Monday, May 19, 2008

Where's my seatbelt?

On second thought, please don't read this.

My Mondaymobile went from zero to shitty in record time. In first gear, a man sort-of hit his girlfriend in my morning class, which was oh-so lovely to deal with. Second gear was the announcement that the teachers will begin operating on an incentive/punishment program (which I am against in theory anyways--merit pay for teachers over-stretches the boundaries of a capitalist approach to the "business" of education). Third gear, you ask? Third gear was a terrible lesson with a usually terrible class (silent, tired, disinterested) which was interrupted by a prospective "customer" who surveyed the rest of class. It was just...yes, a really awful hour and ten that I probably fucked up, and now that would-have-been student will tell my boss' boss that I am the worst teacher ever and I will have to flee the country. I mean, the class literally ended with me asking, "what can I do to make this a better class?" And them telling me. Which would have been great/fine on any other day, but now this woman who came to one class has the impression that I am a terrible teacher, and she will pass it on to the "sales staff," and like a wildfire all the Chinese staff and teachers will be whispering even more than I'm sure they already do about how I am an awful teacher and I DON'T UNDERSTAND CHINESE SO THEY PROBABLY DO IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME ANYWAYS my god.

Thank goodness for my drug dealer, Mother Nature: without residual running-related endorphins I would have assumed the fetal position sometime around noon.

(And then I wonder if I am projecting all my anxiety about living in China on my teaching--I'm constantly worried about being fired, about being a bad teacher, about my visa. My job does not allow me to feel like sending roots into the dusty Tianjin soil is worthwhile since everything is so tenuous. But is it that, or is it some unspoken hope that I will be fired, so that I have a reason to run away from here? I cannot tell, but I think it's mostly the whole I'm-a-shitty-teacher-without-a-good-visa thing.)

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