Vomiting Blood and The Fun Of Teaching

Published by alvinauh on

There is never a dull day in teaching. Of course, ‘never a dull day’ has a rather broad definition. The teachers whom I train would replace these exciting times of teaching with the expression, ‘vomit blood’. To give a better illustration of such fun times, I will be talking about two stories that best illustrate this.

However, before that let’s give you a bit of a background of what vomiting blood means. Of course, this is not meant literally but more of a figurative expression. The term stems from a Chinese expression. Here’s an example of how it is used, “I am going to vomit blood if I have to remind you to do your homework again for the eighth time”. I hope that gives you an idea to the tone of the stories, so let us begin.

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The Cute Innocence

I was tasked with teaching a 9 year old girl on how to write an essay. The story was about how two boys were trying to help a poor old lady. The old lady in the story had tripped and passed out. As such, the story was a simple descriptive essay about the situation.

The 9 year old, lets call her Vicky, decided that the question and the prompts were boring. She then started concocting her own version of the story. Her story was about how the old woman had accidentally soiled her pants. As she was trying to rush to a toilet, she tripped, fell and fainted.

On came two boys who wanted to help the lady. As they could smell the stench coming out of her soiled pants, they were curious and lifted her skirt to see what was going on. As the essay got a bit ‘interesting’, involving more skirt lifting and poop splatting, I stopped her.

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I explained that what she wrote was rather inappropriate. I suggested that she wrote something more related to the prompt. She stared at me and said, “but I thought essays were supposed to be interesting?” I kept a straight face, but I felt like vomiting blood. I was exasperated but had to explain to her about the difference between being practical, believable, logical and acceptable.

It is taking a while, but I hope one day, the stories involving poop would eventually stop.

Empty Threats

A student of mine had quite the potty mouth. He would swear at every opportunity he gets. I have to say that I was impressed that he was able to swear once every three words. Swear words were used as a compliment, an expression of anger and even a request.

It was not long before I thought that this had to stop. I spoke to him personally and told him that it had to stop. He agreed that it was a bad habit and that it had to change. However, this continued on without any end in sight. I finally threatened him. If he would not stop, I will tell his mother.

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The student said that I would not F$%^&ing dare. Even if I dared, he claimed, no one would F@$%^ing believe me. I nodded and pulled out a video of him swearing to his friend earlier. The video was taken while he was too busy swearing. I showed him and sent it to his mother.

The swearing has since reduced. I did find out that his habit stems from his parents’ habit of swearing as well. I have been advising him on this. Hopefully, he would one day be able to string a sentence without a swear word in it.


Despite all this, it has been fun working with them. Even if I felt like vomiting blood at times, figuratively, these students do make my days interesting. Sometimes, a bit too interesting.