Sunday, March 12, 2006

the work drama

This is in Ryogoku. I commute through here 2 days a week to get to Shinonome. This is between the JR train line and the Toei Oedo Subway line. If I get transfered, I'll probably try to move to this neighborhood... but I don't know what's happening............

so, let me be clear. I'm not going to be unemployed. whatever happens with this mess, I'll still have a job with Ye Ol' Eikaiwa, it's just unclear what form it will take.

so basically, KM isn't making enough money so they want to eliminate my 3days/week position and move my students and classes to the other teacher's schedules. I've been begging for a full time posistion at KM since I got here in August and so I was disappointed (to say the least) when I was told that the elimination of my posistion would put me in Shinonome school full time--that's a hell a lot o' toddlers a week.

since then there is almost a new rumor or potential news everyday. the latest is that something has caused Ye Ol' Eikaiwa to be very worried about all the students that my move would displace and all plans are off for now. I don't know what "for now" means. could be a month... a week... maybe I'll hear something different on Tuesday.

obviously I'm very frusterated. I hate not having a solid idea about what the immediate future holds and all this is really upsetting to me. however, there are upshots.

recently in class we've been working on proverbs and values and I'm learning all sorts of interesting from my students. They say that the English proverb, "every cloud has a silver lining" is similar to a Japanese one which sounds something like, "when one god abandons you, another picks you up" I find it all quite fascinating. also, they think "don't cry over spilled milk" means don't obsess over mistakes in the past, and are so excited to learn that it also means 'don't get over upset over small things.' ect ect

so anyway.

if i move to the munchin school, I'll effectively be working a lot less for the same money and probably get a better apartment. there are no classes after 6 on Saturday (now I teach until 9 on Saturday) which would make weekend travel much easier. ect ect. so I'm trying to stay flexible and not get over upset when there are obvious advantages. even if it means doing the ABC song until I'm sick and crazy. and not learning so many cool strange things from my adult students. they just crack me up!

so my saturday night class is from 7 to 9 and these 7 students have been in class and friends for years. so it's rowdy and great. we were working on 2nd conditionals as the grammer focus, as in: What would you do if you... I would... if I ... So the excercise is that they have the answer and need to make up the question. The answer is "I'd take a picture of it so everone would believe me." and my dear student (who we have recently been teasing about always looking so fashionable and I had to teach them the word 'metrosexual' just for him) and so he says, "If people keep asking if I'm man or woman, I'll take a picture of it." at which point I cover my mouth and try not to laugh too much. However, one more student has also started giggling and we are both useless in giggles. The guy, laughing also, gets out his dictionary and looks up a word. "No! No! he says, a ... "certificate" I take a picture of the certificate!" "OK OK" says the fabulous teacher Kori. and bedlam continues

also I'm learning about myself (wow, I didn't even need to pay a shrink this time). I realized that I am way way over emotionally invested in my students and my schools. Sure, it's good to care about your job, but I'm taking this a little too far. and so it's a good chance to realize what's going on and back off a little.

so the bottom line is: I don't know where I'll be working in a month. but I'm doing better and better with that uncertainty.

as Ani Difranco says (because I'm lame and quote other people too much)

buildings and bridges are made to bend in the wind
to withstand the world that's what it takes
all that's steal and stone are no match for the air
what doesn't bend breaks, what doesn't bend breaks


jim said...

Oh Kori,
How difficult is uncertainty. Perhaps the most difficult thing to cope with. But, it looks like you are stepping back a bit and trying to find perspective. It's possible that your adult students, who love you, will complain vigorously and KM will not be able to shift you. Perhaps, as you suggest, that has already happened. Keep a stiff upper lip. Don't get too blue. Where there's a will, there's a way. love, jim

Colin said...

You got me giggling helplessly with your ". . . picture of it . . ." story too. What a great moment.

I'm afraid I'm going to think of it at totally inappropriate moments and lose it again. er, not "it", it.

Kiki said...

Kori, wish I could grab those employers by the scruff of the downunders and shake them up. "Don't you see what a fabulous teacher you have here in Kori Beyer? How can you possibly think you will be able to find another one like her?? You better treat her right or...." They don't want to know.
We're with you.

Anonymous said...

to juxtapose quotations, because i'm too tired to generate my own words at the moment...

"In the dime stores and bus stations,
People talk of situations,
Read books, repeat quotations,
Draw conclusions on the wall.
Some speak of the future,
My love she speaks softly,
She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all."
-bob dylan