Tuesday, 29 June 2004


I've made quite a few children cry in my six months of teaching, but today I had the honour getting my first child to bleed.

It was Ocean, the second youngest class in the school, of 4 and 5 year olds. On Tuesdays I take them, all 7 of them, to gym class. Although a lovely class, they seem to spend 50% of their time fighting, crying and saying "I'm sorry" or "Mi-an-hae" so I have to be careful what games I play because half of then descend quickly into three kids crying and the other four crowded round them apologising. Always over absolutely nothing, of course. Fights, by the way, are never actually proper fighting (which I'd actively encourage for entertainment value) but are just one kid putting their head in their hands and making a show of being in a huff.

Anyway, today I devised this game where they run in a circle to music, and when the music stops they have to pick up a small piece of red lego from somewhere around the room, and the child that doesn't have a piece of lego is out. Lego is small enough so that two kids won't be holding it and having the inevitable fight and cry. The reason I was keen on this game was because it meant I could play my own music, and so I had seven little Korean children running about excitedly to Felix Da Housecat's Bugged Out mix. This an admittedly average mix by one of house music's premier DJs. Fortunately my kids aren't too critical over their techno mixes quite yet, so were delighted to run about in circles.

The game was very successful and virtually without fights, until a moment of excitement caused a collision between Mikey and Eric, leaving Eric the worse off. He's prone to nosebleeds I think, and it was pouring away, mixing with his little infant tears. Shock reverberated throughout the rest of the class and Jerry ran away to get Cathy-teacher, who put Eric on the sofa. Every child who is sick gets to sit on the sofa, which magically cures all.

A dog, you may or may not know, can chase sheep innocently and all is ok. But when the dog finally attacks a sheep and draws blood, then things are never the same again. With the taste of blood the dog is taken back to its primeval roots and becomes savage around sheep in future, so must be destroyed or removed from sheep vicinity. Well, I've compared myself to a dog in the past, and again the comparison returns. For six months I've been teaching children, helping them, trying to better their lives.

But today I got my first taste of blood.

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