Archive | Dear Diary RSS feed for this section

Selfish

3 Dec

I don’t know how to trust, I guess. I don’t trust anyone to be there for me because experience has taught me that no one will ever be there when I am in the most desperate need. I have pulled myself through for as long as I can remember – through everything I ever went through; I don’t think there is ever anything I could go through anymore where I would need a shoulder other than my own to lean on.

And somehow I get called selfish. Well, I am happier being the kind of selfish where I keep me to myself cuz no one else can do a better job at taking care of me than I myself can.

Sadly, You Cannot Revolutionalize Education

15 May

I did it this week. I went to the academic director and I told him every single thing that had been going on, in respect to the way management was treating the staff and about the discrimination and humilitaion they were being bullied with. I spoke to him giving my professional opinion about leadership and management and that the people he hired to be our supervisor cannot do crap without personal prejudices being how they proceed with decision-making.

And the school principal saw me in his office, and from that point on, they have done whatever they could find possible to get me to leave myself. Since they cannot fire me without the director’s approval and he isn’t going to let that happen. And there has been a silent war since then between the supervisors and myself. And today, I burst with slamming the door at one of their faces while they were in the middle of telling me to not use the word “shit” with them in speech.

It is so pathetic. I feel like just the younger teachers were actually trying to get students to learn to challenge their intellectual boundaries so they can challenge the culture’s expectations out of them. And all supervisors did the whole time was limit us in that. They did not want us to teach students anything they don’t want to learn and we cannot make exam questions where they have to use anything beyond memorization.

So, I had reached my high point. I went to one of the grades, told the students to highlight whatever they want to study, turn it into me within the hour, and I will make their exam straight out of it. Well, basically I yelled and snapped that at them, and they just kept staring at me, but obediently enough brought me what they wanted and didn’t want. And I made a 2 page exam for 50 points for them.

Because, that is what the supervisor asked of me. That is not what the supervisors asked of teachers in the boys’ section of our school. It is what is asked of teachers in the girls’ section of our school. High school students need word-to-word notes that need to be written on whiteboard, they need worksheets and worksheets that have to be solved on the board for them, and then they also need those worksheets summarized into a review worksheet for the exam. So the students never have to open the textbooks they spent thousands on.

I tried. Some of the others tried. But the supervisor tells me the three chapters I had given them for the final exam was too much for them, parents are threatening to go to the head office with the worksheets and they fear they will take their children to another school and we don’t want to lose them.

Yeah. I just stared at her face. And was like, “fine, I’ll go delete shit from the exam!” And then I got the “Mind your language when talking to me…” lecture which I walked away from slamming the door behind me at her face. And some of my students were right there, watching.

Unprofessional organizations are going to get a piece of their own unprofessionalism thrown right back in their face.

You are not allowed to do your job as a teacher here. You have to teach a 10th grade student like she is in the 6th grade. You cannot push them, encourage them, civilize them, make them use their brain, improve their thinking, motivate them to want to go to college rather than just get married and make babies when they graduate high school. You cannot revolutionize because, disgustingly enough, the women who run schools here do not bother trying to improve the living situation of the younger women. What these girls learned nothing in their 14 years of education, they learned in the 4 months the new, younger teachers taught them.

This is how poor standard of education persists. And it will only end when women stop living under a rock and succumbing to the expectations set for them. I tried. And I quit now. 2 more weeks of hell but thank God it is just examinations and corrections and then I am never going to look back again.

Mad

24 Apr

I’m mad about everything. I am mad about the double-cross plots against me at work. I am about the disrespect management treats us teachers with. I am mad one of my closest friends just got married and never told us until it was done. I am mad I haven’t been able to sleep for more than two hours a night for over a week. I am mad my job description changes far too often and suddenly I am held accountable for things I was told are not my responsibility anymore.

I am mad that people aren’t just backstabbing but frontal-lobe stabbing too. And yes that is a thing too. I am mad people come to me for favors and despite a busy schedule, I try and accomodate them and even when they see I am in no mood or condition to accept any responsibility, they give me this disgusting look that is supposed to make me well, feel disgusted at myseld for refusing to help this one time. I am mad that I just don’t seem to get sick enough of people betraying me when I put my trust in them. I am mad I am that stupid to continue giving them chances after chances.

I am mad that my supervisor tried to turn my students against me, but they held me high enough to come and have a truthful clarification of matters. In the midst of it, I had just the support of a couple of coworkers who actually understood the unfairness I am being treated with and didn’t mind lending a listening ear, even if it was just out of curiosity.

