Monday, September 10, 2007

Do You Ever Just Want To Cry?

My day started with a phone call. Not the 'hey what's new' kind of phone call. The 'something is wrong' phone call. Or in my case, the 'you have class today that you didn't know about' kind of phone call.
My co-worker called to tell me about some new classes that one of my schools has decided at the last minute to sign up for. Every second Monday (1 hour in the morning before my 4 hours at a different school in the afternoon) and every second Wednesday (in the afternoon for 3 hours at the same school I already taught from 8-12). A little complicated yes, oh and by the way TODAY is the first day! Well it was a little shocking to hear that I was going to have class in less than 2 hours, and I was a little upset when my poor co-worker (who had to bear the brunt of my reaction over the phone) revealed that he'd known since Friday but didn't know how explain all that in English so waited until Monday, instead of A. emailing me in Chinese, B. asking someone else in our office of over 100 bilingual people to tell me, C. Calling me and telling me in Chinese, or D. at the very LEAST emailing me and saying "You have class on Monday morning" and explaining it all later....

So can we all agree that this is already a pretty frustrating situation?

SO now starts a very rushed preparation and searching for a lost flash disk (which I didn't find), and booting it over to the school. I got to the library where I got my first clue that things were amiss.... the librarian who is usually in charge of booking my classroom didn't have any idea I was coming, and my regular classroom was already booked. She helped set me up in another room and then I had about 5 minutes before 11... which came and went with no students.

After 10 minutes I found out that the class who so URGENTLY called our office saying we needed to start class today was in another class and had no inkling that I was there waiting to teach them... Well I kind of lost it at this point..... I started crying and the librarian told me she'd go find out what was going on. They decided to grab another class and get them to come up so I would have someone to teach. Their teacher came up shortly and offered to escort me to their classroom. Well I was already set up with my powerpoint in the library, and the classrooms don't have powerpoint. So he went to get the students. They arrived, 20 minutes into class at this point, and their teacher told me they didn't have the magazine yet (the material I'm supposed to be teaching out of) it took great self-restraint at this point to not throw my magazine across the room and storm out.
With a number of deep breaths I managed to calm myself down and salvage the rest of the class. But I felt like screaming. Finished that and biked home to have a quick lunch and head out to another 4 hours of class.
Call it disogranization, call it culture shock on my part, but this really takes the cake as far as "first day of class problems"go.

It was the morning from hell.

4 comments:

  1. Wow. Just, wow.
    I hope you go get a massage or a hairwash or something when this day is over.

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  2. so even though expect the unexpected should be your mantra is it not yet?

    I am SO sorry you had an awful morning. And, yes, I totally, 100% agree that it was not just a pretty frustrating situation, but a VERY frustrating situation!!!

    my sympathies to you.

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  3. Awww, Charlotte, I would have cried too!!!! And probably walked out. When they found out your class was already doing something else, why didn't they just let you go back home until your next class started? That would have been not so bad, though still frustrating from having to prepare in less than 2 hours! My poor Char. I never realizred the beginning of school could be so hard on the teachers! My thoughts are with you...

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  4. That is dreadful! It sounds like there was some serious miscommunication on the part of about 15 people - I really hope that things settle down! And I agree with Carmen...I definitely would have cried, also. It sounds like you really took hold of the situation, though, and managed to give some value to the students out of it, and that is so awesome! :)

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