Friday, December 7, 2012

Students Addendum

See I told you that another post was coming soon!
I just remembered a story that I wanted to add to the "Students" post, so I suppose I'll just make a new post of it.

A few weeks ago, I caught a pretty bad cold [see the hatred illness text reference in previous post] and struggled with intense bouts of coughing and nose-blowing for over a week. Still I managed to get through classes with lots of tea and cough drops. However, during my last class of the day, after about 5 1/2 hours of teaching, I ran out of tea. I thought I could make do with some cough drops (which is always fun to try to teach with one in my mouth) and letting my students give some practice speeches.

While listening to one of these speeches, a monster of a coughing attack came rising up my lungs. After futilely trying to suppress it, I ran out of the class into the nearby bathroom and proceeded to cough nonstop for about 2 minutes. A concerned student brought me some water which helped, but I could barely speak. My nose was running and my eyes were watering uncontrollably.

I managed to get back to class and croaked to my students that class was over five minutes early. The look on my students' faces was one of absolute  worry and pity. Many of them brought me tissues on their way out and told me to feel better. Some stayed as I was packing up, and I apologized for this bad cold. They seemed a bit surprised and very concerned.

After arriving at home, Ben came in a few minutes later and immediately wanted to know if I was alright. I said yes, but I just had a coughing attack in class.

My face was a compilation of the picture above and below...only less cute.

He replied, "Oh! A couple of your students ran into my class exclaiming that Rachel is crying and to come quick!"

Hearing this news almost brought on another coughing/crying episode. I could not believe that my students thought the tears on my face were from crying not the explosive coughing! Apparently many thought that I was homesick or something and got emotional and had to leave. Of course, the erroneous version spread like wildfire and the next day after running into some of Ben's students on the bus from an entirely different class, they asked how I was doing because they heard I started crying yesterday.

This story does have a happy ending (no, reading about how Rachel humiliated herself does not
Magical (and cheap) Chinese medicine
count as a happy ending). Some of my wonderful students who stayed after class and discovered the truth took me to the school clinic to get some medicine for the cough. A quick
consultation and 30 rmb ($5) later, I left with more drugs than I have ever owned in my life. Most were herbal remedies and not too scary looking. And though I did not take the recommended 38+ pills a day (I think I got down 4 max), after about two days I felt dramatically better. By the time Monday classes began, I could confidently teach without worrying my students that I am nearing an emotional breakdown...this time.

Perhaps I need to wear more clothes like this adorable Chinese dog! Sweet tips :)

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