I am mad I was taught to respect and honor people. I am mad I don’t say no when I need to. I am mad I am young and I will work my ass off to learn and grow. I am mad that there is no appreciation or recognition for the effort I put in. I am mad I am one of the youngest teachers and the envy of coworkers is just penetrating fires inside my skin when they see how all students simply stated I am the coolest teacher they have ever had. I am mad they pass sarcastic comments meant to hurt my almost negligible self-esteem. I am mad they don’t know shit about me and still assume. I am mad I want to turn in my letter of resignation but I can’t cuz I care about these students and I care about the money I make out of this job.

End this academic year in a month and I will never return and I will express myself fully to the director who holds me in high regard as well. As long as he is made aware of the number of bullets being fired in my direction, I know things will be better. I know he is probably the only management who will snap at any and everyone who create a hostile work environment for me.

A Day’s Breather

11 Apr

Survived Pakiland. Survived one of the funniest embarrassing moments of my life. Survived meeting extended family, and well actually had a good experience right there cuz this wasn’t that horrible side of the family. I even got along with my cousins, which I was surprised went so well. I guess part of me looked at them as the same age as my students though they are barely just 4 to 6 years younger.

Came home after a week of wedding ceremonies, and returned right to work. As the activity coordinator in addition to the number of different classes I had to teach, I really don’t feel like I get any time to breath. There is my afternoon nap lasting around an hour and a half if I am lucky, followed by a 3 to 4hr sleep at night.

Not that I am complaining. I actually enjoy being busy. I enjoy the number of people who come running to me for several different things all day long. And that moment when the coordinator did that embarrassing thing by having the school applaud for my hard work in successfully organizing the spelling bee competition. I like being appreciated, I hate the attention. Though I still made them add “you’re super awesome” on my certificate of appreciation.

Being called the coolest teacher ever by students keeps me giving as much as I can to my job I guess. When I dress like a high schooler (from my time in high school), I guess it helps. I even organized a haunted house with my friend and our students for the Fun Fest, and needless to say, became the most anticipated and successful event at the school that day. Some kids made it through successfully. Others made it through crying. While the remaining ran out the front itself after a minute inside. But they still paid and came back for more. My throat literally was dead for the rest of the day and night after laughing like a witch and screeching out, “you’re all going to die in here!”

Tiring. But fulfilling. Such is life. Sometimes you end up finding meaning in something you never considered looking in the direction of. Just a month and a half more until summer vacations and I wonder how empty and lifeless I will go back to becoming then. But I guess when you make up your mind to lead a life with an attitude of gratefulness, you can ultimately achieve what you really need out of life – fulfilliment and happiness. I get it by filling holes in the development of my students, and when I come home to my cat who is waiting to meow and purr cuddling with me.

Begin Again. End Again.

8 Mar

Life has been far too busy to keep up on here, but well, I got called into work again, and the woman making my life hell before has been kicked out. So things have become pleasant. Yet, really busy. I teach high school Business, with a bunch of other middle school classes thrown in to fill up my schedule up. Job enrichment right there. With no pay raise but getting a better attitude from the bosses makes it bearable.

Besides that, for the past month, news of deaths and sicknesses had been in the air. Started to believe this year is just going to be terrible. Although, there also have been news about weddings coming up later this year, so guess that is meant to balance the bad omen going around. I am heading out to the homeland for an engagement ceremony later this month. Let’s see how survival in one of the most dangerous cities of the world pans out.

Other than that, everything else has been pretty bland. Blocked my ex, J, out of my life cuz well, I’d had enough of every spark of anger he had to offer. Got on my nerves, infuriated me, and then I clicked delete without hesitation. It wasn’t like I even missed anything we had or were to begin with. It was time I acknowledged my negligibility of emotion towards him than empathize with his understanding of our ex-lovers turned friends fantasy. I don’t even think about him. He is that absent. I feel kinda stupid looking back at how I had made-believe our relationship into something it just never was. Utterly stupid.

But other than that, I have held on to my pact for a year now. It has been exactly a year since I left Chicago, and it still feels like I did just a few months ago. That is how fast this year flew by. Maybe because it brought about less misery and more averageity. I didn’t even feel it slip by.

Scary in a way to know next month I will officially be 25, having lived half my life and still finding a home between comfort zone and true happiness. Halfway there, though. Journey is always the best part anyway. Let’s see what fate number 14 has to bring this year.

Fullstops

2 Feb

Quit work without a notice. Had had it with the management. So just spending my first week out of work trying to get back some focus I seem to have lost.

