Friday, September 13, 2013

Jamaica High School Chronicles: Culture Clash

During my time at high school it was normal for us to get the occasional foreign student, these were mostly students of Jamaican Heritage who was sent to Jamaica to live with relatives and get a solid Jamaican education. One of my best friend was also shipped out from England but he assimilated very quickly. I remember this one kid named Dennis who came to us from the United States of America. Dennis joined my class but it was obvious that Jamaica was completely foreign to him. His parents did a horrible job preparing him and he was having trouble assimilating into daily Jamaican school life and to tell the truth us kids did not make it easy for him either but hey we were boys in third form.

One morning we were in class waiting for the next teacher to arrive and making loads of noise, chatting, laughing and sitting on the desk then from out of nowhere Sir (teacher) walked into the classroom and bellowed “Sit down and be quiet!”. Everyone was seated in a flash and quiet before he could finish the word “Sit”. He was a very strict which is what you need for third form boys but a fair teacher and did not play around much during class time. However this American kid, Dennis was still standing and walking about taking his own sweet time. So Sir said “Did you not hear me, I said sit down”… to which Dennis turned around and said “I will sit when I am ready”. The entire class room was in a state of shock, wondering if this kid lost his damn mind, did he not see the cane that this male teacher walked into the classroom with.

Sir responded by saying “Please sit down” which puts us in an even bigger state of shock, Dennis actually got a “please” from Sir… Dennis responded “You cannot tell me what to do” in his best black American accent…. I think before he could finish the word “do” …Sir was on him like white on rice, with a couple cracks of the cane across his back, Dennis shouted something about reporting Sir to social services to which everyone in the classroom laughed. After a couple more attempts to defy the teacher even trying to engage the teacher in a fist fight, Sir responding with even more targeted use of the cane across his legs and back. Dennis slowly began to see the light and realized that this is not a fight he could win and nobody was coming to have his back, not the students in the class, who thought he was out of order to think he could talk to Sir in that manner and certainly not any fictional Government agency. So he quickly planted his ass firmly on his seat with his book opened as Sir read him the riot act bringing home the reality of the culture he finds himself in, Dennis sat their quietly except for a few after cry sniffles. He went back to America several months later but while at school in Jamaica he never again talked back to any teacher and was always the first to be seated, I always wondered where he was now and what became of him.

1 comment:

  1. Still DYING at him threatening to report any teacher in Jamaica to social services for doing their job. Corporal punishment as far as a caning I am not in support of not because of normal teachers with recalcitrant hardheads like this one, but because of the terrorists among us who are abusing children and all putting out an eye. We need to teach our children from at home the inner motivation to do well and behave, if it's always only enforceable by beating the crap out of them, they will grow up only respecting people who can rough them police. But we already know some households don't raise children they just hatch them and let them run wild, so then you have to wonder how to keep these from dragging down the quality of the classroom for everyone else.

    Still this whole story was hilarious.