Thursday, February 01, 2007

More more Czech Journal

February 1, 1007 9:15pm

Well, made it to Feb. Hell, I made it through this week. Well, almost. I still have one more day to go, and then I can say I made it through the week. Now I guess I can say that I can almost make out the finish line, somewhere over there, way ahead of me in the distance. It’s hazy, but I’m sure it is there somewhere. And this week needs to be over. I don’t suppose it will seem like much when I write about it, but let me assure you the whole thing was pretty damn trying.

First of all, I had to do my timesheets. At the school, you don’t actually get the timesheets until a few days before they are due. So basically you have to go back through all your notes and class attendance sheets to remember everything you taught, everything that was cancelled, etc, etc. Then, each class needs to be marked separately. My time “sheet” was five pages long. Then you have to gather up attendance sheets, which need to be signed by students (whoops). So this was actually quite time consuming (considering that I had to keep hunting people down with questions. First, my hourly pay wasn’t right. Then, I needed to know how to actually fill the thing out. Then, I had a couple of odd classes that I didn’t know how to record. Then, I didn’t know how to mark my freakin’ LEGO classes (more on that later). Then I had to get students’ signatures. Then, I had to make photocopies. And so on, and so on, and so on.) I did finally get the thing turned in today—my depressingly miniscule salary should appear in my new Czech bank account next week. Now all I need is a bank card.

So, Monday I planned lessons and messed with time sheets. Tuesday I had my two morning classes. In the second class (which I share with another teacher who teaches on Thursday), I started doing an activity with the students only to be told that the other teacher had already done that with them (we are supposed to text each other after every class and let the other know what we did). Anyway, I went home after the class to get some breakfast and a shower. I got the breakfast and hopped into the shower when: “plunk.” Huh? “plop… plop plop.” I don’t have my glasses on (duh) so I have no idea what is going on. “plop, plop, thud.” Yes, the thud was something landing on my head. I finished my shower quickly, hopped out, put the glasses on, and looked up. And sure enough, hallelujah, it is raining ceiling. I dried off quickly, threw on some clothes, and called the landlord. He came up right away, was very apologetic, cleaned up the mess, and called a couple of guys to come in right away to fix it. (What had happened: there were some guys in the attic installing [there’s got to be a better verb] installation and drilling into the attic floor/my bathroom ceiling. The screws had knocked ceiling bits loose [okay, I say ceiling bits, but the bathtub was full of ceiling by the time the landlord arrived]). All in all, it was less painful than it could have been. I would have forgotten all about it if it hadn’t been for the fact that the rest of my week was so crazy. (It also meant that I couldn’t do any lesson prep during that time). Anyway, I got to the school, taught my class, and then went over to some other teachers’ apartment for dinner.

Oh, wait! I totally forgot—my alarm didn’t go off Tuesday morning! (I wonder how many other little things like that that happened this week that my mind has repressed. I, believe it or not, was only about 3 minutes late to my first lesson (but I was without any tea in my system and I looked completely unkempt). The rest of the day I just felt like I was playing catch up. Anyway, moving on…

Wednesday. Ugh. I don’t think I can write about Wednesday yet. Still too soon. Maybe tomorrow, when the week is really over.

Anyway, I haven’t been sleeping really well lately (like, this entire week). I try to get to bed early, then I just lie there and think, “why can’t I sleep? I’m completely exhausted. Why can’t I sleep? I’m completely exhausted. Why can’t I sleep? I’m completely exhausted. Why can’t I sleep? I’m completely exhausted. Why can’t I sleep? I’m completely exhausted. Why can’t I sleep? I’m completely exhausted.” (and so on, and so on, and so on). Anyway, it is not the most relaxing thought to have (nor is, “What the heck am I going to do with my students tomorrow?” or “Ack! I have to wake up in three hours to go teach! Why can’t I sleep? I’m so exhausted.”)

Well, I think that is all I can really write tonight. The rest will have to wait for some other day. Oh, one last piece of news, though. I bought a ticket to go see an opera this coming Sunday. It in the nosebleed section (but it is seated, not standing). Price? 80 crowns. That’s about US $4.50 (by the way, what is up with the dollar? Every time I walk past an exchange booth, the dollar has dropped just a little more. Come on folks, you gotta work to keep that dollar up, at least while I’m still using my US savings to survive out here in the wilds of Prague.


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