Well, the important thing is that I survived, right? It actually ended up not being so bad, but I was sure off to a rough start.
As I mentioned before, we left the office on Friday ignorant as babes to almost everything concerning this week. When I arrived at ten-to-eight yesterday (I write this at the end of Day Two, since the post I had got mysteriously deleted), I was handed a schedule that showed me teaching not one but two consecutive lessons for my most advanced students at 8:25. I was informed my actual boss was in Bangkok, and while all the other ladies were pleasant enough they weren’t exactly fonts of information. (“Where is this classroom?” “Oh! In Building 6. Over there. [Makes ambiguous hand gesture.] Maybe you can ask a student when you go.” “Do you think you could log me into the internet so I can print these very important resources I’ve emailed to myself? I don’t have login info yet!” [Of course I don’t.] “Oh! Haha. I forgot password!”)
Half an hour is plenty of time for a lot of people to do a lot of things, but it wasn’t enough time for me to do… anything. I ended up grabbing a handful of blank paper and deciding I’d have to wing it. David offered to accompany me in the general direction of the hand gesture (probably to make sure I didn’t have a nervous breakdown on the way), and when we were well on our way to getting lost and asked another teacher where the classroom was, she looked at my schedule and told me those students had a seminar that morning so I’d have the morning free.
“Are you… sure?” It just seemed like after discussing my schedule with three people in my own office that information somehow would have come up.
“Yes! But I will show you around.” And that’s how my heart slowed to a normal rate and we got some semblance of the orientation we should have received at least four days previous. It felt like a real live first day of school, and not nearly with the sense of confidence or authority you’d always imagine teachers to have. It was like, “Whoa… there’s a small city of buildings back here! How did we not know about this?! Let’s compare schedules! [Fun fact about our schedules: The instant one lesson ends, the next begins. On Wednesdays I have a class that ends at 10:05 in Building 4. And I also have one that begins at 10:05 in Building 7. Where is my Hermione Granger nifty hourglass necklace?!] Where should we sit in the cafeteria?” (Yes, we tried the cafeteria food, and it was good, and my noodles, tea, and brownie cost one whole dollar.)
I did have three classes in the afternoon. They all used the same lesson plan, so I was able to kind of streamline it as the day went on, and I actually found the students all quite enjoyable. All 133 of them. I’m going to end up with nearly 500 students, which is a bit overwhelming to think about so I don’t.
In reality I’m enjoying it here and think it’s going to end up being really good. Just gotta get used to a few things first!