Friday, April 9, 2010

Seconds in command

We all know that with great power comes great responsibility, but the reverse is also true. Responsibility automatically equals power. They’re really just two words for the same idea.

Today, I didn’t even study any kanji, and I’m totally fine with it. Because I’ve been working, all day. Doing real work for my real job, and it’s kind of nice to be back to that. There’s a weird listlessness, for me, about camping out at my desk, doing things that are for me and not my actual job, especially after a while. I got lazy about it. I would notice that I ought to do this, or maybe should do that; I should get all these name lists, I should make these worksheets, I should print more EmiDollars… I hit maximum listless yesterday when I found myself dying for a distraction from my distracted state of mind. I only did one lesson of Japanese all day. I don’t know what else I did, heavens. I tried to blog, but failed even at that.

Today I did stuff. I laminated and copied and colored and cut. I produced lessons plans for next week’s elementary and I produced materials for them.

I did all this first although I do have the Very First Lesson of the Year with the New First-Year Students on Monday, along with …Miss Piggy-Sensei? I’m not sure what to call her yet. But she’s Kermit’s replacement, and she’s striking me so far as a touch dramatic.

Her English is great, though, but it’s been hard to hear her these past couple of days because she’s been speaking very softly AND wearing a mask (because she has a cold), all of which makes for really difficult hearing. She gave me impressions all week of how she has no idea what to do and how she doesn’t know the kids at all, etc. And I’ve sort of just been over here… doing my useless ALT thing.. then she had me help her choose workbooks to assign and I realized I am the Assistant In Charge, for a little while.

I did not expect my oldest teacher to give me so much power. If anything I thought it might come from my 22-year-old newbie, but anyway here we are.

There’s a brisk sort of happiness in all this. There are perks to incumbency. I remember that it sucks to be new. I maybe forgot just how much, until now when I don’t have to deal with it anymore. It’s so hard for me to go into things not knowing a damn thing. Not knowing the kids, or their abilities, or the teachers, or how shit works in Japan…

Today I overheard the New Principal (Michael-Scott-Sensei) asking the VP about school lunch and how it works. I realized that the VP is probably more or less in charge of Everything right now, as the new principal is educated to our ways. Eventually, things will turn back and we’ll all resume our roles, I’m sure, but for now, the little people are big. We get our twenty seconds of fame.

I also have a huge respect for experience and incumbency in any workplace I enter. That is part of the reason I was so trepidatious when I descended. Now I ask for shit and make copies if I want to and use the laminator and borrow scissors. I didn’t know we HAD student lists like this (oh come on how could we not?) and I was terrified to ask for them. I have no idea why. Now that everyone else is new or dealing with new people, it’s so weird.

And the new people surprise me with English ability or just speak to me in mostly comprehensible Japanese, and it all just makes me feel competent, and today I even felt useful/productive! So that’s a win. I can’t believe it’s Friday.

No comments:

Post a Comment