Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Another strange tale

Typically, Filipinos are very reasonable. Last week, during my BioChem class, there was this student standing outside the room, whistling this repetitive annoying whistle over and over again. For the first minute or so, it was OK. I mean, his friends in the class I was were chuckling, no biggie. Then, as time wore on (several minutes later) I began to get distracted and annoyed. I mean, this is Biochemistry and the topics are difficult for me to grasp under the best conditions. After a few moments of annoyance, I got up, went to the door and politely asked the guy to stop whistling. He looked at me with a dumb expression (he had a few friends outside, too) and denied that he was whistling. I told him that was fine, as long as whoever is whistling, just stopped. I went back and sat down in the class and what do you think happened? That's right, the idiot started whistling again, from around the corner. By this time, the entire class is thoroughly distracted, not only from the whistler, but the fact that I am intervening, and causing a scene. After about 10 seconds this time, I get up, heart pounding, fist clenching, teeth gnashing and without the politeness this time, step out the door, approach the guy and say "STOP WHISTLING!, the students in this class room cannot concentrate when you do that!" The guy stood there slack jawed for about five seconds. I was ready to pound the guy if I saw any hint of "Disrespect". Anyways, the whistling stopped. After the class, there was much talk and gesture towards me. I guess it is uncommon here to get into a conflict over something like that. Even the teacher simply ignored the person, rather than tell him to stop. It is a concept of "face" here that we don't have back home. The upshot, is that my teacher asked me yesterday if I wanted to take a special class with him and three other students rather than the regular class I am enrolled in because of the "distractions" of regular class. I said yes without hesitation.

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