You are teaching English to a group of Azerbaijani men in Baku. You haven’t been teaching long, so your explanations are rushed and, worse, because you are not very good at seeing with a ‘beginner’s mind’, your language is far too difficult and you miss out important facts that you just assume everyone knows. A tense feeling of frustration builds up in the class, but because you cannot see where it is coming from, you redirect it at your students, who seem dim-witted to you. Eventually a Russian says, with typical Slavic directness, ‘we do not understand this’, and you lash out, accusing them of not paying attention, not really caring about studying English, and now everyone in the room hates you.
This is an excerpt from Belly Up!