My coteacher is undermining me. This is not Euna, the tiny, terrifying ball of badassery, but someone we will refer to as B. What you need to know about B: he had never taught a day in his life prior to mid-March, nor does he speak English. Likes: picking lint off his suit. Dislikes: Me.
I cannot figure out why we were paired together to teach young children English when we can’t even communicate with each other. (I reserve the right to punch the balls off the authority figures responsible.) In our first week of teaching together, I tried a few questions to get him to open up.
Me: So did you always want to be an English teacher?
Me: Ha. Um.
B: <scowling at sidewalk> I have no skills. I am English teacher.
I then tried to decide if this comment was directed at me. He is Korean (thus, incapable of sarcasm or direct insults), so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. However, now that we’re over a month into the semester it is increasingly clear that B’s entire purpose is to undermine my every move and push me toward a psychological break. At first I chocked these incidents up to the language barrier, than to simple stupidity. But the trouble is too persistent…his attitude too sinister…he is here to destroy me.
Exhibit A: B’s duty in the classroom when I teach is pretty simple: man the computer and the CD. Click the fucking mouse, it’s not hard. Only it is, because he managed to SCREW THE CDS UP so they were unusable for the first three weeks of school, thus quadrupling my work load, since it’s hard to keep the attention of a room of 30 3rd graders without cartoons and loud noises.
Exhibit B: He screws up the math of all my games, causing student riots . This happens everyday. I’m talking simple math. Like, no more than X + 5. He will arbitrarily start John Nash-ing on the board. Students get hysterical. Class is delayed ten minutes while I quell the madness and he shrugs in feigned confusion before I pry the eraser from his cold hand and fix the problem myself.
Exhibit C: I am at the mercy of his translation skills when I need to communicate to other teachers. I recognized the danger of this from the beginning, so I’ve done everything in my power NOT to let a situation in class escalate to a point where I need to speak to a homeroom teacher. But it was inevitable that a day would come where I couldn’t avoid this. That day was Monday. Infuriated beyond reason at the horrible behavior of one class, with B standing in the corner unable to recognize human emotion, I finally told him to come with me to find their teacher. He followed. I asked him to relay the situation verbally to the anxious teacher before us, thinking that because he had witnessed the entire event he would be able to communicate the problem. He didn’t say anything. So:
Me: (in English) BLAH blah blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH. BLAHBlahblah blah blah. BLAH. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Blah. Blahblah blah.
B: (in Korean) blah blaah…
Now, I’m no linguist, but I know enough Korean to understand that it is a rare phrase that has fewer syllables in this language than in English. He even went so far as to smile apologetically at the homeroom teacher. Throw in a wink and a nudge next time, you magnificent douche. The nerve.
Exhibit D: He sleeps constantly. It’s not narcolepsy – he can manage to stand up for 40 straight minutes without dozing. But if he’s not in class, he’s sacked out on the office couch. Or passed out on his desk. Weirded out (and yes a little bored and creepy), I decided to note the times he napped. Megan confirmed that it was seriously unusual behavior. My best guess is that he sacrifices his nights on new, torturous ways to be completely useless and inhuman.
As I see it there are two explanations for this: either he’s just an extraordinary fool or some kind of Terminator here to kill me. Outlook bleak. Let us take comfort in good music and the best collections of fake mustaches the world has ever seen: