Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Day's Balance Sheet

What day are we on?
Are you fucking KIDDING me?  That's all?
Yep!  'Fraid so.

It's the end of a long day.  I am surveying the destruction of my desk.    Four dirty coffee mugs.  This is a sure sign of turmoil, because it means that people have been bringing me coffee before I get up and fetch it from the staff room myself.  Hmmm... One of these had chicken soup in it, not coffee...  How long ago did I have chicken soup?

I really should just stay here and work on administrative stuff.  Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

Let's see... what was good and bad about today?

Good:  Nate is ready to recite his poem for his book report tomorrow.  He knows it all and is adorably dramatic when he does it. "Spaghetti, spaghetti all over the place. Up to my elbows, up to my face!"

Bad:  Very short run.  No time for more. 

Bad:  Didn't eat at all until 2 PM.  Very unusual for me to skip breakfast. 

Good:  I went to see my counselor today.  The last little while has been dreadful and it helped to talk about it.  She thinks I am handling things reasonably well.  This surprises me.

Bad:  The weather.

Good:  Jokes from Chad in my e-mail.  I reminded him that we had said we would get together for a cuppa and asked what it takes to get a busy attorney out of his office?  Did I have to book him via his secretary? (That's pathetic, Chad!) Bomb scare?  Forklift?

Bad:  I had to go up to University of Utah to help conduct some job interviews.  I swear:  every time I go up there, they have rearranged the campus.  Wait! Was this road always here?  I also got every red light on 400 South.

Good:  I enjoyed doing the job interviews, once I got there.  I like college students.

Bad:  I left my planner up at the Union building.

Good:  One of my volunteers was studying at the Marriott Library right near the Union and was happy to retrieve it for me and bring it when he came to tutor. Thanks, Jeff!  What kind of cookies do you want me to bake you?

Good:  I got my first bit of corporate contract work.  A company out of New Hampshire wants me to assess the verbal English of one of their Utah-based salesmen.  Customers are complaining that they have trouble understanding him. He called me a little later in the day to set up an appointment with me - I thought his English sounded really good!  Sometimes, I think people can just be bull-headed where accents are concerned.  I think I'll give him my usual assessment that I use, but I will  also probably have him do a  few intonation exercises for me.  At any rate: money, money.

Good:  Hug from Zina - I needed it.

Bad:  I think my upcoming Tutor Boot Camp is going to be sparsely attended.  We just didn't add very many new volunteers this quarter.  More people = more fun.

Bad:  The student Adi did return to school today and was very, VERY angry that I have banned her from the childcare.  Mark was unable to reason with her so he brought her to me; he hates being the "bad cop".  This was not difficult:  "Threatening the babysitter is not OK."  Except that I don't actually know the word for "threaten" in Spanish, and my workaround ("saying a bad thing about your plan to do a future bad thing") was a little, uh, clumsy.

Good:  We had a fun student assembly tonight.  The choice was to crowd into the tiny, hot cafeteria or be cold out on the front lawn.  I chose the front lawn, finally.
 Student assemblies can have any sort of agenda.  We have done interviews, speeches, games, songs, reports, role plays, graduations, awards, whatever.  Tonight, we had a group of students interview Laura, the new teacher.  She has been an excellent addition.  I'm so happy with her work!  The students think her language background is a little odd.  "What languages do you speak?"  "German."  "WHY!?"  Here she is sitting on the fallen tree outside the school.  I wanted her to pose with it because it fell over in the wind storm on Thursday, just as she was driving into the parking lot - almost smashed her car.  You can see that it completely demolished our picket fence.  While we waited for everyone to get outside, I was amusing some of the students by jumping off the log in fake gymnastic poses.  Aaaaand, she NAILS that landing!
 Next on the agenda was a visit by a couple of pit bulls.  Rai talked to the students about socializing pit bulls, and about spaying/neutering.  Pit bulls are a popular breed in this neighborhood.  It was getting dark, so this is a really bad pic. 
 This one is better.  The owners took the dogs into the childcare room so the kids could play with them.
  Last item ion the agenda:  lots of jobs available with a custodial company.  They just got a contract to clean all the floors in one of the big new buildings downtown.  You have to be documented and you have to have a security check, but a lot of students were interested.  I'm holding the ads in my hand.  Amina wanted one for her husband, then wanted a photo with me for no particular reason.

As usual, my students saved the day for me. They have no idea how much they can move my daily balance sheet from "bad" to "good".

No comments:

Post a Comment