Born to be stupid

Who am I to judge?  Probably no one, but most people tend to judge others.  We don’t judge everyone but when we meet someone who steps outside the boundaries of the ordinary, we tend to judge them based on our knowledge, our morals, and our beliefs.  We might think we’re smarter, but I’ll tell you, sometimes we are.

I think I’ve been using the phrase “they deserve to be shot” more often these days.  Shujie really likes it here (she loves the teaching), while I wouldn’t cry if I left tomorrow.  I know the grass always looks greener on the other side, but I’d be willing to take the plunge.

I mentioned this moron Australian teacher last week.  Just when you think someone couldn’t be more stupid, he comes through again.  Many Chinese students due to immaturity and how their parents and their teachers have babied them don’t really contribute in class.  It’s annoying when no one answers simple questions.  My 3rd year students think they are so smart but so many of them can’t talk.  However, that’s their problem.  I don’t have time to spend hours and hours trying to get everyone to talk.  Looking at their ages they are adults.  Looking at their maturity they are kids.  I would say they fall somewhere below a 16-year old Western teenager.

When I see this Austrailian moron I cross the street.  If I see him enter the building I wait 5 minutes so I don’t have to share an elevator with him.  I was brought up with good manners and if I really said how I felt I ‘d say something like, “shutup you stupid ignorant piece of shit and why don’t you just drop dead on the floor right now and do EVERYONE a favour”.  Words to that effect anyways.  I choose to annoy him.  However, sometimes he’s on the elevator as I’m going down.  His piece of all knowing wisdom from last week was his “can’t fail” way to get all students to talk.

You find the “top dog” in class.  The “top dog” is the one with the most money.  If you can get them to talk, all the other students will talk.  I’ve mentioned that to a couple of people (both students and teachers) and they’re not sure if I’m joking.  They can’t believe anyone could say such a stupid thing.  Not all teachers are great or even good, but some are even dangerous.  He falls into that category.

A teacher we get along with was judging an English contest with him and he kept saying to the girls, “what’s your boyfriends name”.  You don’t say this to Chinese girls unless you know the girl and have a friendly relationship with them.  What he is doing is humiliating them and making them feel stupid.  The other judge told him to stop it, but of course Mr. Idiot ignored her and carried on.  I really wish one of the students would report him because that might earn him a 1-way ticket out of here.  Not all teachers are great or even good, but I honestly believe for all the crap the administration feeds you here, they don’t really care.

These kids (young adults) are so irresponsible.  I had a minor blow up with one of my classes last week.  They wouldn’t answer my questions and when I asked them if they were simple enough, they said yes but that they’d already answered them or they didn’t know which words to use, which wasn’t true.  I sometimes feel like they are pulling my chain.  Near the end of the class I either told them (I can’t remember) that they were too stupid to be around or I was just sick of them, and I walked out.

I have 10 classes and this is the only class that really annoys me.  I had one student yesterday send me an email yesterday complain about what I wrote on her essay she handed in to me a month ago.  I told her I didn’t even remember it and if she has an issue with something I wrote, she should bring the essay to me within 1 week and discuss it with me.  I’m screwed here.  I don’t babysit them, so I’m not the best teacher.

My 3rd year classes (and I teach culture to all of them) told me the book was stupid and too easy so I changed what I taught but told them they had to read the book.  I would assign something every week and at the beginning of class I would ask if everyone did the reading.  Of course they all say yes.  Now I know they don’t.  I asked one student who admitted that she didn’t do the reading and I asked her why, and she told me it was because I never checked it.  Is that mature?  I think not.

This week they are getting a surprise test on the book.  I am guessing the average mark will be 15%.  Why am I doing this?  One reason is to humiliate them.  Another reason is to show them that although I am a nice guy, there are limits.  And the 3rd reason is to try and get it into their thick skulls that they are not as smart as they think they are.

Now the 15% score might be difficult since I have 6 3rd-year classes and I want the test to be a surprise to all classes.  Every class will be told to not tell anyone.  If I find out that one student has “spilled the beans” and that will be easy to see, then  the students in the classes who had the test before that one class will get a zero.  Every student.  This is a collectivist culture and everyone is responsible for the group.  So I don’t have to find the culprit, I just have to use Chinese culture.

Do I think this will improve them as students, improve their work habits, and mature them?  I don’t it.  I just don’t know them well enough to care about them.  There are a few students I respect and enjoy and their marks will reflect that.    I can’t fail everyone and if you fail someone, that means they get a make-up exam which is crap to me.  I think in the West if you are caught copying from another source there is a chance that you may be sent home.  Not here.  You just get a zero for that one paper.  This isn’t a school.  These people wouldn’t know a school if it hit them in the face.

I could live with it last year since no one pretending they had a good school.  Here it’s pretentious and full of crap.  When I wrote to “my boss” about my problem with that one class (suggesting they should all be shot), but I got no reply.  It’s hard to care when no one else does.  I do care but the amount I care for seems to drop every week.  And if I’m not invited back next year, that’s fine with me.  Would another school be better?  Who knows?  All I know is that my job search includes finding a position for Shujie.  It’s a real conundrum.  If I’m nice, they take advantage.  If I’m not nice I’m too strict and a bad person.  Yes, I admit it.  Although there are moments of pleasure to be had, overall coming here (except for Shujie’s job) was a bad choice.  But I’m learning and I’ll be better prepared with the questions I ask next year.

I don’t care what anyone says, I was happier last year.  I thought English majors would make everything better, but I was wrong.  Maybe if I taught at Beijing University it would be better, but they’re not hiring me.

I’ve offered to make myself available to 300 students to just chat, and right now I have had one offer of “maybe”.  Are they too busy?  I don’t think so.  Do they dislike me?  I don’t think so.  I just think they are lazy and stupid.

They all say they want to learn culture but their best way is to communicate with the foreign teachers outside of class, but they don’t.  They should come to my Wednesday night movies and about 35 of them do.  They are just so full of it.

No, I’m not in a bad mood.  Things are what they are, and this is what they are.  I’m not throwing in the towel yet.  I think if I was honest to my marking scheme about 85% of my students would fail.  And they would be failing for not opening their mouths in class and contributing.  It is so easy to do well in my class but they are just too damn stupid to catch on.  I tell them every week but they don’t listen.

So next week I give them a simple math lesson on how they are mostly on the road to failure, and to show them they should read the homework.  Am I doing this to be vindictive?  Probably a little.  But that’s not my problem.  They are here to work.  I work so they should work.

I wonder what I will end up with next semester.  I hope I get some freshman classes since they seem to be the most enthusiastic   They get jaded after the 1st year.

I belong to Netflix and I’ve watched about 150 episodes of “Law and Order”.  I have less than 2 seasons to go.  They only have the first 8 seasons so I guess I’m lucky they don’t have the next 12.

Hulu Plus (which I also have) is a bit of joke.  Commercials, commercials, commercials.  I pay for this service and it’s no better than watching TV with commercial interruptions.  I would think if you pay, you shouldn’t get commercials but they say they do this to keep the costs down.  I’d pay an extra 2 bucks a month to do away with them.  But no one is going to listen to me.

So here I am, enjoying my life in paradise.  There is always next week and things can always get better.  A nuclear bomb can fall on this place, you never know.  But regardless of how I sound, I remain optimistic.  It can’t really be this stupid, can it?

 

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