>Oh Elise, Elise, Elise…whatever shall we do with you?
As usual, Monday morning she tells me that I am teaching a different class. Class 11 and 12 instead of my usual Class 3 and 4. I inform her calmly that I have already made plans for class 3 and 4. In addition to this, the students know me.
Yeah, the students being familiar with their foreign teacher may help the classroom. What a weird idea.
Anyways, what ensued as a yes-no match, with No winning out and Elise pouting and ranting about it in Chinese.
A bus ride to the New Campus later, Elise informs a foreign teacher that he wasted his time. You see, he’s supposed to teach a double class Tuesday morning. So he can go him.
Since she tells him this AFTER he got up, AFTER he took the bumpy twenty-minute bus ride over, he’s non-too-pleased. What ensues is another argument, at which point I interject.
“You know Elise, why don’t you just tell us this more in advance? It would be easier.”
I did this in full view of another Chinese teacher. Elise grew nervous and said, “My computer…it is broken.”
She lied. If the pathetic excuse did not betray her, then her body language did. She lied. That’s one perspective.
Another perspective: she was saving face. This is likely, seeing as how another Chinese was standing near her. Face is to be preserved at all times. Why, it’s not that Elise is scatter-brained, perhaps even incompetent.
Oh no. It’s that her computer is broken. Yes, the computer’s fault. An obvious lie to us, but to them…well, it saves them face, right?
A little strange for me to wrap my mind around. I see it as a lie, but she did not truly intend it as a lie. Just as a way of saving face?