Warning, gross things happen in this post. Not for the faint of heart or those eating lunch.
Gather round ye ladies and gents for a classic tale of teaching English in China. All was well with each of the 49 students in class #14 at #6 Middle school, and English they were learning until the worst thing ever happened.
I was teaching about how to ask yes or no questions in the past tense, when suddenly the students started pointing and gasping. Finally, one brave soul stood and ran to the back of the classroom to tell their Chinese teacher that something had happened. I kept on teaching, not really sure what was going on, but then the Chinese teacher looked up at me with a frown on her face as she walked toward a student in the front row.
( I should clarify that I walk a lot when I teach, and I was nowhere near the front of the classroom, so it is therefore plausible that I did not witness this particular event.)
I slowly watched the teacher pat the girl on the back a few times and then hand her a tissue from her pocket. Other students were passing forward their little packages of tissue as well, and I began walking to the front to see what all the hullabaloo was about. This was my first mistake. I should have stayed away, for this young lass had, rather quietly, vomited all over her desk.
Not on the floor, or anywhere near a trash can, but right there on the top of her desk. I know.
So the teacher pats her back one more time, whispers something to her, and I assumed that she was going to take her away and get someone to clean up the mess. Oh no my friend, instead the teacher walks away and goes and sits in the back of the classroom where she was sitting before. The poor girl is mopping up the former contents of her stomach with crappy tissues, and I am just staring. I realized pretty quick that the rest of the class was staring at me as if they are waiting for something, and I figured out that they want me to keep teaching.
So I did. I didn’t know what else to do.
For the remaining twenty-three minutes of class this girl sits in the front row looking like she is going to pass out, vomit just sitting there, and the class ignoring it except for the few seconds that they might accidentally look at it because it is on the front row.
I found out after class that the other students were calling her Chicken Soup the rest of the morning.
I don’t really know if this is a normal thing for Chinese schools, but all I can say is that it did happen. I told you it was gross.
Thanks for reading,