Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bribery and corruption (cont)

I meant to tell you what happened with my plan for the naughty Thursday class, but just after it happened I caught a nasty cold and things got tiring and busy for a while. I did write about it, but forgot to post it.

You will be happy to hear that my boss cooperated with my scheme to scare the students. He came into my class fifteen minutes before it was due to end, and bellowed at me.


"Er, no!" I said, and cowered, as per our plan. He turned to the class. The students were suddenly all sitting bolt upright.


There was a pause as the students mentally translated what he'd said.

"NO!" shouted a couple of the quicker ones. They were electrified.

My boss stared at them.

"WELL, SOMEONE HAS BEEN LETTING CLASSES GO EARLY," he shouted. Then he added, with a little less volume, "Maybe not your teacher?"

"NO!" answered some of the students. "YES!" answered others. (Negative questions always confuse them.)

"Maybe BadAunt is a good teacher," suggested my boss.

"YES, SHE IS!" replied my students, fervently. They looked terrifically serious.

The boss stared at the students, who stared back. You could see what they were thinking. He really is a scary boss! He really might fire her!

It was a stalemate.

Then the boss almost ruined it. His face started to twitch. Usually I hate the ridiculously high podium, because when I sit down I disappear from the students' sight, but for once I was glad. I sat down and disappeared from sight.

He tried to hold it back, but that sea of earnest, horrified faces made it hard. His shoulders shook. Trying to keep his face stern made his mouth look like the wrong end of a dog. I huddled down behind the podium, weeping silently into my hands. My boss glanced at me.

"ERM, GOOD!" he shouted, and I suddenly remembered the other thing I'd wanted to do. I stood up.

"It's them!" I said, pointing at the students. "They always want to leave early, and they try to bribe me!"

"Really?" said my boss. I hadn't told him about this bit.

"Yes," I said.

"Did you try to bribe her?" my boss asked the students. "How much?" He sounded interested.

"What?" asked the students.

My boss asked more slowly. The students still didn't get it. They hadn't remembered their new word. My boss asked again, in Japanese.

"No!" said my students, looking fantastically innocent. "We wouldn't do anything like that!" (The sneaky little liars!) The boss glanced at me uncertainly.

"HOW MUCH IS AN A?" I snapped at one of the guys.

"ONE THOUSAND YEN!" he snapped back. "Oh, wait..."

"Is that all?" asked my boss. "Only one thousand yen?"

"Er, One MILLION yen." corrected the student. "No, a hundred ... thousand yen. Maybe?"

The upshot was that the whole farce degenerated into yet another lesson about numbers, and my students were left not QUITE sure whether the boss had been serious or not.

On Thursday the following week the boss was sick and his class was cancelled. My students saw the notice outside the classroom, and when I walked into the classroom they were all excited.

"Sensei, sensei! The boss is absent today! Can we finish early?"

"Really?" I said. "HA! Yes, let's finish early!" I rubbed my hands together.

I made them promise to work really hard so we could get through the day's lesson quickly and finish early. Then, towards the end of class I put a word puzzle up on the board.

"When you get the answer to this, you can go home early!" I said, and they all cheered. Then they focused on the puzzle.

They were still staring at the board when the bell rang.


kenju said...

You have a devilish sense of humor!!

Amaebic Schizophrenea said...

What'd the word puzzle say?

Badaunt said...

The word puzzle was a word Mastermind game the previous class had started, and had done so badly at they hadn't arrived at an answer despite multiple guesses. If you've ever played Mastermind with numbers or colours you'll know how it works - the A column shows how many letters/numbers/colours are the right ones in the right place, and the B column shows how many are the right ones but in the wrong place.

I still have the clues the students had guessed on my computer, and here it is for you to have a go at:


with 0 0
many 0 1
take 0 1
able 0 1
hand 0 1
clap 0 1
idea 1 0
rail 0 0
like 0 1
plan 1 1
park 0 1
desk 0 1
pork 0 2
hand 0 1
bike 0 1
rain 1 0

The naughty class loves this game, and is generally very good at it (because it doesn't requite much language), but the previous class had messed things up quite well with the clues and made it more difficult than usual. The naughty class had a really hard time with it, and made quite a few new guesses (which I didn't write down), but only two students got the answer - they hung around after the bell rang, absolutely determined to get it before going home - which they did.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bad Aunt,

Regina here, for

I would like to personally invite you to list your blog on our Expat Women Blog Directory ( so that other women can read about and learn from your expat experiences.

Many thanks in advance for your contribution and keep up your great blog!


Keera Ann Fox said...

Oh, you wonderfully wicked woman!

BTW, I think I have the answer to the MasterMind puzzle (thanks for giving me a brain teaser!). Keep up your good work!