Rambo: a microcosm

My meeting today with Rambo characterizes our entire relationship:

We are supposed to meet at 3:30pm. He calls just after 3:00pm and says he’s coming down to my office. This is the first I’ve seen of him since we left for Spring Festival vacation, though I’ve been back since February 8th and have already taught a full week of classes. He’s been communicating with me briefly and confusingly through Michael, the other foreign teacher at Ping Gang. Long story short, I was told through the grapevine that my schedule was the same as last semester. It wasn’t. I missed two classes.

Rambo’s wearing his Monday suit, a sharp-looking ensemble that stretches over his belly. I pull up a chair for him at my desk and he shows me my schedule for the new semester. He points out how few morning classes I have and says “it’s awesome.” He tells me he bought a car. “A lot has happened!” I ask him if he drove to school today or took the bus. “Drove, I drove.”

“Gotta show off your wheels,” I say. I don’t think he understands the idiom. His hair is puffed up like it gets when he needs a haircut. He says he’s going to America in a month or so to further his education, but that he’s “waiting for the files.” I’m thrilled for him. I tell him I’m going home to the USA earlier than planned because of a visa complication. He says “it’s a pity” for the kids. He tells me he saw some of his students’ English test scores and he was scared. “It sucks!” he says.

I get a call from him two minutes after he leaves my office. “Oh, the schedule is not correct yet. The leader will decide tonight, and tomorrow I will tell you.”

Rambo and I on Sports Day


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