31 Oct 2010

Stereotyped

WOW. I have not posted for a few weeks! Must be pretty dusty around here. So to repay, I'm making a super long post!

Then again, very few people actually dedicate themselves to read the latest posts here anyway, so does it matter much?

Well the exams are almost done except for one teeny weeny but very important O LEVEL HIGHER CHINESE EXAM. The last few days have been murder. Nothing except for Chinese lessons. This is why we need variety. Even on the last few days of school we still have to stay back for those lessons!

Anyway it's already near Halloween. And the first day of the Subaru challenge. Kinda sad that for some it's difficult to decide whether to brave the horrendous whether weather and win a car, or to dress up in a freaky/funny/frightening costume(that's three F's in a row) and go to a Halloween party to unwind and scare some people.

Unfortunately, the fact that it's almost Halloween also indicates that it's almost the end of school, and in my case the end of secondary education... I hope. And after many years of education, I've not only learnt so much information related to our academics, but also what kind of people exist around me. I've sorted them into various stereotypes, some which I think you may have experienced too. If you don't think you know a particular person around you that fits a certain stereotype, it might be YOU!

THE STUDENTS

The Chatterbox: Some may call him/her a parrot, but even most parrots don't talk that much. He/she just likes to have conversation most of the time, even during lessons, trying to compete over the teacher's voice. A lone Chatterbox would try to lure neighbouring classmates into joining him/her, and fortunately this can fail and the talkative student then becomes quiet. But what's worse is when several Chatterboxes are seated together. The constant sound of talking just snowballs because more classmates start to pay attention to the ongoing conversation/debate/argument. It takes quite a lot of effort for the teacher to stop the Chatterbox(es).

There are Chatterboxes who do talk about things relevant to the lesson, but just do it in a more friendly and noisy fashion. Then there are Chatterboxes who aren't even relating to anything the teacher says, possibly arguing about games or serial dramas or movies. The teacher first tries to ignore, and then raises his/her voice to drown them out, and after failure to do so employs one of several techniques: the first is the silent treatment, where the teacher suddenly stops talking, and then takes a serious pose complete with the disappointed/frustrated look. The non-talking students would naturally stare at the noise-makers, some even telling them to shut up. Which they eventually do... temporarily. Sometimes the teacher has to direct his/her glance towards the targets, or even make a comment about how irritating private conversation is during lessons. The super strict teachers even go so far as to say how this is not behaviour expected of students their age or students of this school.



The Joker: There is usually at least one student in the class that just seems funny. Not the weird type of funny, the ha-ha kind. The Joker is good for lightening up the mood of the class when things get too depressing, and even promotes intra-class bonding. However, Jokers tend to fail in terms of showing restraint and discipline; their jokes carry on into lessons, which again distract the neighbouring classmates. The difference between that and the Chatterbox's yakking is that the former is slightly more acceptable.(That's my opinion, but some welcome humour with open arms.) Even some teachers appreciate the jokes being made during lessons, but some others become so furious about somebody monkeying around during class that their face turns purple and their head might explode like Mount Vesuvius.

The Jokers rely on two types of humour: physical and verbal. Physical jokes include tickling someone, wrestling with someone, making weird faces, imitating some "annoying teacher's voice", screaming, acting like a monkey etc, all of which can drive teachers up the wall, and cause public embarrassment when posted online on Facebook/Youtube. Verbal jokes are not limited either, able to cover a whole myriad of topics which can be twisted around to insult anyone and make fun of anything. In the context of school, this usually means making smart-ass comments on teachers or other students, or even the school itself. If anything spoken out of their mouths is published for the public to see, there would probably be sparks flying everywhere.

There are also Jokers of two natures: the good and the evil. Good Jokers make funny but light jokes. They are welcomed by the class as their local stand-up comedians. They may cross the line a tiny bit, but they still justify for making fun of the "victim(s)". Evil Jokers have a smaller audience that accepts them, because their jokes tend to be more offensive and extreme. And they can make situations more volatile rather than light-hearted.
(The Chatterbox/Joker hybrid is horrible; even if you like jokes, you can't take so many at once!)




The Hyena: This type of students can be really irritating. The Hyena likes to laugh. A LOT. Any single oddity can set off a whole chain of laughter from him/her. Any funny face, any sneeze, any misspelling, whatever. Even things that don't seem funny at all become the most hilarious joke on earth to the Hyena. The Hyena can evoke two types of reactions: classmates around him/her either laugh along or at him/her, or just stare back thinking the person is weird/crazy.

When the Joker and Hyena are close, a self-catalysing reaction occurs: the Joker makes a joke within the vicinity of the Hyena, who bursts out guffawing, which encourages the Joker to make even more jokes. This reaction is really long and self-sustaining, and can make teachers go nuts.




The Perfectionist: This is the student that is intolerable to some students, but doesn't bother teachers much. While most students are hoping to get at least a B in a certain exam, he/she insists that scoring A+ minimum is the only option. The aim is not to get a satisfiable grade, but a clean straight perfect record. He desperately begs for the last few points during the checking of exam scripts, so that he can get the A+/4.0 he "needs" for that perfect record. Even for CCAs there must be perfect attendance, at least a few major events participated, holding at least a few leadership positions etc. And it is just irritating that I already feel lucky to have passed one exam while another person is so depressed that he did not get at least 95%.

