19 Oct

Tense days

Eileen’s started her teaching, so things are a little tense. She’s actually not having the quasi-nervous breakdowns she was having during the practice teaching, but it also doesn’t sound like she’s been as happy with her classes. Her morning one (7-9) is looking good, and it’s my prediction that she’ll be pretty happy with that one. The afternoon one (2-4) is a little smaller (six students, maybe) and the students are younger and a little more apathetic. I’ll let her tell the stories to come, but there’s an update.

As for my classes, all’s going well. My night class is turning out to be a lot of fun. There’s one woman who is clearly bored because she’s so far ahead of everyone, but she’s really the only one. Everyone else is pretty enthusiastic, and a really good class dynamic is developing.

My morning class, which is made up of 15 policemen and five “civilians,” as I’ve taken to calling them, hit a rough spot yesterday. I passed back tests and made a show of reiterating the no cheating policy. I caught five of them doing some minor cheating. Two of them in particular were pretty upset with me. And so the whole class yesterday was a little tense. They kept saying “no quality,” which I took to mean, “how can you say we cheated; our tests aren’t even the same?” But no matter how many times I said, “I caught you talking during the test when you thought my back was turned,” they maintained their innocence. It was an odd situation: the occasional smart-assed “no copie” would erupt from one of their mouths as I was copying questions to the white board or some such thing, but they didn’t tune out entirely. They pretty much kept actively participating during the class. I didn’t know what to make of it; I felt like some of my power was sapped because I couldn’t ream them out in English or Spanish like I can do with smart-assed Madison teenagers who justly deserve my wrath.

Anyhow, one of them actually came up after class, shook my hand and said “I’m sorry.” But then this morning, at the 7:30 start time, the two complaining cheaters weren’t there. The nice one showed up at 8:00, out of breath and clearly running late. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

In the meantime, I looked at two new gyms yesterday and today. Both of them were closed for good.

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