Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do……

The last two days have been pretty strange and good at the same time. Yesterday, at my volunteer placement, one of my kids had a fit. He wouldn’t stop screaming and pulling on my shirt. I guess he wanted me to swing with him but I didn’t feel like it . Big mistake, he tried to bite me when I told him no. So, I left.  Working at my placement this week has taken a lot of effort because I sooo ready to get the fuck out of China.  Then last night, I actually got a good night’s sleep because one roommate left(she coughed all night long), the roommate from hell is living in a hotel but keeps all her stuff in the room (an ego thing), and the other roommate is usually out partying. So, I had the place to myself and actually got to sleep fast.

Then this morning I woke up late so I had to cab it to work.  20 minutes late, I get there to play with the kids. The kid that bite me surprised me today. When I went up to him, I could see that he could recognize me. It was one of those moments. We played and he let me push him on the swing.

Now, there is one teacher at this place who is actually no good for this job because she lacks patience and I think she has a lot anger inside of her. I have seen her use excessive physical force on the children when they don’t do what she wants them to do. Of course at first, I was afraid to do anything, and because of lack of communication skills, I couldn’t say much. But the time worn on and I did step up to the plate. The first time we had it out, was when she kept telling one child to hit me and then she would hit the child with a wooden brush. She pushed the child in to the wall and hit her a couple of times.  I just stepped in and pulled them apart. The second time, I saw the woman about to dump a child on concrete because the child had pissed her off about something. I slammed the door open and she got the message. She told me that the child wouldn’t stop crying. I told her that all children cry.  But today took the cake.
 As I’m pushing my child on the swing, I noticed that this child that the evil woman’s friend is working with. The child had pissed all on the floor.  Kid had created a lake with a river going to another lake of piss. So, the woman lost her temper began to put the child in a chock hold and twist his arm to get him to stop crying. I watched to see and to make sure that she didn’t go to far. Then the two of them made the child do wheelbarrow exercises as a form of punishment. The evil woman, standing over the shoulders of the child and pulling his shirt as he cried and screamed and resisted.  She would yank him off the ground, then step on his hand with the heel of her foot if he wouldn’t walk. Finally in full frustration, she took his left arm and twisted against the joints.  I had enough, I went across the room, and grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and pinned her down to the ground and put my knee in her back. Then I took her arm and twisted it. She must have been embarrassed because she was laughing, but when I twisted it hate she got the message and started saying “mei you, mei you”. I guess meaning I wasn’t doing anything. Then I let up and she did her crying routine that she always did when I said something.  All the time, was saying in English, “how do you like it?”  the whole place went dead with silence, and I left. Most of the teachers just looked floored. And I heard that the rest of the time was silent. That’s a first. I didn’t care cause I had had it. I went home and apologized to CCS, cause I do represent them on some level but I also explained that I couldn’t deal with it any longer.  Another volunteer had been there with me, and had told them about her also, so I think on some level they had understood that this wasn’t some random thing.
I don’t necessarily care for how I did it. But I am smug and proud of myself at the same time. I am proud that I had the courage to stand up to her without fear.  And that I finally took a stand for something without caring about what others think of me. I am smug in the sense that I keep thinking about how I took the stand, kinda of feeling sense of power that had exerted power in a physical form over another human being.  But I also worry, because I am concerned that my actions added to her hatred and anger. And concerned that she may come to hate blacks and will past that anger on to her children and anyone else who she gets to believe.  Yet, I wish I could have gotten thru to her and got her to realize that she was responsible for the well being of some else’s child and that that child deserved respect on some level. But then again, how the Chinese use discipline and view children is quite different than how Americans do. I can’t disagree with their ideas, nor can I condone them.   Because how one raises a child is all subjective.   And since living overseas, I have learned that there is no “right” or “wrong” way of doing something. I am sure that give that what I just said and holding that up to my actions may seem contradictory, using violence to stop violence. Which also makes me wonder about myself, given that I had  exposure to enough violence in life. I am concerned that this is the only way that I know how to express myself in certain situations.  I do know myself well enough, altogether I do not want that to be my legacy, my source of power.
I struggle with my own anger issues, yet how do you take a stand in this day and age without having to use violence.  And to take a stand that makes an impact for the “better”?

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2004 by in Uncategorized.
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