Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What can I say - They love me!

Okay, since I started teaching here I've noticed that teachers get called names all the time. Our Danish teacher is a pretty large guy and is frequently referred to as plain and simply "Fat". The kids are pretty straight forward, and to some degree, not creative in their nicknaming or name calling.

For example, if someone is a little on the scholastically challenged side, they are simply called "soft brain" or "child with weak wisdom"...These are flung back and forth just like we call someone a "dork" or a "nerd".

If a kid has darker skin they are simply called "dum" which translates to "black". We're not talking African black, but like a farmer-been-out-in-the-sun-harvesting-rice black. This is a little on the derogatory side as it infers that you are poor and less educated. Lighter skin is looked at as beautiful here...Funny, in the states people are tripping over each other trying to get into the tanning parlors and to find a good sunbathing spot on the beach.

Okay, to the guts of the story. I got under one kids skin my first semester here, he tried to see what he could get away with as I was a new teacher, and I didn't give him much of a leash. Once I showed him who was the boss he said, out loud in Thai, "You are a buffalo, an animal". Of course, being the studious one I am (not really, but I know a good percentage of the four letter words here if you know what I mean) I knew what he said. He was pretty surprised when I asked him if he'd told his mother and father yet that I was a buffalo and an animal. "If not, I can tell them when they get here to pick you up!" Stunned, he began to deny what he said. To me, a buffalo or animal isn't that bad, but these are considered super rude here, can be said between close buddies and friends, or when someone cuts you off in traffic.

So I thought that would be the best they could come up for me, I mean you can't go much past calling your teacher a stupid-a$$ or a "dumb F$@%er"...
Then when I wouldn't let one of my sixth graders retake a test that he did poorly on and because he felt that I favored one of the weaker students, he began to call me "Teacher Devil" and "Satan" which he pronounced like "saw-tawn".This was waiting for me before I got to class one day, written on the whiteboard. Apparently we were in the middle of the weather unit studying warm and cold fronts. At least he learned the proper weather symbol for a cold front! The poor kid was sore at me for a long time, couple months. Lets just say that my student parent meetings were spirited that semester! They love me! They just won't admit it!


Naomi Hanks said...

Ha HA! That's SO funny. If someone called you those names here you would think they were so lame! Its interesting how things take on such a different meaning depending on where you are in the world. Well I still love you Teacher Devil. Oh and good work on your granny square progress! I'm officially impressed!

Pae and Guy said...

Yeah dude, now when I hear buffalo or even worse "lizard" (the big gila monster type) I cringe as if it were a big juicy four letter slap down!

Thank you! Granny squares are on hold for a few weeks...I'm working on a secret project for V-day!

Beccarigg said...

LOL! It's bad enough being called a T-Devil but did they have to say like a cold front? HARSH!! ; ) I'm glad I have some great new insults to throw at all the buffalos who tick me off in the future. Too funny!

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