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Auxiliar biz


Today I was walking to one of my classes with a colleague at the high school. As we moved toward the staircase, a boy—about 12 years old—was walking down the stairs directly toward us. He cocked his head to the left in that telltale way and spit. People spit all the time here (mostly men), but usually outdoors. Usually.

“Wow,” I said aloud, in English. “Real nice.” I said this dryly and sarcastically, in the same way that my dad would always reprimand me for using language that he thought sounded ugly coming out of his daughter’s mouth. It rarely matters what I say aloud at work, since 98 percent of people don’t understand me (or don’t make an effort to understand me). My colleague—a Spaniard—responded more strongly than I did. She confronted the young student, visibly angry.

Eso no se hace,” she told him sternly, narrowing her eyes and using a teacher voice, the kind of voice that would have sent me into a panic if any authority figure used it with me when I was that age. The boy kept walking at his regular pace, looking ahead and saying nothing.

Eso NO se hace,” she repeated more loudly and angrily—loosely translated, “We don’t do that.” She began following him down the hallway.

“Yeah, yeah, I know we don’t do that,” the boy said, refusing to make eye contact. He walked with his back to my colleague as she clicked behind him in her heels. He may as well have said nothing and given her the middle finger.

This says just about all there is to say about how I spend my Monday-through-Thursday mornings.



4 Responses to “Today”

  1. While I haven’t been in the exact situation, this attitude is all too familiar. It just makes me ridiculously grateful that we, for the most part, aren’t held responsible for discipline.

    Posted by Kirstie | March 26, 2012, 2:09 pm
  2. Hmmm this sounds like my life. The other day a teacher ran after some kids who were eating in the corridors, and the kids blatantly ignored her, and wouldn’t stop. So glad we don’t have to deal with that shizzle.

    Posted by lizenespana | March 26, 2012, 2:34 pm
  3. Lovely. I refuse to work in a Spanish high school EVER again.

    I wasn’t held responsible, per se, but they didn’t do anything to help me be heard or listened to when I was there.

    Posted by Kaley [Y Mucho Más] | March 26, 2012, 9:56 pm
  4. It is fitting that I read this on the eve of going back to work after a wonderfully long break.

    I’ve encountered similar disregard for authority in my school as well. Perhaps my favorite instance was the student who asked, “Para que tengo que hacerlo”? when a teacher requested that she open her book to a certain page. We didn’t get very far that day…

    Posted by Cassandra | April 10, 2012, 12:56 pm

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