The Prima Donna Factory

Monday | May 27th, 2013

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Things shouldn’t be this difficult, yet they are. Why? Because there is a gross imbalance of efforts at the PDF. I shouldn’t be sitting in my room every weekend rethinking what the fuck I’m supposed to do for hours because I haven’t taught some level before. I should be able to lean on my peers for help and resources, but apparently, I’ve got to track them down in person and ask all my questions and beg for materials or something like that.

It’d be awesome if there was some cache of materials somewhere that I could dive into and pillage from. Oh wait, we have that. It’s near empty. It’s full, no doubt about that, but of what, I can’t rightly say. Each file must be downloaded and opened to figure out what it is. Most of it relates to a book I’m not supposed to use. So what the heck has everyone else been doing for the last 13 weeks?

I just don’t know. All I do know is that there are 10 other people who haven’t been sitting and recreating the wheel every weekend. Either they know what the fuck they’re doing and not sharing or they’re lazy bastards doing whatever and not getting called out on it.

I did get some bones thrown my way and they were valuable bones indeed. They came from my officemate, BL, who shared an outline for Week 13 which I used to build a Lesson Plan, an Activity, and a Supplement and targets grammar I didn’t even know should be there (why didn’t I know it should be there? the answers are disturbing). A few came from JC, some vital homework; the rest was from my Team Leader, PG. Before the semester started MS gave me some good ideas of directions to go. The help I received I’m thankful for, but this is one of those odd times (are there are very, very few of these for me) where I wish and wish I had a time machine to go back and change how I did the whole class.

That cache of materials isn’t nearly as fat and deep or as useful as it should be when considering how many people work in the PDF. Some don’t want to put there files into the cache because they feel like I do. I get that—I’ve a growing temptation to become that. Some don’t share because they already did years ago and think I should just use what they’re using and shut the fuck up. Some don’t share because they don’t do anything other than coast (I’ve no problem with this, it’s honest). Some don’t share because they’re afraid of people being critical of the files they put up.

It’s not the not-sharing that is the worst most damaging thing though. That prize goes to the constant attitude that everything is either easy or doesn’t need to be worked on because “We’ve all done it before.” This fails utterly when a new person comes—a person who hasn’t done it before. The new person sees only a cache of junk files; non-existant lesson plans; questions that go unanswered; materials that don’t work with the new book; materials that are without explanation in many instances. What is that person to do?

Maybe, maybe I should have been more aggressive. Called or emailed my Team Leader every week. Watched a few more classes at my level. Those things would have helped. Those things would have helped a lot, actually. I didn’t want to be that person—that needy kind of person.

But … I have to become that person to survive here …

Otherwise I’m going to crumble up and become that other kind of bitter, coaster-hating, non-sharing person who thinks my way, my shit is so amazing that it shouldn’t be shared, that it shouldn’t be part of a larger contribution into a larger picture because I know what’s best for the students because I’ve been doing this, here, for longer than you. That person that can only look at the old ways of the PDF and talk about how much better it is now, so why should it ever have to be anything more.

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