Tuesday, October 16, 2007


My weird Tuesday student seems to be calming down. Apparently I have a calming effect on weirdos. Isn't that nice? Today (the fourth class meeting) he managed to restrain himself for the WHOLE CLASS. He did the work, and although there was a wee hiccough at the beginning when he didn't understand my directions (it seems that pointing to the chair he was supposed to move to was too 'difficult' for him to understand, so he moved in the opposite direction, thus causing a logjam amongst all the students who were moving in the right direction to change partners – soon sorted out), he still managed to NOT say, "Difficult difficult difficult difficult difficult!" until the very end. At that point everybody was leaving and I'd said, Goodbye! and, See you next week, you bunch of ratbags! and was packing up myself. He came up to me to check that he'd really understood what the homework requirements were.

"Sensei, sensei!," he whined. "Very difficult! Difficult difficult difficult!"

"Yes!" I said, with insane and meaningless cheerfulness. "And you're doing VERY WELL!"

He looked baffled. Then he asked me about the homework, and after I listened to him explain it to me (in Japanese, which he firmly believes I cannot understand) I told him (in English) that he had understood the requirements perfectly, and what he had written in his notebook was exactly right.

"You're doing VERY WELL!" I said, again. "You understand PERFECTLY. You are VERY CLEVER."

He stared at me. Then he stared at his notebook, and almost smiled. My clever-bombing was getting to him. (Clever-bombing is like love-bombing, only cleverer.)

"Difficult, difficult, difficult," he mumbled, and hung around for a few more minutes racking his brains for another question to ask me about the difficult homework. But he couldn't come up with anything, and eventually my apparent sincerity (and deranged smile) got the better of him. He left, still mumbling to himself.

I'm calling it progress. Of course I had accidentally on purpose made sure that his last partner swap landed him at the back of the room and not in my face, so perhaps he WAS saying "Difficult difficult difficult difficult," the whole time and I just didn't hear him, but never mind that. I didn't hear it, so I'm calling it progress.

Besides, he did do well. He just doesn't believe it properly, yet.

And it's just as well he wasn't too annoying today, because that class is rapidly turning into my favourite and funniest class of the week. If he spoiled it I might have to kill him.


Pkchukiss said...

I'm my class's Go-To person for everything that they don't understand. After a few weeks of being distracted while the teacher's on some really technical stuff, I resorted to the "Confuse them if you can't Convince them", and refer them to the teacher hanging around at the back of the classroom (we have 2 for the more difficult modules).

I'm such a helpful selfish classmate.

Lia said...

I can't wait to hear more about this one.

Contamination said...

You have just been given some Winter in Japan Blog Link Love here.