Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Schedule Planning Party

Today and yesterday I feel like I have been having one, long party for planning my schedule. Last week we had a meeting with the guy in charge of giving us our class assignments. Abraham. He's fairly incompetent. Don't think that I just don't like the guy or anything like that. We actually spend a lot of time convincing ourselves that we just don't give him a chance to show his true colors, but then he always swoops in and ruins things again. Like not knowing how many classes he assigned to each of us, so one person has 2 while another has 10. Or not giving us a class roll until the week of the final. Or not answering or returning phone calls and then pretending he didn't know we called him when we see him face to face. (It's a cell phone, it's hard not to notice something like that.) We tried to pump ourselves up and get excited about meeting with him to get our teaching assignments. We were told school would start the 25th, so we should be back at least by the 23rd or 24th to get our classes. We came back on time, sat around for a week or so, tried to call and text him to find out when he wanted to meet with us. His reply: "I'll meet with you when I'm ready." So on the 25th (the first day of class) I got a call at 8 in the morning saying we should meet Abraham in the office at 10 to get our class assignments. He ended up giving each of us one or two classes, then said that we would receive more before the end of the week. "Friday is the deadline," he said. Friday came and went, Monday came back around, we were all going to teach the first day of an elective class that all 4 of us teach at the same time (in different rooms, of course), and Abraham showed up in our classrooms to give us the rest of our class assignments. Of course, what we REALLY wanted was the class roll. And a classroom with more than 55 seats since my class had 63 students. But alas, he couldn't provide either so some students ran and found extra stools from another room while others just sat on each other. Some of the classes he assigned us yesterday started yesterday, but I somehow didn't get one of those classes.

Right now I have one class on Monday afternoons, a Tuesday/Thursday morning class, and 4 other classes in the other afternoons. We've also set aside a time for the foreigners at my school to get together at 8 most mornings each week to study and talk. So far, it's been fun. On top of that, we found a Chinese Sister to tutor each of us for an hour each day to continue our language learning. There's also a study on Saturday nights at my school, some birthday parties coming up, Michael is coming to visit in April (if you didn't know, my brother is coming in April!!!), a weekly guy's lunch that we're trying to plan, and all sorts of things that I don't even know about yet. It's been fun comparing schedules with people trying to find a time to get together. One thing we're focusing on this term is smaller groups. Less worrying about getting everyone involved, more attention on being effective and fulfilling our purpose. It should be a good term, I think.

Meager March is off to a fair start. I've had my computer on a lot just because I still have some necessary things to pay attention on Skype and my email, but I'm trying to avoid any and all frivolous use of the internet for personal use. I can only use it for important things, like class planning, research, talking to my family, etc. By the way, my family can feel free to continue trying to call me this month, I won't abandon you. I'm on day 4 and I've spent 13 yuan, so I'm doing well with money. The total for the month averages out to 5.45 each day, so I'm a little under par. I'm sure there will be some big expense just over the horizon, though! Well, I'm up to 15 yuan with all the time I'm spending doing personal things online today, so I'm going to run along now. Happy birthday to the 50 bajillion people having a birthday in my family this month. Happy birthday today, Suzannah! Much love to all.


Jessica said...

I can't wait to see all the photos and hear the stories from when Michael comes to visit you next month!

Neals in Nashville said...

I'm coming to visit??? That's news to me!! JK. See you next month!

TexasNeals said...

dear uncle brian,
thanks for wishing me happy birthday. i just loved it!
suzannah neal

Donna said...

Hey, Brian,

You know, Suzannah and I SHARE the same birthday!!!! In fact, this was my BIG 65th!!!!

You have a great day on the 11th. We're in Houston celebrating Lisa's birthday today. Gmother and I will be going to Denison on Wed. and then home on Sat.

Have fun with Michael.


Aunt Donna

Neals in Nashville said...

Happy Birthday from the Neals in Nashvegas!! See you next month.


Tine said...

Hi Brian,

wen I red Yvonne`s blog, I found yours... In may I`ll arrive in Shiyan to teach too. Will you still be there?
Greatings from Germany

Althea said...
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