Skip to comments.Your Guardian Angels: "The Mickey Mouse Teacher" (Vanity)
Posted on 04/28/2008 2:11:43 AM PDT by DieHard the Hunter
March 26 2007 Waitakere SDA School, Henderson, Waitakere City
As you may know, the Guardian Angels in New Zealand teach a group of kids basic Self-Defense: just the basic stuff, like how to get away from Bad Guys, how to stop someone from bullying you -- that sort of thing. No Bruce Lee stuff. It is a class that is normally led by BatBob, my 2IC: he is an expert, both at Martial Arts and teaching kids. It is a very popular program.
Today BatBob needed a substitute to teach our Youth Program: unfortunately his father is experiencing failing health -- at 98 this is to be expected -- and BatBob needed to be with him.
So no worries -- BatBob can't do today's lesson, fair enough too. I originally dumped him into the commitment, and he's delivered Value in double-handfuls since. This time he can't go: he offered to fit it into today's busy schedule, I told him not to be silly I'd take it for him no worries...
...while sitting around half-asleep on my day off, in my underpants, unshaved and with no clue how to teach a group of kids Self Defense! And only a few minutes to prepare today's lesson. Well, the first couple of problems were easily resolved with a shower and shave and a quick session in front of a full-length mirror...
...OK I now look like The Chieftain: clean tee-shirt, crimson satin jacket, Khaki Parade shorts, red beret, dangerous scowl. Oh yeah -- need some knee sox. And Parade Boots -- give them a quick shine. That's better!
So I proceeded down the hill at full speed, only a few minutes late for the lesson.
Ah, the LESSON PLAN! What am I going to teach these kids? I know!!! The one-finger-takedown! That's it! My Dad (a judo brown-belt when he was in his prime) taught it to me when I was a kid. I know it bloody works: every time! Used it on a bully once when I was a kid. BatBob thinks it would be OK to do, so why not??
But first let's do some review: that way I'll know how much they've retained. Yeah, that's the Ticket! Of Course -- let's find out what they know! Brilliant, Chieftain. Revision and Review. Step one for any good teacher.
I pull up 10 minutes late (I'd phoned ahead and set expectations) and we get the kids outside like BatBob always does...
...and I'm staring into 31 separate pairs of eyes: some blue, some brown, all of them half my size, all of them twice as smart as me, and all of them twice as fast and twice as athletic. I felt intimidated!
So I pulled on my Duty Belt (at least I got ONE pair of cuffs if things get out of control!) and tilted my beret at a truly dangerous Sgt-Major angle, and began the session admirably, with my best and loudest parade-ground voice:
Q: "RIIIIIGHTTT! All you lot fall IN, AT the DOUBLE! FORM one line, TALLEST TO SHORTEST. NOW, MOVE IT!!!"
Hey, I'm a Dad: bossing around kids comes naturally ay! And to my surprise, they all did exactly what I told them to do!
This Sgt-Major stuff is easy, ay! And they are now tallest-to-shortest, all staring at me with their beady eyes, paying VERY close attention. Crikey!
The ENERGY coming from that line of kids was amazing: it felt like I was standing at the business-end of a micro-wave oven, full-on defrost. I'm gonna cook slowly and evenly and right the way thru unless I can do something about that ENERGY. Energy... oh yeah. BatBob always makes them run at the beginning! Good idea! Get some of that ENERGY dissipated! That's the ticket!
Q: "VERY GOOD YOU LOT! You know the DRILL! What do you do if some weird guy or a bully or child molesterer comes up to you and grabs you and says 'c'mon Kid! Yer gonna go with me!'???
A: "RUN!!!" thirty-one wee voices all scream.
Q: "WHAAAAAAT??? I can't hear you lot!"
A: "RUN! RUN AND SCREAM 'STRANGER!!!'"
Brilliant. BatBob has taught them well.
Q: "THEN what do you do???"
