Today was Teacher’s day. My favorite students from Avcilar met me as school and brought me flowers. It was wonderful surprise and I was so thrilled to catch up with them. They are really special students who work extra hard and I’m depressed that I am not their level 2 teacher.
Then I took my flowers and went to the Teacher’s room where the office staff threw us a lovely Teacher’s Day party with a cake and cookies. Each of us got a coffee mug and even a rose. Lovely. It’s the first gesture like that by ET since I arrived here in Turkey. It was really nice and I think everyone appreciated it.
That is, I appreciated it, but I didn’t I understood it.
The office staff first had to take their photos with the party spread—no teachers in the photos, just staff. Then they took my flowers and posed with them. Seriously. Each of the women took my flowers—without asking—and had their picture taken holding them. Then they posed in groups with my flowers and the cake. In the meantime, the English teachers were standing to the side just waiting. After the staff had posted the photos to Facebook we were allowed to eat.
I’m not angry or upset. They didn’t hurt my flowers. It would simply never occur to me to have my photo taken with else’s flowers, or to take them without asking. There is just so much I don’t “get.” And I have to accept that I never will.
Yesterday was payday. My pay was short 20 hours. Again. My pay has been late or wrong more times than it’s been right and on time. Part of me just wonders why I continue working here. I showed them my time sheet and asked them to verify. They agreed they owed me the money and said they’d contact the office and I’d be paid today (Tuesday) but of course it didn’t happen.
It’s actually the inconsistency and unknown that I have issues with. So far, I’ve always gotten the money I was owed, but it’s a hassle and I’ve depended heavily on help from a head teacher. Now there isn’t one. Even when I eventually get the money, it’s a loss of faith, another stab in my heart that says, “This is a stupid. Why are you here?”
Just went to the office to print materials for the weekend and see if the money from my “missing” 20 hours was there. Due to a math error I was paid for just under 18 hours. Jeeze, what a classy place. Oh and did I mention that the good computer is broken. Still. And the printer isn’t working. This isn’t going to be a fun weekend.
I’m always grateful to be able to sleep in on Monday morning. Weekends are tough. This one was 18 teaching hours—spent almost entirely on my feet. But I have really good students and the classes went well. I’ve only got one problem students—a guy who sleeps in class. I’m going to ask the office to deal with him.
I was successful in getting one of the computers up and running and attaching a new keyboard to the second one (cannibalized from a non-working model). Both are now attached to the printer! My tech skills are pretty limited, but clearly better than anyone in the office. We have no tech department, so we fend for ourselves. The printer was finally fixed last Saturday.
This week is Thanksgiving. Wonder if I can find turkey? I like the idea of eating turkey in Turkey!
Heard today: “Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.” ~Delmore Schwartz , quoted in The Year of Magical Thinking, a book I’m listening to as I walk.