i don't want a job


today, steven, probably the only chinese student at watsonville high school, didn't complete his worksheet to interview for a college, job, or housing. the tit (teacher in training), told me to help him out, since i "connected with him better." i helped him answer the questions by using his chinese to english dictionary. after he completed all the questions, i told him it was time for his interview. "intah-vue?" "yes, you're going to answer his questions so you can get a job." he looked worried. "i don't want a job." i laughed a little and told him that it was pretend, that he wasn't really going to get a job. "pwe-tan?" i type in the translation, and he nods. he miraculously gets through all three interviews before class finishes, and i feel like i've finally helped somebody do something.

earlier, in mr. cramer's class, i led a small group of students (7 of them) to the library because they hadn't completed their global warming essays, which was assigned two weeks ago. brenda and jessica, the two girls in the group, hadn't began at all, so i told them to do some research. they opened up the internet and typed "global warming" into the address bar. they were surprised when a blank page appeared. "no, you have to go to google.com first," i told them. jessica typed "google" and nothing happened. i stepped in and finished her .com for her.

at one point, another assistant, ms. juarez, came into the library looking for mr. rhodes. "i haven't seen him," i told her. "i'm working with another class." i could sense all the boys gawking at her, and when she left, they confirmed my suspicion. "dang, james. your girlfriend or what?" sergio asked. "no, she's not my girlfriend." they ignored my denial, and continued to go on about how "good" she was. "daaaang. she was goooood," christian said. when they finally got cracking on their essays, the majority of the boys completed two, maybe three sentences. christian surprised the hell out of me and typed two full paragraphs and inserted an image into his document.

it makes me wonder how often the students here are just "pwe-tanding" they don't know what's going on.

1 comment:

ultrafknbd said...

So I'm at a playdate talking with some parents and high school comes up: where you went, how'dya like, and what-not. I try to be polite and say that it was acceptable rather than say that I didn't care for the authoritative oppressive religiosity of it all whilst I idled through. There's part of me that understands that an informed intellectual proletariat is where it's at but the method can't be too uniform or rigid, a.k.a. your typical school. Of course, it has to be there at home more so. Then again, until intellectualism is valued for merely itself and not as some means for commodification the same train will just keep chugging along. Luckily, there's room for plenty of vagabonds to jump aboard and teach its value.