A: "Tell Miss! Tell Mum! Tell BatBob! Tell Nathan!"
I'm grinning to myself by now. Teaching kids? Piece of cake! My Dad made a good living as a Teacher for many years: he obviously had it EASY! Why didn't *I* ever think about being a Teacher, instead of trying to EARN my living?? This is an easy-peasy scam -- and all the while I thought my Dad was working hard! Not Funny! I'm gonna switch careers and be a Teacher!
Q: "Alright! GOOD ANSWER! NOW YOU LOT! NOW RUN AND LEMME HEAR YOU SCREAM "STRANGER!"
And so they did -- at full speed, across the field and back again. Jeez, this teaching stuff is a piece of cake! Any fool can do it ay!
Q: "RIGHT YOU LOT. Now let's see if you remember what BatBob taught you last week..."
(Review is good: Dad used to use Review to reinforce lessons taught earlier! See, this Teaching Stuff is blood-simple! Even *I* can figure it out! REVIEW AND REINFORCE. Brilliant!)
BatBob had told me what he'd taught last week: a simple break-away, with a twist-twist that should put the Bad Guy onto the ground. Then run! OK, easy enough...
Q: "I need a volunteer! Show me what BatBob taught you last week!"
A wee kid steps up: I know him, he's the one that broke away from Mrs McCallum using our techniques the other week when he was at SDA Church. Tiny Samoan kid, but a good wee student. About three-foot-nothing in his bare feet, great big smile. PERFECT.
Q: "Right! Come HERE KID!! Yer gonna go with ME!" I say in my very best gruffest and nastiest imitation child molesterer voice.
A: "OH YEAH? Hiiiy-YAH!"
About that time my whole Universe exploded. A comet surely came streaking from the vastness of the Heavens on a collision course with Planet Earth and nailed me right in the Goolies. I'm now rolling around on the ground, clutching myself, cursing under my breath and singing sweet hymns...
This wicked wee kid -- paying absolutely NO ATTENTION to what BatBob had ever taught him, had done a beautiful and unexpected snap-kick to my groin! WHACK! Decisive, simple, and effective. And it was good-nite nurse for me! One bollix went flying over my left shoulder and landed on the school roof, the other was punted somewhere toward the Tegel Chicken Factory behind the playground. NOT FUNNY.
And this wee brat runs away and screams "Help! Help!!! STRANGER!"
Perfect run-away escape, exactly like he was taught by BatBob. Dunno where he picked up that tidy snap-kick tho' -- he NEVER learned that from BatBob because we don't teach kids to strike -- and I never even saw it coming. Crikey!!!
What could I say to that??? Whatever works, I guess...
The rest of the lesson was taught Soprano, like Mickey Mouse, with tears streaming down my face. It took nearly two hours for my proper voice to get back to normal.
Yeah right -- Teaching is an EASY way to make a Living ay! No wonder my Dad absolutely FORBADE me from entering that profession. I guess he knew what he was doing after all.
Oh well, I learned the hard way: a Mickey Mouse Teacher deserves a Mickey Mouse Voice! I guess it's Poetic Justice at some level or another: some unresolved equation in the Universe was suddenly resolved today; some ancient Debt has been repaid; History has somehow been acquitted and vindicated and proven true...
It serves me right for doing a friend a favor, for "No Good Deed Shall Go Unpunished!" I think from now on I'll leave Teaching to the true Professionals.
And I guess it's like Dad once said: "There are Teachers, and then there are Educators." Dad's right as always -- and that wee Samoan kid with the big smile was an Educator.
(Sorry it's been a while since my previous installment)
Did you ever retrieve the missing bits? *grin*
(grin!) They grew back... eventually!
You gotta watch the small ones and the quiet ones.
You are a great storyteller. This is worthy of saving. Cheers, mate!
Put some ice on it and walk it off!
Speaking as a teacher... while you have my sympathy, it’s always kind of nice when people find out that it’s not as easy as it looks at first glance.