18:41 Friday 10th August 2018

I keep well stocked with chewing gum.

It's an effective supplement to teeth brushing, it's a substitute for eating when you're not actually hungry but feel like chewing and tasting something, and it's probably good for breath too.

A week after I arrived, suddenly the girls were chewing gum too. Quite a lot of it - some of it they asked for and received from me. But my stocks dwindled faster than I expected. And one girl - the one who asked the most often - was always late for lessons, as though she always had somewhere to be in the 15 minutes between my leaving my room, and finishing setting up the whiteboard and screen.

Yes. She's smart enough to work out when I'm not in my room. And stupid enough to leave the wrappers lying around. Three unopened packets mysteriously turning into empty wrappers.

A few other things have gone missing and turned up in strange places - cups, cutlery, electrical adaptors, a towel. This is the girl who bursts into outraged tears when stuck in a cramped car, panics and starts hammering the doors when the elevator halts between floors for 30 seconds, and thinks the best way to stop the world inconveniencing her is to shout a single sentence at steadily increasing volume for ten minutes solid.

So, kind of crafty, but unable to recognise or adapt a losing strategy, unable to think things through. And hasn't learned a single thing in class for six weeks.

Probably the best thing for me to do is hide the gum, ignore her attitude, and leave life to teach her a few hard lessons - except she'll refuse to learn them, as a matter of pride.

Her father advises me to "treat her like the wall". And <i>he's</i> the one who calls <i>me</i> wise.

I can only promise to hide the gum.

1 comment:

  1. Some lessons are best learned the hard way, especially for hard headed kids!