Seriously, when will this end?
I have been experiencing a phenomenon wherein students in my classes are bleeding from the gums due to to poor hygiene. And it keeps on happening.
But a quick aside
There is one colleague I actually properly like at work (I get along with another, but we are too different for me to see her as anything but a work acquaintance). That would be my boss. We see eye to eye on many things, most notably the fact that we are both merely there to collect paychecks. When we disagree we can have proper and interesting discussions about things, something which is impossible with my other colleagues who are all either vapid, stupid, or uninterested. She often likes to give me worldly wisdom about things, despite my having more years experience at this job and being older and more well traveled than she is. She is also often wrong about many things, but I just go on and let her continue to be wrong about things. But most importantly, we enjoy sharing our gripes about work with each other.
And because of this last point I had told this colleague about those occasions where students with poor hygiene literally started bleeding from the gums during class. She decided to give me another dose of her inept, worldly wisdom. She felt I should address this in class as it happened. She felt that I should be as theatrical as possible in doing it.
To be specific, this phenomenon was occurring during my face to face classes, small classes of no more than 4 students which, due to the fact that I worked at a shit school in the middle of a terrible Chinese suburb, were often empty. In these classes, I was often close enough to the student to see their bloody grin. But thankfully, the classes were often just of one student, so my boss’ strategy actually made sense. I wouldn’t be embarrassing the student too much more than what they deserved for not having basic fucking hygienic standards. It kind of seemed like a good plan.
And then it occurred again. Pretty much as predicted; a class was booked with one student. I had had this student before on many occasions. He went by Tim and was a fucking moron, the kind who comes to classes and refuses to participate, expecting to learn English via fucking osmosis or something. What I hadn’t known. or at least failed to have noticed, was that he was a moron who didn’t brush his teeth. So twenty minutes into an arduous class in which I am doing the lion’s share of the talking, I crack wise and he gives me a big, toothy grin which is highlighted with a streak of blood trickling from gum to tongue.
I thought that the gods must love me. With any luck this would be a quick break from this boring, boring class. If I was theatrical enough, I could perhaps kill five minutes.
“Hey, are you ok?” I asked with all the artificial concern I could muster (and after five years in EFL, this is a lot). “You seem to have blood in your mouth” I added, as if I had no idea how such a thing could occur.
“Don’t worry about it.” He said, deadpan.
And that was it. He didn’t care.
I continued the lesson, but five min later he spoke again, and this time with even more blood in his mouth. I brought up the issue again.
“It’s ok” he said.
No! It isn’t fucking OK!