“Wait! Don’t you get your test papers back tonight?” I gasped suddenly in our otherwise quite drive to my children’s Chinese school last Friday evening.

“Yeah…” 10-year-old replied from the back seat.

We just had a 2 week break from our Chinese school, and the previous Friday before that was our Chinese school’s big 2nd trimester test night. I vaguely recalled that my 10-year-old had mumbled something about not doing well on that test. This was a bad sign.

I adore Ms. Jiang. We are fortunate to have had her as my 10-year-old’s Chinese teacher for the last three years. But she is very strict, and has a passion for teaching these kids Chinese that I sometimes consider over-zealous.

Ms. Jiang’s Chinese tests are impossibly hard. In order for children with even superior intelligence to do reasonably well requires exhausting parental assistance on a daily basis for at least 2 weeks. Therefore, the fault of children who fail her tests lies strictly on the mothers. And Ms. Jiang has the habit of lecturing such mothers on such occasion.

I am against being lectured by Ms. Jiang. She doesn’t even pull you aside, and do it in a discreet manner. No! She does it in the middle of her classroom in her regular lecture volume. Since she can only catch the parents right before or right after the class, usually, other parents in addition to her students get to witness the embarrassing exchange. I decided that I must avoid her that night.

“Meet me at Tasterbach’s classroom after class tonight!” I quickly turned to my 10-year-old, and issued this order.

“Why!” 10-year-old.

“In case you bombed that test! Your teacher will want to complain about me.” me.

“Oh.” my 10-year-old has witnessed Ms. Jiang barking at various parents a number of times, so no further explanation was required.

At the school, I parted ways with my 10-year-old, and lead my baby into the 2nd grade classroom.

Oh, no! We had the wrong school bag with us, I had my 10-year-old’s bag. It was still 10 minutes before class, perhaps, Ms. Jiang will not be in her classroom. I told my baby to grab a front row seat, and rushed to the 5th grade classroom to swap the bags.

As I pulled the heavy door open, I came to face Ms. Jiang bending down at her teaching desk to shuffle what appeared to be the children’s test papers. She turned her head and saw me.

“Jiang lao shi, ni hao!” I quickly summoned my big smile and greeted her.

She straightened herself and smiled in return.

“Tested very poorly.” Ms. Jiang stated dryly still wearing her smile.

I paused to consider this half sentence…not sure if she meant specifically my kid or her class as a whole, perhaps I am in good standing thanks to a low curve.

Ms. Jiang still looking and smiling at me, waiting for my response.

“Do you mean my child or the whole class?” I had to ask.

“Your kid. But I am talking to YOU!” Ms. Jiang.

Oh…what a jinx! My earlier fear was coming alive.

“Oh, sorry, sorry. Next time, we will do better. Next time, sorry…” as I made my apologies, I quickly ran over to my child’s seat, exchanged the bags, and ran out of the classroom as quickly as I could.

I had two very good reasons for retreating from Ms. Jiang as quickly as humanly possible. One, it is never a good idea to extend a conversation that lacks a happy ending with certainty. Two, if I linger long enough to appease Ms. Jiang, there is a good chance that her A or B students will arrive with their moms, and Ms. Jiang would seize the opportunity to rub it in some more by complimenting those Moms on their children’s good grades. She would then proclaim the “A” kid’s mom to be the model mother for her classroom.

When I heard her classroom door shut, I slowed down my pace in the hallway. For a brief moment. Ms. Jiang’s tactics had its presumed desired effect on me. As I headed back to my baby’s classroom with the right bag, I considered methods to become a better drill sergeant for Chinese tests, and try to whip an “A” out of my 10-year-old the next time. For once, I would like to be the model mother in Ms. Jiang’s class!

I met my 10-year-old in the hallway at the end of class. My worry-faced child immediately handed me the miserable test. A 53%…that’s the 6th letter of the alphabet. As I counted this ruthless test was eight pages long, I did not have the heart to bark at my child. I held my child close, and said, “It’s okay. We will do better next time.”

The test papers with 53%

Here are my two previous posts about Chinese School: 1) Chinese School Vs School school 2) Crazy Memorization Week

  • Share/Save/Bookmark
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.
One Response