Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Kids at Saba Saba are real kind souls.  They have low grades and low expectations on life, but most are angels.  On one of my first weeks, Yasin constantly skipped my class.  In fact, he skipped many many classes. In response to his claim that he wants to be a police officer, I asked a rhetorical question: do you think the head of the police is a dumb shit?  His change in attitude since then has been rather impressive.

Yesterday, I was about to proctor an exam, but once the students were seated, four didn't have seats.  It turns out they were the perennial skippers, and thus, had no chair nor table.  Bartazaly, unfortunately, had to join these students because Francesca only had a table, and Bartazaly only had a chair, and I asked him to be a gentleman and offer Francesca the chair.  As I was trying to figure out what to do with the seatless students, I eventually asked the help of Madam Mambo.  She is a keen enforcer of discipline, and manages to whip the students with vigor that comes from her rather large body and despite the flashy, lacy, tailor made dresses she wears.  She saw these students, and scolded them for being terrible students, and told them to take the exam on the floor.  A rather simple solution, I thought, but Bartazaly was obviously upset for being wrongfully accused, and all of this happened because of Mr. Kim who speaks like a five year old!  Bartazaly eventually got his chair back and the exam commenced.  I felt bad for Bartazaly, so I went over to him, fixed his collar, and gave him a pat on the back and a little squeeze on the shoulder just to feel a little less guilty.  As I was walking away, he called me, and handed me my small bag that holds a my blackboard eraser and a couple of chalks.

I was a bit upset that he stole my stuff, but was more shocked at the promptness of its return.  Bartazaly is a good egg.

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