Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Strange Boy - Dopey-kun

There's a boy in my school is very odd. And when I mean odd, I don't mean geeky, nerdy, or anything like that. By odd, I mean he doesn't talk much, he stares at you like he could kill you, and he mopes along in such a dejected and belligerent way that you wonder if he's running on empty. I can tell there is something seriously wrong with this kid mentally. In class he just slumps in his desk and sleeps. He is now a 3rd grader and for the past two years he has kept this attitude. But his eyes paint the picture of a potential killer. I could easily see this kid going off the deep end and slaughtering one of his classmates.
Teachers have basically given up on him and are waiting for him to graduate as he is considered completely incorrigible. They let him sleep through the entire class without saying a word. Most of his classmates ignore him though I have seen him chatting it up with one or two students. He walks around the hallways during classes, he often goes home early or whenever he feels like it. If he gets scolded he just leaves the school. I suppose odd is really an understatement.

I think he has a bad home life. I was so concerned that I started asking about him to a fellow teacher. That teacher told me the background of this kid, let's call him Dopey-kun. She said Dopey-kun's father is a police officer and he is very hard on his son. She told me that his dad swears at him, berates him and makes him feel really small. I quickly asked if she thought Dopey-kun was being beaten by his father at home. She said she wasn't sure but couldn't rule anything out.

She went on to tell me that Dopey-kun's mom had ran away and he was an only child. That got me to thinking that this kid might have just been dealt a raw deal in life. After hearing all this stuff about Dopey-kun, I kind of felt sorry for him. That is until one day this week when Dopey-kun became far less Dopey and decided to yell at me for seemingly no reason.

I was walking down the hall chatting up students left and right. I normally ask them how they are, what they are doing, where they are going and the like. Sometimes I'll stop and spend a few more minutes talking to students who are eager to communicate with me. Today, I just happened to stop by a group that Dopey-kun had been hanging out with. I started asking lots of questions and it got a bit lively in the discussion.
Well I guess someone had pissed in Dopey-kun's okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)because he was in a raw and extremely bad mood. He started to yell at me and told me in essence to shut my mouth. Well, Big Booger-sensei doesn't ever take any lip from any snot half his age, and I just started talking louder and louder, throwing in a few melodies and whistling and even doing a little dance in the hallway. I guess this really pissed off Dopey-kun because he just took off down the hall pouting all the way back to the classroom.

I normally would never act that immature, but I think that kid needed a real dose of his own medicine. I never am violent with children. I prefer instead to "whip" them with kindness. When I come into contact with a smart mouth or a rude kid, I simply pour on the charm and act very kind to all around that kid. But I typically ignore the troublemaker. This usually solves the issue or causes the troublemaker to skedaddle as it did with Dopey-kun.

1 comment:

Alex Case said...

That's the fabled Japanese education system- anyone who knows they won't get to university can sleep through Junior High School as long as they don't make a fuss...

TEFLtastic blog- www.tefl.net/alexcase