Likely going to give amateur writing another shot, which used to come to me in tiny fragments while I stayed occupied at work. But I guess this is the time to focus on and dedicate 100% of the motivation within me towards what I want to eventually become. No rocks to lean on to survive, just pushing through all the way. That is, whenever I feel any motivation, I know I have to utilize it towards my ultimate goal. Which again, could be any of the several things that make me happy, not just satisfied.

I need to get out of this phase though first. This phase that has such a strong gravtitational pull I can actually feel my neck down inside the ground. It is all going to be better when I begin to realize where I need to stop being nice and start being a person. Which doesn’t seem to happen until I have received neural electrocution from people who sincerely care about me.

This is why I quit my job. I continued to be way too nice, putting myself last when it came to doing what was in the school’s best interest. When I said I have to leave, they didn’t let me. I was told to put up with it. And I did. Until there was nothing left for them to stomp on, and I decided to disappear without warning. Racism, disrespect, using and abusing, I think I am done ever working with Egyptians for a really long time to come (counter racism at its finest, ehh) 😒

The Shift

26 Jan

New semester began today. And I am now the Events and Activities Coordinator, who is also in charge of written and oral communication with parents as needed. I take it as a better thing, closer to my major I think. That was the original reason I had went to the school for work in the first place any way. Not to teach. Oh, and I will also be working the remainder of the time in the director’s office. I am pretty sure that would involve just talking and talking cuz he loves to hear me speak. But how my girls reacted to the “this new woman is now your new teacher” was not at all pleasant.

I should have done what others do, and leave the teacher on her own. But it was how much I love these girls and how much they need me is why I stayed to help her with basically every little thing. Two girls cried, one said she doesn’t want the new one she wants me, one looked at me with anger and I couldn’t even do anything about it, the others hugged me and didn’t let go, silent with sadness. And they did it whenever it was possible for them to get their hands on me. The new teacher was invisible to them.

Regardless of that, she had no hold on the students. I had my own classroom engaging ideas and I gave them all away. I helped her so much, filling her up about the students, their management techniques and everything. The admin officially talked to me about the situation as well. All the crap load of they need me, how M’s mother had written a huge letter to the effing owner complaining about the whole system for hiring me.

Honestly, I do not even know why and how such drama was created. Sure, this is my first year as a teacher. But one lie after the other lie was said about me, and I have been nothing but a polite pushover as they tried to bend me and shape me into fixing me with whatever I lack. But it all came down to the admin telling me the parents expect an older, motherly looking teacher -_- To which I just bluntly replied that I cannot do anything about the way I look. Although I did start wearing a fudging lipstick, a darker shade that still thankfully looks natural, but I cannot do anything more than that. I am not getting rid of my bangs, and I am not wearing too feminine clothing, and I am gonna continue to try to not get fat either to look like a damn woman.

My colleagues were pissed about the situation. The outspoken one was all like they cannot just take out an excellent teacher who is providing these kids with what the parents need the most, that is English speaking and reading skills. And honestly, my replacement is weak. I could have lacked social skills, but I had a strong classroom personality. She is the opposite. And the English supervisor told me to just wait and let the complaints flow in. Several teachers were shocked that I of all was replaced. Some felt intimidated by me. One teacher who I don’t even know even said laughing, but conveyed spite right through: “you are still here cuz they like your accent”. I had tamed the most undisciplined girls, I brought out As out of more than half my class, and this one woman’s complain letter and her ugly dominatrix personality that gives her a hold over any social circle she tries to be a part of, made them fear her. Made them replace me.

Psst. Well, I am fine with the new responsibilities, and like my coworkers said, just 4 more months of hell to bear cuz we all need the money. I am just worried about the girls, and how this woman covered only 25% of the lessons for the day. How slow could one be really o.o

At least with the director head over heels impressed with me I know that no matter what I do, I am not getting fired. Even after I said I want to strangle that woman he just listened patiently. Even with psychotic death threats I am still there until I myself leave. One can imagine the situation with the management at this organization now.

Uh, Hi?

4 Jan

I know I’m a tad bit late, but Happy New Year! Things have started looking up ever since that crazy woman encounter, and it isn’t about all that “new year, new me” horse poop. Quite frankly, that never happens. And I never count on a birthday or a year or even a new job or relocation to ever do that.

Change is inevitable. Yet, in my life, it is also gradual. You can absorb all you will ever know in a lifetime in one go, but your change is still not going to immediately happen. So, if there is a list of anythings I have completed the last year learning, it is how I have enjoyed the pretty bumpy road to figuring out where my heart really lies.

