I came perilously close to missing my early class this morning. Woke up at 6:35, an hour late! Good thing I lay out all my clothes and have my backpack ready the night before. I was out the door in 4 minutes, with no coffee (a true hardship!). Because of the repair extravaganza in my room yesterday, I didn’t get my afternoon nap. To make matters worse, I had a hard time settling down to sleep last night. Only one more day of this schedule. I hope. There are few mirrors in this flat, but I got a good look at myself yesterday. Lack of sleep ages you and I certainly feel bad much of the time. I don’t have the energy to see the city or go out and I’ve made several stupid mistakes because my concentration is off. Most have been small, but I almost stepped in front of a moving car a couple times. I don’t think I can do another bad split shift. It’s not safe or healthy. Marc is supposed to take over my 7am class and while he does have some evening classes, I notice that his last class ends at 6pm. Not 9pm. He’ll get a full night’s sleep, which should help.
Despite the morning drama, I made it to class before the students and gave the final exams for Level 2. I’ve started grading them and so far they seem to have done better on this test than the quiz two weeks ago. Feeling a bit better about my ability to teach. Students can learn a lot in 5 weeks. I’ll miss them, but not the 7am start time.
I’m finding it difficult to stomach the very different reception my new, male colleague from Canada has received compared to mine. The girls in the office simply fawn over Marc. (also the gay, male attendant.) They giggle and ask questions and laugh at anything he says. These are the same young women who barely say hello to me. In fact, the woman in the morning won’t say hello or print things for me—which is her job. (Based on results, she’s there to catch up on her texting.) I had thought most of the female office workers simply didn’t have the English language skills and so tried not to be offended. I was wrong. Patty sat patiently with Marc yesterday, showing him how to fill out his time card. She managed several completely understandable English sentences and phrases, including polite words. To me, she just threw the paper on the table and said, “Now!” (Since she isn’t my boss and I wasn’t on the clock, I responded, calmly, “No. Soon.” I finished what I’d come in early–on my own time–to do, then I did the time card.) According to Marc, the director, Michael, has met with him several times to check on him, which certainly didn’t happen with me. Also, Michael just opened a “conversation” class on Saturdays, for Marc. I had suggested a class like this to Michael and he thought it a “bad fit for the school.” .
Marc is in my former room back at the previous flat. The landlord, Arturo, couldn’t do enough for Marc, even taking him to lunch yesterday. Of course, it might have been a mild shock for Marc to find he was on a potential “date” since Arturo is gay.
The female students crowd around Marc, too. Yesterday, during class, I had to walk out into reception and ask if they could bring the volume of the flirting down a notch or two, since I had students trying to take an exam. Marc is a 30-something guy of average intelligence and appearance. He seems nice, but he probably doesn’t get this kind of attention from women back home. I’m happy he’s had a positive reception and hope he enjoys the new attention, but suspect these young women are looking for a “rich” foreigner to marry and rescue them. It’s like I’ve time warped back to the 1950’s USA.
Anyway, I’m finding it difficult and I am a bit jealous. It’s not that I want him to be treated badly. It’s just that I’d like to be treated well, too.
Got up at 5:30a for what I hope will be the final time. I had no class, but still had to show up to do paperwork. I finished grading the Level 2 class and am very pleased with their improvement over the previous quiz. Also graded the Level 9 class (both are offset classes, so one week behind the others). The grades were pretty good and two students I feared would fail, didn’t, though the way the points system is set up, you have to do VERY poorly to fail. One is a young woman, Valarie, who showed serious improvement in the final 2 weeks. I think it scared her to realize she was about to fail. I don’t think she wants to learn English, but her mother insists. The young man, Edgar, however, just barely passed the course. He didn’t pass his quiz or final exam (THIS is what I mean about the points system). I’m grateful I won’t be his teacher next session since I don’t think he can pass without substantial extra work. Since he doesn’t do his homework, that’s not likely to happen. The extra paperwork and scrutiny a teacher gets when she fails a student is tiresome (at best) and demeaning (at worst).
My new favorite quote, “Love is always a calculated risk. But I’m bad at math.”
Three straight days of sleeping 8 hours a night. I feel, and look, like a new woman! Yesterday (Sunday) I had the energy to walk around the old town for over 4 hours, taking photos, trying a new food, investigated some shops and looked into churches. That’s what I’m here for, not working all the time! For the next three weeks, I’ll just have 3 evening classes, plus Saturdays. It’s less money, but I think it’s worth it. Also, if you missed it, I posted 2 YouTube videos about SLP.
This morning I successfully found a place to put in a new zipper in my favorite grey hiking pants. I’m sure my new hobby of eating tacos had NOTHING to do with needing a new zipper! The seamstress only charges 50 pesos and the pants will be ready in 2 days. Excited to find this place.
Looked at a couple used bicycles at a second hand store (bazar retro). One had a broken seat and the other a bent rim. The guy was asking 1,000 pesos for either and I’d need to pay for extra work on each. Not a good deal for me. For double that, I can get a new bike. I’ll keep looking, but it would save on transportation costs and I’d probably investigate more of the outlying city if I had a bike. If I’m not run over by a car, that is.
Applied to potential school #3 yesterday (Sunday). This morning, the school’s director asked for an immediate interview before 1pm and seemed reluctant to answer questions by email. Had to ask twice for the two school locations (he didn’t give me actual addresses, just plazas), which are far from my flat and from each other. When I asked about buses that went to these locations, he simply stopped communicating. The school also has one very recent (September 2016) and very negative review online. Pretty sure I have my answer on the school. Three down…..
Seriously depressed over the upcoming election. If Trump is elected, I’m not sure I’ll be going back to the USA for quite some time. I think this is the most important election of my lifetime and I’m shocked and appalled that a misogynistic, hate-filled, self-centered, liar can be so close to winning the White House. Hilary wasn’t my first choice, but I’ll take her any day over Trump. Voting overseas is VERY DIFFICULT, but I’ve finally found a way to get an absentee ballot. I’ve printed it and filled it out. I still need the signature of a witness and to figure out how to send it. My earlier absentee ballot appears to be lost in the mail. I’ve lost friends on FaceBook over this election, possibly real life friends, too. It saddens me, but I am compelled to take a stand and to vote my conscience.
Still feels amazing to get a full night’s sleep. This new schedule is less money, but so much better for my health. I hope more evening classes will open up, but I can make it on this reduced amount now that we’ve gotten a pay increase and I’m in a less expensive flat.
Today I retrieved my pants from the seamstress. A perfectly installed new zipper for 50 pesos (about $2.60US) in less than 2 days. I expected the zipper alone to cost more than that.
Also found a good tamales vendor down the street for breakfast—yes, tamales are breakfast food in Mexico!
The photos on today’s page are all from this morning’s outing.