These photos are from Sunday, January 28th. It was quite hot, but I took the opportunity to walk around a bit since it wasn’t raining. Didn’t get too far, though, because I had clothes drying on the line outside. You can see the ominous clouds in some photos.
I was feeling pretty depressed when I took these photos. It had occurred to me just how disorganized and dictatorial the school was. I still didn’t have all my textbooks. I’d just found out that the parents were coming for three days this week and we’d be required to check in each student and their TWO PAGES of supplies, all of which I’d have to mark with the student’s name and make room to store. Surprise! I had requested simple classroom supplies three times and hadn’t gotten them. It was taking an act of congress to get an eraser! I needed to write lesson plans, but couldn’t get a format or even a sample of a previous lesson plan from my coordinator. I was very worried about what I was missing from the meetings that I was forced to attend, but couldn’t understand because they were in Spanish. And it didn’t help that the time of these meetings was constantly being changed and started late. (The 11am meeting with the school psychologist last week started 48 minutes late, with no explanation or excuse. Not only were all the teachers forced to sit and wait for her, but she didn’t get to my students issues until last, at 1:15pm. My shift ended at 1p.) The wifi at the school is almost nonexistent, though communications are all by email or WhatsApp (which takes phone data that I have to pay for). You have to download and send everything from home, after school hours.
Though frustrating, I felt I could deal with the disorganization. Working under a bully was another story.
Monday, I tried to talk to the director. The one thing that’s gone well with the move to Bolivia is the apartment and the roommates. Now, I’m being told that I have no choice but to move. I’m getting the information second and third hand, since communications are all coming to Jade, not me. The word is that I have to move the weekend before classes start. That timing is terrible!
I HATE being forced to move with no reason, no discussion, no direct communication and no concern for my needs. It would be different if the school was paying for housing, but they aren’t.
So Monday, I tried to get straight answers and more reasonable timing. Silly me for thinking that was even a possibility! Maria Rene, the director and owner, called me to her office. Before I could voice any concerns, she said I was “negative” and needed to “trust” her. I was a “problem” here at the school because I couldn’t just trust that they would take care of me. It was all going to be OK, she said. Just trust in her and trust in the school.
I tried to say that I judged her and the school based on my experience, which had told me that trust was not the right response. “Best indication of future performance is past performance.” I don’t think she heard me. I tried to tell her that forcing me to move the weekend before classes started was unnecessarily disruptive, particularly when I didn’t want to move. It was bad for the students, the school and me. Besides, the owner had said things wouldn’t be ready for two weeks or more. I’d just seen the place. The kitchen and many of the walls weren’t ready. There were no appliances. No one had checked to see if the A/C worked. There was no furniture. Why force a move in one week, when things weren’t complete? Couldn’t we put the move off one week so that things were ready and better planning for furniture and utilities could be arranged? She pretended I’d not even spoken. She kept talking about how wonderful the new apartment was. She said she’d call the owner and force her to make everything right on time. She didn’t care what I thought.
Then she took my hands, looked me in the eyes and said that the move would be “no problem at all.” It would “only take one hour” and I wouldn’t have to do a thing. I wouldn’t even have to touch my belongings.
Bullshit. “We both know that’s not true.”
“It is! Trust me!”
Why argue with delusional people?
How can I possibly do well here?