh-bye.
They slunk out of class when they saw the students leaving other classes. I told Jane what had happened, and that I was worried about the level of two of the Amigos. The way their headed, they have no business moving to a higher textbook at the end of the month. The third is a naughty little genius, and he'll be ok. I also mentioned that the other students in the class, who are all really keen, are being constantly distracted.

The next day at the same time I was walking around my classroom and noticed Jane had the whole class I'd taught on Tuesday out in the lobby on their knees with their hands up in the air. Jane sat on the bench near them with a "Very Disappointed In You" look on her face and lectured them for about ten minutes. I felt really bad for getting them into trouble.

I'm totally lying. I didn't feel bad at all. It gave me pleasure. I considered sending my Wednesday students out to join in the kneeling and reaching for the sky just for the hell of it. Go, Jane!
It turns out that the Amigos and another student hadn't done their homework and started off class not participating, so their punishment wasn't my doing, all in all. Still. Me like. Stick 'em up punks!

The medication the doctor prescribed for me has been pretty good. It's been allowing me to get two or three hours of sleep in a go. Still, I'm dazed and confused. I went to the washroom today at school and started thinking about how awful I was feeling. I startled myself when my chin crashed into my chest. I'd fallen asleep on the throne. Tonight I stopped to rest a moment on a bench outside the building before I tackled the four floors of climbing to my apartment. I dozed off on the bench as well.

Today the doctor spent about 30 seconds, rather than his usual 4, with a stethoscope listening to my chest as I tried to breathe in and out. He tsk'd tsk'd and shook his head. "You have bronchitis." I googled it when I returned to work and Wiki's description is SPOT ON. My lungs are filled with junk, but unfortunately though my cough is persistent, it's not very productive. I feel like crap, and it's making me stupid.

This morning I was getting ready to brush my teeth and I'd already squeezed out the toothpaste before I realized what I had in my hand was a serrated knife and NOT my toothbrush. Granted, the handles are both the same colour, but still. That would have been cute. Idiot.

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