“Sometimes Jokes Backfire…and you Have to Teach Health Class?!?”
Now listen up.
I am well aware that some of you at time doth not believe all the stories I tell you, or you tend to think there is a little exaggeration involved. This is completely understandable, as that time I met Tia Carrera while playing wiffle ball with the pope totally didn’t happen.
Wifflepopes aside, I need you to understand that what happened to me today sounds like it is out of a bad sitcom…..but it DID happen. In fact, I would like us to look each other in the eyes before we start to get some trust between us. So if you would please, look me in the eyes, we can get started…
…..that is most definitely not my face. That IS most definitely my buttox. I do not know how you managed to get a shot of that…but I would appreciate it if you would stop looking at my butt and look me in the
That’s better. See? Good. Now that we have established some trust, we can start.
Today started like any other day. I woke up at 3 am in order to put some following touches on a farewell speech and continued working on my secret project (80% done). I then popped on a suit and caught a 6:20am train to school.
I then found out the farewell speech was to be given two days from today, and instead was the day I was supposed to play basketball with the 2nd year students.
I played well enough that the students remarked I was “fast” but also remarked, “I thought all Americans could play basketball well but…..” which were code words for, “I thought all Americans could play basketball but….you suck monkey butt.”
So in short…not like any other day. It was a weird enough day already, and I could (and planned) on writing an article up about my basketball performance.
However, that event shadows in comparison t the event that took place from 12:40pm to 1:55pm. We shall cover these events in today’s mysterious article entitled:
“Sometimes Jokes Backfire…and you Have to Teach Health Class?!?”
I was eating lunch with the 2-2 class. As it was ending, the head teacher came up to me with a special request:
“Nick, can I ask you a favor?”
“Sure.” which actually came out as “Unmmpgh” because I had a mouthful of tuna sandwich in my…tunahole?
Hmm…that sounds bad. Where was I? Oh that’s right. The conversation.
“Today we find out where the teachers will be going from next school year.”
I nodded while getting my tuna on.
“And the students will try to break into the class room to find out.”
I laughed a bit and tried not to spit pieces of my sandwich out…as these are definitely the type of kids to do a covert operation like this.
“And I was hoping you could watch my students until 5th period starts.”
I eyebrow raised and gave the super, secret, verbal signal that means I will totally be up for doing that, only understood by a mere fraction of the population.
“Ok!” I said.
“Thanks!” she said and immediately ran out of the class room.
There were 10 minutes left before the start of 5th period. The students had spent their recess time to keep me as busy. They asked me several questions about my new job(a kind of teacher), my personal life(swat to the head with rolled up text book), my reading skills(no, I have never read that prontastic series), my favorite character(Kamina from Gurren Lagann as of late), the head teacher’s age(any number between 20 and 80), whether or not I had gone drinking with her behind her husband’s back(No!), my favorite smells(brown sugar and vanilla), my favorite physically pleasing sensation (scratching an animal behind their ear), whether or not I had used my head to scrub pots and pans (NO!), etc…
However, in the midst of all this, the most popular questions were for requests to use my netbook in order to check to see what teachers would be staying and which would be transferring.
..the same information happening in the meeting downstairs…that they would find out officially tomorrow and unofficially in a couple of minutes if they were patient.
Can I use your computer?
I will massage your shoulders if you do!
I will cut off your hair if you don’t!
No you won’t.
I won’t give you what’s in my right hand!
That’s an old eraser. No.
You are not cool.
You are very cool!
Please computer now?
This rinse and repeated for awhile until I heard the bell ring. It was 12:20pm. The start of 5th period. There was no sign of the teacher.
The students started slowly getting into their seats while getting out their textbooks. Now, I had not started getting worried just yet, as teachers run notoriously late at this school. Late enough that I have sat in for up to 5 minutes getting students ready for subjects that ARE NOT ENGLISH if the teachers are running late enough. Thus I did what I usually do. I looked to see what book the good students had already opened on their desk.
Apparently, it was health. Notebook page 58. Text book page 92. It was time to start.
“Alright guys, get in your seats.”
“Nick? Where is XXXXX teacher?”
“He is not coming today. I am teaching health.”
Now before you give me that, “Nick, you are a moron look.” hear me out. I do this at least five times a week with the same groups of kids. I say that line and within 3 minutes, the actual teacher shows up, they say, “We knew you were lying! American Joke!” and I retire to the teacher’s room to grade papers while quaffing coffee. There was no reason for me to be afraid.
“No he isn’t! XXXX teacher will be coming.” said one of the girls in the back. I made the face I shrugged my shoulders and made the kids get their books out and get ready.
“Nick! Where is XXXX teacher?”
Where was he indeed. We had reached the five minute mark. The news could be taking longer than expected downstairs? Is that it? Maybe he crammed too much tuna in his tuna hole and is now experincing technical difficulties of the bowel kind.
“Can I go to the restroom?”
