douchebaggery, it's not funny when it's me!, Tardsie's True-Ass Tales, teachers, when a boy becomes a man
I taught at an after-school clinic in Southern California for a while after I graduated college. The pay blew ass, but to this day it remains the job I have most enjoyed doing, and in which I believe I did the most good. I taught reading and college-prep writing.
I tended to get the hardcases, for whom I had some affection–kids, like twelve-year-old Eddie Jong, who were too damn smart for their own good. Eddie was considered a particularly onerous student because of his inappropriate and razor-keen tongue. I didn’t mind working with Eddie, though, which was fortunate, because nobody else wanted to.
Being just a little bit lippy myself, I had a knack for taming smartmouths, and mostly I was able to keep Eddie reined in. But in a dastardly move that regular readers of the True-Ass Tales might see as some sort of karmic justice, there was one time when, in front of at least fifteen other teachers and students, Eddie got me good.
The thing which transpired couldn’t have been something he’d planned. He was simply a panther crouched in the tall grass alongside a watering-hole, and I the hobbled emu foolish enough to drink.
“I hate teachers,” he said one day. He said that a lot.
I sighed. “Yeah, Eddie–well let me tell you something, we just love you.” I was undone almost before I had finished the words.
The little bastard’s eyes widened in ersatz horror as he backed away from the table. “Did you hear that everybody? Tardsie said he loved me. HE’S A FUCKING PERVERT!”
It took almost a minute for the other teachers to get their students refocused, a task made more difficult by their own snickering. In the meantime, I dragged Eddie up to the front desk, and told the attendant that I was docking an insane amount of points (the kids could earn toys and prizes–some of which were actually pretty cool–based on their points, which obviously, meant a great deal) for not only his improper and disruptive behavior but for his disgusting potty-mouthery as well.
It was the right thing to do, and when I next saw Eddie, he was suitably chastened–temporarily anyway. Although we would do battle many more times while I worked there, I was careful never again to let that crafty little turd score a knockout blow. I like to think, however, that I was in some way responsible for the maturation of Eddie’s devastating wit. The hardest thing about it was never being able to tell that smart-mouthed little shit how very proud he made me.
It’s good that happened before the days of You Tube, or some other kid might have recorded the incident and put it on You Tube, where the whole world would’ve branded Tardsie a pervert. Maybe somebody would have even done an autotuned remix of it. Now that would be special.
You’re not kidding–and I think of that from time to time. There are a number of variables that, if just slightly skewed, could have turned this into “Tardsie’s True-Ass Tales: The Time A False Accusation Ruined My Job Prospects In Perpetuity.” But fortunately, easy social media was just in its fledgling state back in those dark days. It’s also fortunate that Eddie wasn’t a bad (I mean really bad, as opposed to poorly behaved) kid. But I think the biggest factor was the place I worked. It was pretty laid-back, and the primary clientele was first-generation Asian American kids. Those parents were hardcore: “Okay, so he molest you–you still getting straight ‘A’s!”
That made me laugh. Even though it probably shouldn’t have…
Heartwarming… Hopefully now he knows 😉
Thanks, ARQ–it would certainly be nice to think so!
Great, great story! I was a school bus driver and everyone hated the middle school kids, except for me. Quite the challenging little neanderthals. Lucky for me, I’m ME, and I knew how to get to them. I used the “he who talks first, loses” routine, and so many other effective manipulations that they actually learned to love me. It was a helluva ride. 😀 When I was ready to leave, they were all pissed. SCORE!
Awesome! There’s this idea that kids don’t like setting boundaries, and I don’t think that’s true at all. You’ve just gotta play their game–if you can.
Oh, can I !!!! And love most every minute of it, as did they! 😀
Like some perverts, I also love hating to love smartmouths even though sometimes, they do get the better of me.
There is a place for these misunderstood punching-bags.
I really like you Smak……I can’t imagine you being just a lil bit lippy…I bet you were a WHOLE lotta lippy…..
Yes, and I had more than a few fat lips to prove it!
I enjoy the middle school set myself- since I learned so much about their behavior when I was in middle school, being beaten up and dumped into trash cans head first.
When my son was going through catechism to get confirmed (yeah, we Lutherans like to torture ourselves by putting middle school kids through three years of weekly religious education surrounded by their peers) I volunteered to facilitate one of the groups.
I got 8th grade boys. They were a hoot. Especially Thomas, who when it came time for the boys to choose their confirmation verses, had made a list of every verse in the NIV Bible that has the word “prostitute” in it. “Prostitute” appears 87 times in the NIV Bible for anyone who really needs to know.
Thomas’ mother was quite the prude and would not have seen the humor, so I reminded Thomas and the other boys that part of the confirmation service includes each student reading his/her verse aloud in front of the congregation, including Thomas’ mother.
Needless to say, Thomas (who had a healthy fear of the wrath of Mommy) found another, less controversial verse.
Poor Doubting Thomas–at least he had a cool catechism teacher. I feel bad for kids whose parents are so restrictive. A lot of times the boys end up really fucked-up and the girls…well, I can’t say nobody benefits from girls with super-restrictive parents, but when they get to college, the benefit accrues to college boys.
I was raised Catholic (and can tell a few horror stories there) and in the conservative Catholic tradition, sex is portrayed as The Ultimate Mortal Sin (actually Catholics observe quite a few Mortal Sins, including self-abuse, and eating meat on Friday during Lent.) I’m not God, but I am a realist. From a theological point of view- we’re all sinners- and no one sin is technically “worse” than any other. And like anything else, sex is a gift from God, but one that has a time and place and certain parameters. Jerry Sandusky apparently found that out the hard way.
From a theological standpoint (according to the Apostle James) if you break one of the rules, you’ve broken them all. So why demonize sex in particular? It makes people repressed and weird and more likely to be perverts. Why not teach it as it is, and how the Bible portrays it- as a part of life that is ideally reserved for one’s spouse? (or at least not for old men to pursue with underage boys, etc.) I think that group of boys is going to be OK (they are all my son’s age now) and more importantly, I think they got a religious education that will help them seek God and cultivate a relationship with God, which is what it’s all about.
And let’s all hope that Thomas has shown some discretion in his behavior with repressed young female co-eds. 🙂
Well, I think much of the demonization of sex has more to do with societal factors than religious ones. Attendant with sex is pregnancy, disease, etc. If left to our own devices, men will fuck anything that moves. A completely unstructured society would feature a number of gonorrhea-infected bastards.
Not to mention a whole lot of gonorrhea-infected bastards riding the fast track to HELL! 🙂 One of Mom’s favorite sayings is “The pecker leads the way on the path to perdition.” Perhaps Mom is right on this one?
And thus the Chinese invasion began.
Ha ha! For sure, Eddie was a “sleeper.”
I’m pretty sure that if I was in that situation, I would have tossed Eddie in to a blender made entirely out of tigers.
Based on that answer, I’m starting to think you’re Eddie. Or the Canadian version…Caneddie.
Pshh, I can take Eddie. I’m a much bigger smart-ass than Eddie.