Still A Bully
I have always had a faint hint of a mean streak and my friends know that no one can rip into a person with quite the verbal finesse like I can when I am on a roll. There were times in high school that I did things to people that I shouldn't have and I felt bad for them afterward but it doesn't really change the fact that I did them. I was kind of a jerk and still in a number of ways, I still can be. Here is an example.
Today, I was in a school that I have never been to and will never again be at. I had one class of six and seven year olds with one kid that was four. The four year old was the younger sibling of a kid that was actually old enough to attend the level of class I was teaching at the time. Peppy drives me crazy with how they decide what kids go into what class. Because Peppy wants money and isn't horribly concerned whether the kids learn anything or not, if an older kid has a younger brother, often times they will place the two kids in the same class. This is especially true if Peppy wants to rope in an extra little kid but knows the tyke won't be able to cope well with the material or may be afraid of being away from his or her parents.
I think this tactic is nothing but money grubbing BS. If you are going to teach a kid a new language, start him out in a class of kids his age. Don't throw him into a big kid class and expect him to keep up. And on that note, don't expect me to pander to the little kid just because you want to milk the family for a few extra bucks a month. If I were to dote on every ankle biter that should be in a lower class but isn't I would spend my entire lesson dumbing stuff down just for them while more advanced kids sit there and ponder the finer things in life like whether or not they will be able to get every gold coin in The New Super Mario Brothers for the DS.
This poor kid was in somewhat of a double jeopardy because he was whiny and jumpy around me. Kids that are creeped out by me just because I am bigger than they are and white kind of annoy me. Most kids will come into class and just see me as another adult but one in every ten of them will see me like a child eating monster. Little do they know, children do not taste good, therefore I do not eat them.
So anyway, I am playing with the other kids and chasing them around the room and everyone is having a good time except for the kid that shouldn't be in the class to begin with. I am running around and out of the corner of my eye I can see this kid waving his hands in the air as if by magic, his frantic gesturing will make me go away. To be honest, the opposite is true. It is at this point that I proceed with the "breaking in" section of the lesson. Basically, Japanese kids are very pampered. The boys especially, are brats. So I figure that if the kid's parents are forcing him to be exposed to white people, I should kind of get him used to what he should expect when he encounters the great Caucasian beast from the West. This is how I legitimize scaring the crap out of little kids.
Most of the whiny, afraid of whitey variety are very easy to break in. I look at them, say their name and give them a kind of wild and crazed look that I expect many Roman soldiers came to fear when eradicating the Visigoths from Eastern Germany. You know what I mean, the look that signals to someone that you may actually try to eat them if you were even the slightest bit hungry...and if children tasted better than they do. All it took to make this kid squeak in fear was my eyes.
Now I do not want to terrorize children; I just want to keep them on their toes. There is also a section of the class that involves a lot of running and playing and it was during this section that I actually had the kid in tears three times. I didn't mean for that to happen per se, it just did because the other kids enjoyed the game I was playing with them and I didn't see a need to damper the fun of seven kids because of one wet blanket. But my plan worked and by the end of class he was totally comfortable with me. If he were to complain to his parents, maybe it would inspire my company to move him to a more age appropriate class where he belongs anyway. He was a nice kid, it is just a shame to think he won't be learning as much English as he could be from this point on. Oh well, as of right now I only have three more weeks of teaching to go.
Also, you won't hear me say his too often anymore but the kids I taught this week were for the most part, an amazing group of very smart kids. I actually enjoyed teaching every lesson I had this week. It is a shame I only had the opportunity to go there once.