Although I said the Perfectionist does not bother teachers much, it does not mean Perfectionist students are not annoying at all. Come on, even patient teachers can get a little tired of the same student begging for the last few marks to get at least 80% for the exam EVERY SINGLE TIME. Still, they're pretty much impressed by these students' attitude towards school.




The Magician: This student has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, able to conjure miracles whenever he wishes. Common tricks include making worksheets disappear, conjuring sudden loss of memory, and vanishing at convenient times. Some students don't like them because they're jealous they can get away with certain things, and some teachers don't like them because they cannot catch the Magician red-handed. Sometimes they even do stunts like avoiding compulsory duty, which frankly I wish I had that skill.

My guess is that Magicians have already cultivated their skills, just like actual magicians. (Was that sentence confusing?) I think that they have tried various tricks until they hit upon sure-fire ways to accomplish their miracles, and then just practised it on teachers frequently. Unfortunately, just like real magicians, these students are probably not willing to reveal their secrets. (Although if you are willing to divulge, why not comment here? :P )




The Royalty: Named as such not because they really are royalty or that they are champions in anything, but because they behave as such. Any achievement they make, they flaunt it like it's the best thing in the world, even if it's only about average. Some are way too proud of passing a test that everybody did as well, while others celebrate the correct answering of a teacher's question during class.

There are some students who are sort of a Perfectionist Royalty: not only are they insanely good at most things, they also shove their exemplary achievements in front of everyone's faces, which is worse. You can't correct them about their accomplishments because they really are that great!




***Teacher's Pet***: Yes, we're all familiar with this. Portrayed in cartoons, comedies, even some movies. The Teacher's Pet is really obedient towards the teacher. It's good to be well-behaved, but becoming the teacher's biggest fan is going overboard. Usually the Teacher's Pet wants to get something out of spending as much time as possible with the teacher: probably extra clarification on certain concepts taught earlier, or trying to make friendly ties with him/her to make it slightly easier to get extra "benefits". There might be students who actually have a crush on the teacher, but I've yet to see such a case yet.

Sometimes Perfectionists have to resort to becoming a Teacher's Pet to make sure they get the advantage over others. They want to earn extra private remedial lessons with teachers, or try to coax extra marks out of them. It's easier to ask a favour from someone if he/she knows you a lot better, right?




The Animal: As the name suggests, this student is pretty much wild. Very little self-control over his/her behaviour, and acts a lot on instinct. Can get into very physical play with others(easily mistaken for aggressive fighting) in order to release stress. (Usually is in a sports CCA.) Problem is, this happens almost everyday. Pretty much a headache for teachers having to deal with students who like to throw things around, run all over the place, trap someone in a choke hold, kick the tables and chairs... you just become transported into a cage with a gorilla!

[Note: The Animal is not to be confused with the Joker. Although the Joker can play around with physical pranks, the Animal is more savage and mindless. At least the Joker has the intention of making classmates laugh. However, the Animal can also be a Hyena, which sort of makes sense in real life. The Animal/Hyena hybrid is just as animalistic, but now more easily entertained.]




The Hero: I'm not sure if this is a common stereotype encountered for everybody, but I've seen this type. The Hero is simply put "the one who saves the day". He/she steps in to resolve problems that arise within the class, sometimes even in the school itself. When the stupid string used to pull the projector screen down is stuck way up high, he/she usually goes to retrieve it. (Not necessarily because the student can jump really high or is really tall, but just because he/she wants to resolve the problem.) When fights break out between two students, the Hero steps in and acts as mediator, or when that is too dangerous, he/she at least reports to a teacher nearby. When a student fractured his leg, the Hero carried him all the way to the sick bay. He/she may end up as a "role model" or "poster boy/girl" for the class, because all his/her acts are so noble and admirable, even if it's not solely for the sake of getting such recognition.

The Hero seems a pretty nice friend to have... the Hero/Royalty hybrid, not so much. This is the type that does all kinds of great acts still, but not for the sake of helping others but actually so that he has even more stuff to flaunt at others. Which makes him/her less of a hero/heroine already. And that's what's hard about being a superhero: maintaining your humility.




The Rebel: The enemy of teachers. He/she is the defiant one, the student who never treats the teachers seriously, thinking everything in the school is pointless, just utter rubbish. He/she hardly agrees with the school rules and maybe is set on breaking as many as possible. Some teachers think getting furious and shouting at the Rebel would scare some sense into him/her, but that just makes the hatred in him/her grow stronger, encouraging the student to push the boundaries further. Some are so extreme that the classmates can actually become scared of them.

Some may think this is just an attitude problem, but I think the root of the problem can go much deeper than just going through puberty. Maybe the student had really nasty experiences with primary school teachers, or he/she is already super stressed out at home with a dysfunctional family, or he/she just feels like a stranger here. Again, the Rebel is not to be confused with the Animal; although a Rebel can inflict physical damage like an Animal would, the Rebel does so with feelings of hatred or apathy, whereas the Animal is more mindless. :P




Well, this is all I can think of for the student stereotypes. If you have others, you could comment on this post. Next post, I'll shift the focus onto teacher stereotypes! Going to get interesting.... :P