Monday, December 17, 2007

The spy

Every Thursday this semester I have arrived at my last class and seen a woman hanging around outside the classroom. Well, not exactly right outside the classroom, but down the corridor a bit. She always looks a bit anxious, and when I greet her she nods nervously, as if she didn't expect me to see her. She seemed like a nice, worried person.

And what I've thought, every Thursday, is,

They're spying on me! This is taking the whole stupid thing too far! That woman is going to report me to someone if I start my class late or finish it early! Couldn't they at least be subtle about it, or at least send someone who enjoys the job? The poor woman doesn't look happy at all.

Paranoid? Moi?

Then I would walk into my classroom and forget the lurking woman, because I got instantly too busy.

Last Friday I was talking to the lovely George, and telling him about the autistic student.

"Oh, I know him! He was in one of my classes last year!" said the lovely George. "Isn't he great?"

""He's wonderful," I said. "And he was in your class? So that's how he got to be so good at English!"

"Oh, no," said the lovely George. "It had nothing to do with me. That guy knows how to study, and he listens to NHK English programs all the time."

Then he added,

"Have you met his mother?"

"I don't think so," I said. "How did you get to meet her?"

"Well, I think she's his mother," said the lovely George. "His helper, anyway, but I'm pretty sure she's his mother. She takes him between classes, otherwise he gets lost."

Light dawned.

"Oh, so THAT'S who that woman is!" I said. "Really? She's not spying on me?"

"Spying on you? Why would she be spying on you?" asked the lovely George.

"Oh, no reason," I said, airily.

But the lovely George was distracted by the thought of the autistic student.

"He was one of my favourite students EVER," he said. "I bumped into him with his mother, or whoever she is, on campus at the beginning of the year, and I was really happy to see him. He didn't seem to remember me at all, but his mother did. I told her that he had been a wonderful student and I missed him, and she did that horrible overly grateful modest Japanese thing, apologizing for the trouble he'd caused me and all that, as if I was just saying it to be kind. But it was TRUE. He was brilliant. I want him in all my classes."

"Me, too," I said. "He improves so fast he makes me feel like a good teacher."

"I asked him how he was getting on" said the lovely George. "Of course he was polite, but I didn't see any hint of recognition."

George smiled reminiscently. This is one of the remarkable things about this student. People feel enormous affection for him even though he doesn't seem to notice or remember us at all. It makes no difference.

I grinned at the lovely George.

"Did he say, 'I'm GREAT. THANK you'?" I asked.

"YES, he DID," said the lovely George.

It is nice to know I am not the only one stricken with inexplicable affection for someone who is so unlikely to return it.

It is also nice to know that the woman lurking in the corridor is not a spy.

7 comments:

Lia said...

WHAT a GREAT kid. Everyone should know someone like that; it makes the world a nicer place.

On a completely non-related note, do you have any idea why I wouldn't be getting your posts even though I'm subscribed to your feed?

Badaunt said...

No idea. I just checked and I'm getting them (I'm subscribed to my own feed, to make sure it works), but I'm not sure WHICH feed I'm using. Did you use the Feedburner one? There's a link way down at the bottom of the left sidebar. (I should move it up, probably . . .)

Contamination said...

BA, Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they AREN'T out to get you.
I think you need to start looking under desks for microphones. :-)

carrieb said...

I'm glad you arent' being spied on. That would have made me very nervous as well. I'm paranoid like that.

Btw, I haven't gotten your feed in Google reader for months. Then, just the other day, I noticed another of my regular reads dropped off my feed too. It's strange.

Lia said...

Well, I'm not sure what you did, but I just got a rush of presentsimple posts this afternoon. Looks like whatever's been holding it back these past few weeks is gone. Thanks!

carrieb said...

Yay! I just got a bunch on my feeder too. I'm glad I won't miss posts again!

Badaunt said...

It worked!

This morning I tried my 'subscribe with Bloglines' button on my own page, to see what feeds come up, and discovered there are four. (Or five. I forget now.) The only one up to date was the Feedburner one. Before I went to work I went to Feedburner and found a thing where it explained how you can change the Blogger feed to the Feedburner one. Did that, went back to the 'subscribe' button, still got the same result. But I had no more time so went to work meaning to work on it tonight or tomorrow.

I guess it just took a little while to update, or something. I really don't understand these things, but who cares? It WORKED! I don't need to understand it. And I'm happy I don't need to do anything else, because it's been a very long day.