“BLEEP! Of course Nick would know I was going to go to the teacher’s room! “
As all of the kids marveled at the fact that I was onto their schemes, I marveled at the fact that I had unraveled one of their schemes. I used the standard teaching rule that if a student asks to use the restroom in the first 5 minutes of class, they are clearly up to something. For any students reading this, just ask once minute 9 hits and you are good as gold.
So I poked my head outside into the hallways….to discover that it was all quiet on the western front. Something was up.
“I told you Nick wasn’t teaching us today! He is just waiting for XXXXX to show up!”
Now, this is where I should have said, “Yes, you are right.” but instead what I said was:
“Oh really? Ok. Let’s start class.”
The kids all remarked with shock. Things had never hit this point in our pretessons ( pretend + lessons. Let’s keep up). We were venturing into unknown territory.
“Wait..he actually is going to teach?”
“Really, can he teach health?”
“Of course he can! He’s a teacher.”
“I heard about this! Because it’s his last few days, Mrs. YYYYY said he was going to do extra classes…”
Now my heart skipped a beat upon hearing this muttering…as Mrs. YYYYY was the teacher who asked me to watch her home class….Mrs. YYYYY signed me up to play basketball with her students earlier that day as a surprise. Mrs. YYYYY likes to randomly have me translate stuff into Japanese during her English classes. In short…this is something she might do.
“This is just an English class with health!”
I had managed to take a peek at the book earlier and saw that the topic today was how to treat a sprain. There were several English acronyms I have never seen before (R.I.C.E. = Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and the word ねんざ…which meant sprain. I had managed to burn approximately 5 minutes asking them to figure out what the word was in English and going over the acronyms…things were getting weird.
“I told you! We should get him to call downstairs and make sure that Mr. XXXX hasn’t forgot about out class.”
“No! Nick can teach this! I told you he is supposed to teach this period….”
Am I supposed to teach health class??? Did I forget something? What is going on? What about downstairs? Was the tuna that bad? Are the teachers having an argument about who goes where? Maybe it’s a surprise party for me! Yeah! …wait…how would this be a party…did I misunderstand something? Is there an assembly..is there a…
“Ok! How many of you have had sprains happen to you before.”
The class got quiet. I had asked them a question somewhat outside of the text, in Japanese, and was sitting on the desk like a teacher from a bad inspirational movie.
A few hands went up.
“Ok! What happened to you?” I said while pointing at a girl student.
Her and her friends started laughing. The story was that she had twisted her ankle while playing tennis…her friends said it had happened when she went to retrieve a ball and managed to step on another ball in the process. Given her red face, I assumed it was the latter.
“Did you RICE?” I asked afterwards.
She thought for a minute. “No. I continued playing and wrapped it when I got home.”
It was good to see that the kids were taking this stuff to heart.
Another 5 minutes had gone by and the students were BUYING that I was teaching this class now…although I was only having then tell injury stories and asking them if they RICE-d it afterwards. All of them said no, of course. I was petrified as I had no idea what I was doing, why I was doing it, and how long I would be doing it for….class was more than half over now.
“Nick! Have you ever sprained your ankle?”
Without a beat, I started telling the story of my dislocated-fractured ankle. Not a sprain, mind you, but I knew it would take up time and be somewhat entertaining. I refuse to tell this story here, but I don’t mind showing you a picture of the device upon which I was injured in case you forgot.
The story had gone over better than expected. I however had started to feel bad about wasting time in my class and was having the students give me the answers to their homework..in which I learned several new words that I immediately core dumped. My health class was going off without a hitch and only 20 minutes to spare. Even Mr. DDDDD in the back of class was enjoying it….
wait. Why was there another teacher in the back of class…what?
“Oh! Hi Nick! Good class…good class!”
“….where is Mr. XXXXX?”
“…oh you aren’t teaching the class today?”
“what?” I exclaimed.
“I TOLD you he wasn’t teaching class today!”
The kids all broke into fits of laughter.
“Why were you so serious about it?”
“We told you to call the phone!”
“Don’t worry Nick! Nice Job! Nice Job!”
I sprinted for the teacher’s room.
I burst into the staff room to find Mr. XXXXX sitting at his desk….drinking coffee.
…..whaddya mean yes?
“You are the health teacher…right?”
whaddya mean yes ya lousy…..
“You have a 2-2 class. Now.”
His eyes got as big as pie plates.
He chugged his coffee down, grabbed what appeared to be a random assortment of books and sprinted out the door.
The other teachers asked me what was up…I told them and they all erupted in laughter.
So afterwards Mr. XXXXX came back and apologized so much. Apparently, it had slipped his mind. During cleaning, every 2-2 student made some excuse to come see me and tell me how fun my class was and that they actually thought I was the proper health teacher. I will admit, I felt ridiculously awesome for having pulled it off….and ridiculous for having pulled it off.
So what have we learned from this article?
- Always tell the truth? Maybe.
- Never do favors for teachers after lunch? Uh..possibly?
- That show “The Pretender” totally is a true thing you can do. I guess.
No…what we have learned is that….um……sorry. I am way too sleepy and am going to cop out on this one. You make up your own moral.
Now if you excuse me, I am going to put some tasty peanuts in my tuna hole mouth before going to bed.