Meet the Parents

November 23, 2006

Are you ready for the super exciting story of my Thanksgiving?

 It started with parents day.  All the parents of my kindergartners came to the school, met with me for half an hour, and then (gulp) all sat in the back of the classroom to watch me teach the day’s lesson to their kids.  It was terribly stressful, although not as stressful as having my boss observe me multiple times over the past week to make sure I was prepared for parents day.  I was warned that some of the parents in my class were kind of scary, but everything went smoothly.

Once I stopped being so nervous about it, it was actually pretty interesting to see where the kids were coming from.  The one who is so far behind the rest of the class has a mom with a constantly ringing cell phone who is “too busy” to help her daughter.  The boy whose bad behavior drives me mad but whose English is amazing is clearly a spoiled brat, but his mom makes a point to speak English with him.  It all provided some insight, anyway.

I was feeling sort of depressed about spending Thanksgiving that way, but my spirits were lifted slightly by a serious spending spree this afternoon at an art supply store in Taipei that I recently learned about.  Nothing like spending all my hard earned money to put a smile on my face.

Anyway, I was just settling down to relax back at home for a while (Thursday is usually an easy day sandwiched between two stressful ones) when I got a phone call.  My boss lost her voice, could I go over there immediately and sub her class?  I said yes, but it was sort of the final straw for me.  Today was terrible.

Oh, I didn’t think this post was going to end up so bitter.  But while I’m in a complaining mood, here’s one more thing:

Twice this week I’ve had people I passed on the street stop to point out the waiguoren to their small children.  Usually, I don’t mind the stares and curiosity so much; sometimes I even enjoy it.  But somehow, getting pointed at like that, as if I’m an animal in the zoo or something rubs me the wrong way more than anything else.

Careful, I bite.


  1. I always think that no matter how well you know a kid, you don’t have the full picture of a kid until you have seen the parents. Almost everything, good & bad, makes perfect sense once you have met the folks.Puts a lot of pressure on you when you start going to conferences for your own kids, because you know the teachers are looking at you & thinking, “Harumph,well,NO WONDER kid is so weird…”

    As for the the gawkers, maybe you ought to start “pay per view!” Do you get any sense that the staring is simply because you are a non-Asian or do you think it is more because you are a tall (and very interesting looking, IMO) non-Asian? Would they stare just as much if you were 5 feet tall with dark hair?

  2. Makes sense. I mean, I know I always look at you and think “Harumph, no wonder I’m so weird.”

    All the westerners I know here get the stares and such, but yes, I imagine that being an Amazon woman doesn’t help me stay anonymous.

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