Tuesday, February 02, 2010

sweet and sour

I show up for my Karate Internship right on time but he's already gotten started, I walk in and see a bunch of boys, a few girls, and M. Karate Guy looks at me and says I brought her this time, just like that, no warmth and sort of defensive maybe. I look at the clock and inwardly groan. I wonder why Karate Guy is hating already and then I figure I can't really blame him.

I'll help I say and he says okay and points over at a group of boys. Keep them in line he says. So I walk over to the little dudes, boys I think are maybe in the range of 9-12 years old. They are off the hook, karate chopping each other and being generally unruly. I stand between them and give them a look. Dudes, I say. I'm watching you.

They don't seem to care and keep on being little shits so I stand between them and tell one of them to go sit against the wall. The rest of them look at me askance. I'm not messing around I say and one of them sticks out his tongue at me.

I decide boys between the ages of 9-12 can be little fuckers. The only experience I have with kids of multiple ages is from my work, and kids at the shelter could be little creeps too but I suppose I cut them some slack. These kids have it pretty good, being housed and all so I figure there's no going easy. I break up two more going at it and make one of them hold my hand.

That pretty much did it, if a girl wants to completely freak out boys between the ages of 9-12 I suppose you make them hold your hand. So it's working long enough for Karate Guy to get started, he's paying extra attention to M and I can't tell if he's making a point or just being cool because she's the smallest one there. So I figure since I'm here I might as well learn something, I do some of the exercises and frequently position myself between my boy posse breaking up random acts of dumbassery. He puts them through a few paces and things are going well until one of the boys calls another one fat and all heck breaks loose. The kid who was being teased gets really upset and to be honest, the kid who was calling names wasn't super slim himself but whatever, I grab that dude's hand and he shuts his mouth. I do all the regular things one does with the other kid when one's feelings are hurt and he's not really having much of it but did start laughing when I took the other dude's hand so I think we are okay.

It's nearing towards the end and Karate Guy asks me to be a "shark" so the kids can be "fish" or something like that, I don't really know what the hell he's talking about but it involves tagging them as they try and run past me which I can do pretty well but some of these kids are also pretty fast, so maybe they should be called "eels" but whatever.

So the class ends and Karate Guy tells the class that this week was much better than last week and I'm of course thinking it's because he had back up, the hand holding kind of back up and he turns to me and says thanks and asks if I can come again next week. Only if there's beer after I say and I think he takes me serious and you know, maybe I am because as I said before boys between the ages of 9-12 can be little fuckers, but they are also pretty cute and so I tell him I'll come next week. He looks at me and says you know, I didn't realize M was so upset last week, the teachers told me she was crying and I thought about punching him in the arm just because he's being kind of dorky but then he leans down and talks to M and apologizes directly and tells her how good she did and that she has real promise and I don't know that I believe him but I lost the urge anyways because he's really a very nice guy doing something nice for these kids and if I were him I'd want as few kids in the class as possible too.



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13 comments:

flutter said...

oh, man. I don't know how teachers do it

Cold Spaghetti said...

I'm reading this and Will comes and looks over my shoulder. "One.... plus... two.... IS THREE" he says.

--

How cool that M is into Karate. And that you are learning, too. Remember that time I learned Karate and Mom came and became the classroom helper? She'll say years from now...

slow panic said...

yeah, boys between the ages of 9 - 12 can be a pain in the ass. there is no doubt. love how you go them under control. if you can get pass the dumbassery they can also be awesome.....

krista said...

when i was in college, there was a point in time when i was headed towards being a public school teacher. i did my student hours at a junior high school and changed my mind.
i wish you peace and control. the two best things i can think of to wish you when dealing with pubescent boys.
oy.

Kyla said...

Boys 9-12...it starts at the end of 7, which is where BubTar is now. He's the best kid in the world, but he's becoming more of a mini-teenager each and every day. Parenting is a trip.

Denguy said...

I think it's funny how you settled those misbehavin' little boys with love.

Heidi said...

I love your methods and yes, I agree they are little fuckers. My niece did karate and she still remembers it 10 years later.

bourbonmama said...

that is such a sweet story. i would've still punched him in the arm, because i'm a dork. and, yes little boys 9-12 are little fuckers. i'm so not looking forward to having my own in a few years!

Wayfarer Scientista said...

methinks he's hitting on you.

painted maypole said...

controlling boys is a mystery to me. holding their hand may be my new secret weapon.

see, I learned something from you helping with Karate.

發燙 said...

喜樂的心是健康良藥,憂傷的靈使骨枯乾。........................................

jennifer said...

Hi Jen-
I read your posts all the time. Just wanted to say hi after a long time no see.

Jennifer

Z said...

I used to threaten to hold the hand of 8 or 9 year old boys when I helped at the village school Brought them into line, I never had to do it. Now I help at the high school, I'd not do it. Teenagers could accuse me of sexual harrassment and I could be prosecuted. At the least, I'd never live it down.