Crazy Energy

Reality... What a ConceptMy boss: “Mohl bych Vás požádat o laskavost?”

OK, so on the off-chance you ever move to the Czech Republic or end up with a Czech boss, should you ever hear this out of their mouth, just cancels any plans you had for that evening. Also, prepare to do something you don’t want to do.

It is a formal phrase meaning: I need a favor.

And it comes with its very own sister phrase: “Mám malý problém.” I have a little problem. Oh, and ‘little’ is usually as much an understatement as ‘favor’ is a misnomer when it comes from your boss’ taco grinder.

I put my head on my desk. Here it comes.


The gist:

other teacher


broken bone

blah blah -ovat

f*cking bad timing

Who is free?



blah blah -ičku

At the end of this angry list, I am eating an apple standing over a course book preparing to teach a last minute substitution lesson that starts in nine minutes. Also, I hate the world.

Here’s the thing, a teacher has to portion out their daily dose of energy depending on how many classes they have. That way they can assure that their energy levels aren’t totally incongruous in their classes. Basically, one class gets teacher in pudding and the next class gets teacher on meth. Adding another class to the mix, especially a surprise one, throws off this delicate balance of energy.

And that’s what happens today.

I start out the class riding a bit of ‘Hey, you’re not our teacher’ energy, but it wears off quickly and I find that very soon I am speaking like the thirty-year old actor playing a 17 year-old stoner in a teen comedy. The students show their approval of this by yawning and looking at watches, which surely show them the time, date, weather conditions on Neptune and the location of every taco stand in Prague. Moments into the lesson I find that I too am yawning, thinking about tacos, and looking at my watch, which, though Swiss, knows nothing about Neptune.

A change is needed.

And though I don’t know when exactly it happens, things get exponentially louder, a lot more rambunctious and funnier than cats in shark outfits. I think I tell a joke in Czech, that always gets them. And just like that, I go from movie stoner to pre-rehab Robin Williams.

I run around the class, jump up on desks and shout crazy things at students to motivate them into using language, which they do. Soon, they are my linguistic marionettes and I am standing above them like their twisted, sweaty master. They are in such a fury that they are spewing mangled language like the spaceship Hell scenes in Event Horizon. (NB: Nobody pulls out their eyes) Nobody cares; it’s all working and the students are challenged and engaged. My energy level peaks sometime during the last few minutes of the lesson. I step off the desk.

Then it ends. The room actually (I am told) smells like wrong prefixes, botched word order and participles dangling like worms off of hooks. We say goodbye and think that at least I’ll never share another classroom with them again. I head to my next class.

They get teacher in pudding.

Anyway, I hate substitutions.

  1. #1 by Tiffany N. York on May 16, 2013 - 12:41 am

    The only word I know in Czech is “Ne,” which I suppose you can’t say to the boss. You didn’t really jump up on desks, you nutty linguist, did you?

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on May 16, 2013 - 6:31 am

      Well of course I did. How else am I supposed to use my pretend whiteboard finger binoculars?

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