My interests are varied, some influenced by curiosity others by passion and still, others by experience. Overall, I have enjoyed teaching. Just the few 6yr old girls I have taught. Mainly because part of me looks at some of these kids as friends, less students. Or because I get to be just myself and use a twisted sense of humor with them that they still laugh at even when they don’t understand. It has, however, not made me fond of kids in general. I still don’t like them. I just like a few of the ones I have come across because they are smart, eager to learn, hug and kiss me way too much, and aren’t spoiled little brats who throw endless tantrums that make you want to grab them and throw them out the window. Nah… these girls I adore.

Then I realized I treat my life like a comedy. Held 4 jobs in the past year, and where one would be stressed about it, I laughed about it. I get some kind of adrenaline rush out of the instability and never knowing what will happen. I mean, there is a limited supply of adrenaline in this part of the world when you run the risk of putting people you care about in more trouble than yourself. You seek it in a less obvious manner.

Then the long gaps between each job helped me become more in tune with myself. So where I didn’t spend time being productive for anybody or anything else, I did so for myself. Cleansing out, renovating self from within, understanding things that make me who I really am and making peace with it. Discovering everything about you, quenching your thirst for obscure knowledge… in the end, education didn’t stop because of limitations. All subjects I had remote interest in, I read up on. You know: where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Oh well, let’s see what 2014 has to bring overall. I don’t expect much, but I hope it will be one – or a few more than one – step closer to shaping and revealing my destiny. 14 has always been “my number” so pretty much fingers crossed for it to bring me luck.

Civilized Arabs? Lulz!

19 Dec

I have had it. Even though it was only two out of fourteen parents who could actually make it to the parent-teacher conference, it was all I needed to break me.

I have like 24 girls in my class. 14 parents came. Actually wait. 16 did. 2 of them were just mothers – well, animal mothers. Egyptian women, and at the end of the day, all the sympathy I felt for the political crisis in Egypt and all the bloodshed, I lost it all. These two women represented everything Egypt one sees on the news. Lack of respect. Lack of tolerance. Excess of pride. Absence of humility. Absolute reluctance to accepting the truth as it is.

Let’s call my student M. Got a 2.6 out of 5 for behavior. Got a 15 over 25 on the English test. Got a 1.5 over 5 on one spelling quiz. Here is what the mother – who speaks English with a thick Arabic accent by the way with noticeable grammatical errors in speech – had to say to me:

“- I don’t think my daughter is that horrible to receive such a low grade in behavior (denial right there)
– You did not read the test paper for them. If you did she would have gotten a really good grade (the pride)
– You are not doing the vocabulary words with them…. oh you are? By making them write the spelling.. (hello disrespect)
– you don’t love my daughter that is why you are so mean to her (yes my job is to love children rather than teach them that there is rejection out there in the world)
– You probably speak English wrong that is why M got all the spellings wrong, you don’t know how to say the words.” (Scusi? Me? Noh Engleeshh? Vat!?? That is like a huge fart on my American education and work experience and the fact I have been correcting teachers’ grammar errors since I was in the second grade.. so shut yo mouth you freaking barbarian!)

To all of which, I showed her the assesment sheet with all the grades of other students. She said this all in such a high voice the teacher next to me was about to cry hearing the way this woman talked to me. Despite me raising my voice to tell her exactly how the classes are taught, she was unwilling to even allow me to finish. I mean, I do each and every word with definition and several examples and every girl is asked to use them in sentences of their own. I display the test papers on the board, point at each and every word, walk around and read questions for girls who are having trouble. I was hired as a teacher for my English, not my experience. My accent was what was in high demand, that is what parents wanted for their children, that is what some parents showed appreciation for saying they want their children to speak like me. This woman with broken English is telling me to my face I don’t speak the language properly. To which I showed her the grades of other students who got a 100% and said simply, “well they didn’t have any trouble understanding me at any point.”

My heart was racing, I had a severe rapid leg movement episode that lasted like over an hour, but I kept my cool. I stood my ground without one word of disrespect towards her. We were in the auditorium so several teachers and parents walking by could hear her, could see us. The teacher next to me couldn’t take it anymore and went and called the coordinator who told this woman to walk away.

The humiliation I felt… none of the nice things rest of the parents had to say, even ask so politely, made up for it. Nothing of how much their daughters love me, nothing of how much they are learning from me, how they finally found stability with me, nothing of them asking me for suggestions as to what they can do to make my job easier for me. Nothing worked.

