English teacher’s ‘Dead Poets’ stunt goes horribly wrong


Education Correspondent

The English teacher's attempt to emulate the Robin Williams character quite literally backfired

SHENZHEN (China Daily Show) — An English teacher’s decision to stage an act of individuality in front of his creative writing class Tuesday resulted in 14 maimed students and one dead poetry teacher.

Students at No. 2 Dongguan Polytechnic arrived for class expecting a colorless continuation of Monday’s lecture on iambic pentameter, only to discover that their teacher, William Carlos Wallace, 27, of Lancaster, Massachusetts, had spent all night arranging a pyre of firewood beneath the whiteboard, upon which he had drawn in large letters “CARPE DIAN”  (“Seize the Electricity”) in Latin and Chinese.

“He was upset that the university had cut the electric in his dormitory,” said English major Li Song, 21, who happened to be with Wallace when his power stopped working.

In an interview with China Daily Show,  Li said the two had been watching Wallace’s favorite movie, Dead Poets Society, which stars Robin Williams as a literature teacher who encourages his class of New England students to carpe diem or “seize the day,” rather than follow the staid orthodoxies of the traditional educational establishment, when the juice suddenly failed.

“It was at that moment that he decided to show his power against the school,” said Li.

The next morning, Wallace welcomed his students, locked the door, stood atop the pyre and lit a torch he had constructed and labeled “Prometheus.” He then called administrators on his mobile and was quoted as  saying, “To thee misguided nanny state Confucians, desist and cease your human rights abuses. Restore the use of nightly lumination, else face the wrath of fiery retribution.”

When administrators failed to understand Wallace’s English, they called  police, who arrived moments later and promptly tear-gassed the classroom.

These are the facts:

  • The flammable tear gas set Wallace and 14 students on fire.
  • As students fled for the door, Wallace leapt from the six story window, declaring, “You may take away our power, but you will never take our freedom!”
  • Wallace’s last words were cut short when, according to one of his students, “he landed in a migrant worker’s red wheelbarrow, stained with rain water, beside the white chickens.”

Administrators have employed grievance counselors to help students come to grips with the teacher’s senseless act of Western ignorance, and have recharged the late pedagogue’s electricity meter, which had inexplicably run out of credit four months ahead of schedule.

The 14 injured students from Wallace’s class are currently lying in the burn victim’s ward at Shenzhen’s Last Hope Memorial Hospital.

In lieu of flowers, their parents have asked mourners to donate a steady supply of traditional, status quo-promoting examples of Chinese cinema.

William Carlos Wallace boldly and independently soared head-first out of this six-story window


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  • my new favorite Chinglish pun: CARPE DIAN (seize the electricity) http://ow.ly/3hPSR

  • Zstu Postgrad

    The main problem with black humor in China is that China is already too dark to get it!

  • Hooey

    This is so ridiculously funny that it’s hard to say who is the biggest moron here, the Chinese or the laowai.

  • WTF is wrong with that teacher, sound like it was taken from a movie lol.
    And why tear-gas the student in the first place?

  • Sam

    Is this real??

  • English teacher's 'Dead Poets' stunt goes horribly wrong http://bit.ly/eZsR3h #china

  • Dsomerville59

    Congratulations to LiuXiaoBo on his Nobel Peace Prize ….. no doubt when the award ceramony was taking place the prison guards were tear gassing his cell. FREEDOM !!!!!!!

  • sugarplum7

    FYI Isn’t China Daily Show a fake news site?

  • couttsvt

    “China Daily Show is … INTENDED FOR HUMOROUS PURPOSES ONLY. All events … are used fictitiously.”

  • couttsvt

    “China Daily Show is … INTENDED FOR HUMOROUS PURPOSES ONLY. All events … are used fictitiously.”

  • English teachers's 'Dead Poets' stunt goes horrbly wrong [Chinal Daily Show] http://bit.ly/h4zzyN

  • somehow i don't remember the part in dead poets society where robin williams self-immolates himself http://bit.ly/fldkwb

  • Anonymous

    Hilarious lede. Nice poem. Ho-hum execution.

    The Fenqing anxiously await the day when the police will be able to treat the red-bearded barbarians with such impunity, but it ain’t arrived yet. Also, frankly, any SWAT-like tactics by the local police hits a false note: they’d just stonily block the doorway and repeat the same points in Mandarin until the kid feared for his visa, forked over the appropriate fine, and went his merry way.