Crack Bong

Date: 1/28/2017

By boogieman85

People were smoking crack out on Ridley Road market, on pub benches. Alex, the Fat White Family - it was summer and there were lots of people smoking crack through bongs, the haze floating around - I could smell it. They were always there - every afternoon, school children and parents walking through them and breathing the smoke. I was trying to think of an intervention. I got a tutoring gig with a Chinese student. His dad wasn't in at first. We went round - there were lots of drawings the dad had done. He was an artist, working class. His watercolours were mostly of women, fat and ugly - deliberately painted with almost disfigured features. Among his paintings I found two that were of a young girl in a man's lap. I felt a little troubled. I started the session but the child wouldn't concentrate at all. He was very rude, disobedient, uninterested. I got nowhere and started to lose my patience. Other students of mine showed up and were concentrating. The parents came - I was in a rush to get to Wong Kei to meet some friends who'd just organised on a WhatsApp Group - I was sending them messages while making excuses to end the lesson early. I felt guilty taking the money. We went to a Korean restaurant on Ridley Road. The staff were being very abused - the manager shouting at them in front of us for the quality of the food. I had a sense the restaurant was failing. I had to try and teach a class. I had no lesson plan. I went and watched other teachers in their classroom - they were teaching indices - the students (mostly 10 year old English white boys with big heads) were diligently copying down all the teachers said, even though it was the end of the day. The teachers kept asking irritating rhetorical questions and talking in riddles - I would shout out the answer as I could see the students were too tired to answer, that this method was pointless. The students didn't notice - the just kept on writing down from the white board. I went through and taught my lesson. At first I could think of nothing. I sat for a long time with my back to the class, embarrassed and certain I'd get into trouble. Looking through the drawers for teaching resources. Then I had an idea and turned to talk to the class - a male teached was there and asked if I minded waiting, as he still had the room for his class. I realised I wasn't meant to teach this group at all - they had another teacher already! Nobody had noticed me stood there ; I'd only been meant to teach one boy, a young black boy who was sat at the table next to me. School ended and he and I walked across town together. He had a micro-scooter. I talked to him about life, race relations - we got on - he was in a hurry. We went past a big group of children looking curiously at some Chinese people.