Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good Food, Mediocre Day

Today wasn't the best.  Our hot water is broken again, so showers were freezing cold.  You just don't feel clean after going running and then taking a 55 degree shower.

I'm supposed to have an hour on Tuesdays free from classes.  Julia has decided that she would like to test out having me teach one on one with two students (about 20 minutes each) during this time.  Unfortunately, she did not tell me this until 3:25.  My "free" hour is/was from 3:30-4:20.  So, with books I had never seen before and no plan, I was expected to have a conversational lesson with each of these students.  They were also at levels that I've never worked with, so I had no idea what I was working with.  One of the students is Julia's daughter.  Very nice kid.  Her English skills are about 25x stronger than her mother's.  She has virtually no accent.  The second student is supposed to be Yoon's top student, but he still doesn't seem to be able to think abstractly in English (the true test of fluency), so I found him lacking and it made the "conversation" very difficult.

Apparently, David (Julia's husband) was very angry at Julia for not telling me this morning.  I'm not sure why she told me that.  It made me feel awkward and unprofessional.  In my opinion, she should have told me about the change yesterday and given me the books.  As for today, I was ten minutes late, but that still gave her almost an hour to talk to me about it before classes began.

Enough of the difficult stuff.  Ian and I ate very well today.  Spinach omelets for breakfast, stir fry with peanut sauce for lunch and veggie and tofu lettuce wraps (with a crazy "everything in the fridge" concoction sauce) with french fries (making frozen fries with no oven is a challenge!) for dinner.  I stopped at the store to get Ian and I a couple chocolate bars for tonight.  Ian and I must be on the same wavelength because he picked us up a couple of chocolate muffins on the way home.  I suppose we'll have goodies tomorrow, too.

The amusing names of the candy bars I picked up for us.  The chocolate here isn't all that great.  I mean the Hershey bars you can buy in the six packs at home are much better.  But, some chocolate is better than no chocolate at all!


  1. Well, chocolate does make everything better. :) Nice to have a good meal and a treat when you've had a hard day, isn't it?

    I think a bit of nepotism is going on with the 1:1 sessions being one is her daughter. Does this mean you teach through your break every week from now on?

    Oh, the joy of having new stuff sprung on you at a new job. That's not unusual but having no labor laws requiring breaks makes it worse than what we'd be used to here.

    Take care!

  2. Crunky, that just cracks me up.
    I'm sorry that your boss's organization is so lacking. Is Ian having the same sort of problems with his programs?

  3. I know, right. Crunky is hilarious. It tasted a bit like an imitation Crunch bar.

    Ian doesn't have it much easier, but the social gap between men and women here is much larger. So, he has a much easier time being heard and people tend to accept him and what he does instead of trying to shape him, as they do me.

    I think part of it is nepotism, but I also think Julia wanted to show off her daughter's wonderful English skills. I'd be more accepting of the random changes to my schedule if they weren't everyday and so consistently last minute.

    The "no breaks" bit is bizarre because Julia doesn't seem to realize that SHE created our schedules. She often tells us that her and the principles worry about when we eat and always ask us sympathetically if we're tired. That makes it even more frustrating, in a way.