Thanks to eveyone who posted happy links in the comments yesterday. I spent the better part of today in bed looking at awkward family photos and some very hungry turtles. I've been having a rough go of things lately. There's nothing huge... just an endless list of little things that have been wearing me down.
I hated that I only had one day off a week, but it was fine, really because I wasn't working that many hours. Sunday was for 'doing things' and I could relax during the downtime on my easy days.
I hated my Saturday classes, but it was fine because that was just Saturday. The rest of the week was adult classes.
But then I got another kid class... and now two more. I now have five young learner classes, and am teaching kids 6 days a week. It is more draining than even I could have imagined. Coming up with new activities day after day after day. And it's one on one with three of the kids, so I can't even make them write up role-plays or do discussion activities together. It's a nightmare for me.
But even that was fine... because I didn't have a full load of classes. I can't turn down classes if I'm working under a full-time load. So, fine fine fine. I'll adjust, I'll deal, no problem, mai bpen lai.
But this month two of my old classes started up again, and now I'm working overtime, tons and tons of overtime. There's 130 teaching hours on my schedule for this month, my contract is for 100 hours a month. So this is a lot more than I'm used to. And teaching hours doesn't equal 'working hours' as I don't get paid for my prep time, or time I spend grading exams or writing progress reports. And it doesn't really reflect the days when I have to start classes at 9:00 and don't finish until 8:30pm.
It's really taking a lot out of me, but again... it's fine, it's fine it's fine. Because I've been worried about money and all the extra hours will help make up for the fact that I haven't saved as much money as I had hoped.
I never liked not having my own classroom, but it was fine. Keep it simple, just bring my materials to class every day - no problem. Except that I'm accumulating more and more and more stuff for my kid classes (a box of markers & pencils, stick puppets for dialogues, glue, scissors, markers, magazines for collages etc. It's taking me two trips to set up the classroom. Fine fine fine... not worth complaining about. But now they're rearranging all the classrooms. They've taken the big conference table out of the room where I teach a class of 9 (I like teaching at a conference table, sitting like an equal with my students), and replaced it with desks (which I hate because they're not set up for pair work and a pain in the ass to move around). Then they've moved the conference room into the room where I teach my one five year old girl. Whereas we used to have one table and plenty of room to walk around and do activities "fly to the [picture of a] bird... swim to the river.... hop to the bunny." we now have two tables and barely enough room to maneuver around them.
They can't really do anything about the rooms because they're preparing for an influx of new corporate students, and they'll need to accomodate a lot of students in each class. Fine fine fine fine fine. Whatever... mai bpen lai... adjust adjust adjust. But as of Saturday the manager decided to change the kitchen into another student lounge... but has locked the staff bathroom because it would be tacky to have a bathroom near where the students hang out. Gah!!!! So now when I'm spending 12 hours a day at the school I have to hike upstairs to the student bathrooms... which inexplicably have the toilet paper rolls *outside* the bathroom. Because somehow it's not tacky to have to gather your TP in the hallway right outside your classroom before going into the bathroom. No that's not tacky at all. But it's fine fine fine because now I'm going to be leaving in a month and a half. Not worth getting into a stink about.
I miss Bunny & Bobby, and I'm pretty lonely here with no real friends to hang out with. But you know, it was okay because I was still somewhat social with the other teachers. Except that a couple of situations have moved some of these casual friendships from 'tolerable & occasionally fun' to 'unpleasant but occasionally tolerable.' So I don't even have anyone to bitch about all these petty grievances with.
It's profoundly ironic actually, I speak to people all day long, but I don't have anyone to talk to. And with no one to talk to, no one to help me unravel all my experiences...they all just get locked into an obsessive track in my brain. People, the crazies have come out, and it's starting to get ugly. It's one thing to talk to yourself, it's another thing to talk to yourself in public.... but now I find myself walking around arguing with myself... out loud... in public. And then I catch myself doing it, realize that I've crossed into crazy-town and start either laughing or crying or both. And then I tell myself that I'm okay... I'm okay, I'm just having a bad day. But I don't believe myself, because I've been having a lot of bad days lately. And then I realize that I'm arguing with myself again.
I'm ready to go home. I feel like I hit my peak at the 8 month mark and it's been a slow decent since then. The bad days are starting to outnumber the good days and the good days just aren't as good as they were before. But I don't really have a 'home' to go to right now. When I do get back to the states it's going to take a bit of work to create a home for myself again.... and I'm not looking forward to that. Well, except for the people speaking English part... I am looking forward to that.... and the cheese. I am *definitely* looking forward to the cheese.