Friday, December 31, 1999

the good, the bad, and the ugly

[Originally posted on Friday, September 26, 2014, 6:55PM.]

A bit of an omnibus update on work life this time around.

First, the good: my advanced reading/writing students once again did a very good job of teaching the class today, with a little help from yours truly when it came to discussing coordinating versus subordinating conjunctions, commas, semicolons, and dependent versus independent clauses. The girls taught with humor and energy, and I was happy with their performance. My only quibble, as before, was that they finished a bit too early, thus leaving "dead time," which I then had to fill.

Second, and also good: I got paid by the Golden Goose today. This past Wednesday was Week 6 at that job; pay was about a week later than I had hoped it would be. We're still working out the kinks as to how I'm to be paid at the Golden Goose. What's likely to happen is that a contract will be drafted, mainly for pro-forma reasons; I'll sign it, and from then on, pay will arrive on a particular calendar date every month. I've stated a preference for the 15th.

Third, the bad—or maybe this is good: FB just sent out an email saying that she's leaving the university, implying that she's seeking greener pastures elsewhere. I wonder whether my recent unpleasant encounters with her had played a role in her decision to leave. I entertain that thought with a slight smile, but in truth, I doubt I was instrumental: more likely, she had been planning to leave for a while. Changing jobs is a big decision that requires thought and preparation; for all I know, she'd been plotting this move since before the semester began, back when things were cool between her and me.

Fourth, the ugly: today, I made the mistake of allowing a student of another teacher to sit in on my class (the one I talked about above). This student said he had heard great things about the class, so he wanted to see the proceedings for himself. I got a bad vibe from this kid right away: he was very talky and a bit pushy, and he smelled of asshole. Sure enough, when class was over, I asked him what he'd thought of the girls' lesson, and he began complaining: "Not active enough, could've been better..." etc. His complaints weren't all that clear to me, but I think the subtext is that he was expressing loyalty to his own class and his own teacher who, according to him, doesn't even use the textbook. (That doesn't bother me, although some teachers forgo the textbook not for solid pedagogical reasons but more as a blatant attempt at establishing their coolness in front of the students. Since I don't know the teacher in question, I obviously can't judge. Perhaps, as I had done with my advanced listening/discussion class, the teacher had weighed the textbook and found it wanting. Can't critique that.)

Anyway, I should never have allowed this kid into my class. By the end of his litany of complaints, I was tempted to tell him that he could fucking teach my class if he thought he knew so goddamn much. But I've chosen instead to treat him as the inconsequential pissant he is and dismiss his puerile, half-baked, and vaguely autistic insights.

This has been a bad week, overall, in terms of non-class-related affairs: the conflict with FB, the presence of the asshole know-it-all student (whose visit is really my fault), and other little annoyances made the time grind away slowly and painfully. Next week had better be better.


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