For the most part all day I laughed it off, stayed calm, expressed my anger with a smile about how ridiculous this experience was, but then suddenly at home, during one point I just felt it sting so bad I couldn’t help it. I cried and cried like I don’t remember the last time I was this hurt, and it went on for an hour. I kept on washing my face but a minute later it came back and again I repeated forcing myself to smile to feel better but I couldn’t even do that. My prayers were ruined cuz in the middle of them I broke down – I just could not control it!

So I texted the one supervisor who recommended me and told her that until and unless the school makes this woman apologize to me for the uncivilized way she behaved me, I am not going to come to school from next week. It is really the administration’s job to defend me here because they know exactly how I teach, they could only offer discipline suggestions because I was perfect in every other way. They should tell her she had no right to insult me like that and if she has any problem, she can remove her child from the school. They should. That is all I know. If they have any amount of respect for me. If they don’t, I really don’t mind quitting three weeks before I had originally planned to.

It is wrong for all the other girls to suffer cuz I left, but this will be against the school for letting me face such humiliation with such strength (killer outward strength, at least) so early in my experience. I had kept quiet for way too long taking every shit they had to throw at me, accepting it calmly (calm at least to their face) and going along with it. Not anymore. This was the limit. I need my justice or whatever, they can take care of the children with substitutes for the next couple of weeks.

It hurts every time. I had put my heart and soul into teaching my girls. I treated them all equally despite having favorites, I encouraged answers out of them over and over – and when I feel so damn unappreciated doing something I never planned to do but still did an excellent job while at it, it hurts. It hurts when people continue to stab with their knives, they see me covered in blood but they keep stabbing because I am not screaming and still they find another part of my flesh that still hasn’t been stabbed. I am not healing, I have never healed. I just cover up so no new person can see the mess underneath.

This is why I avoid people. I do not want another person to come in and damage any little piece left of me. I am so bad at confrontations because I am so polite and respectful of people who don’t deserve it because they don’t know how to give it. I don’t want to be this person who gets walked on all the time cuz I am so little it is so easy to step on me and crush me. This strength is so fake. I feel fake. Just like all the bandages I put on my students, I am covered in just those. I don’t even know any more why I deal with people after people when they only know how to cause misery.

It’s funny from an outsider’s viewpoint. They can refuse to pay me for the month at most, but I could care less about it. Respect is more important to me at this stage, and I have suffered way too much all my life never standing up for myself. Just… not… anymore.

Hopefully.

For all I know, without trying to be racist here, I am running miles away the next time an Egyptian walks my way. I mean, okay fine… other Egyptian girls are there too in my class. Their parents talked in such a civil manner with me. It showed they are educated people. They accept their children’s weaknesses – they aren’t blinded and they don’t uselessly baby their children, teaching them the word “love” over the word “like”. Way to raise these girls to be yet another generation of needy, clingy, desperate young women.

Some people should refrain from having children seriously. Or at least learn to respect someone trying to civilize your child which you totally ruin for them through the way you behave with others.

Fugitive Style

10 Nov

Always exciting when all emoloyees are emergency evacuated because the labour ministry is making its way over to check the staff legal status.

L. O. L.

This country is so doomed it projects its doom on everyone within its borders. They have firstly made clear that their citizens get first and only preference. And then every other resident is not allowed to work. But then educators got a 2 month extension to get our degrees attested and translated into Arabic, and then they would grant us a proper work permit. So it was all okay, until suddenly today they invaded and ready to fine schools and deport the “illegal” employee and all their family. But us ‘every other resident’ is the reason this country has even survived till now. But they want to handicap us from helping them with their future, so whatever.

Imagine 24 6yr olds looking at you with confusion asking you where you are going and why you are leaving… and all you can tell them is to not ask any questions. So till now I am not sure if going back to work tomorrow is safe, or we are all going to be rushing home once again. It is a shame it is the future of their own children they are playing with here. So many teachers have left their jobs, especially my class had so many teachers leave them – they were with me the longest and were finally adjusting to the fact I am not going to be leaving them. This is just tragedy for them because this is one of the more expensive schools, highly disorganized and costing families hell lot of money and not giving them any stability.

Sigh. Changes are happening way too fast and not for the betterment of anybody. They want their women to work, okay… but these women do not want to be teachers. They are going into technical fields with no interest in developing the next generation and relied on the foreigners for their English and patience to transform these animals into proper human beings.

Seriously, governments really make horrible decisions with only ways to make money on their minds. Even though they have way too much of it being the largest oil producer and exporter. Greed is the death of all humanity -_-