The Quantum Leap Journal #12; 5/20/14

05/27/2014 § Leave a comment

Brushwork- 008 Teh
I left the agency office with a job Monday evening, but the job started the next day.
I didn’t like that.
I go home and prepare my suit and papers and get ready. Gotta be at the big meeting all with all the other ALTs the next day at 8:45 am.
I did my yoga, and meditation, and prayer. I wanted to do a lot more. This wasn’t how I wanted it. This wasn’t a Quantum Leap. This was the same old shitty job. But I was going to get my visa sponsorship right away.
When I got there, I immediately started seeing people I didn’t want to see. My old co-teacher I got along with horribly. And there was the head of the BoE, Mr. Hato. Surely he heard bad stories from her.
My new co-teacher seemed really nice.

They introduced the middle-management staff. There was Big Dan there. Big Dan and I were ALTs together when I worked here before. Now he got a promotion.
He came over to chat with me. He was very friendly.
He was the one who told me that if the teachers want me to teach English that was fundamentally wrong, to the elementary school students, I should just do what they wanted.
I was very uncomfortable with that. The thing that really motivates me to teach my best, is to teach good English well. But they wanted me to teach this bullshit Pidjin English the Japanese invented.
I was naive. I thought that in the end I’d get good points for holding out and not bending to Japanese English teachers who didn’t know what they were doing. I was wrong. I barely survived the job.
Now I’m about ready to do it again.
Mr. Hato listed the fundamental goals of out position, to be a role model, to teach good pronunciation, and to impart an interest in foreign culture. Nothing about teaching English. They were really into pronunciation the last time. They don’t seem to realize how stupid that is.
Mr. Hato says, don’t fight with your co-teacher. Surely they thought I was fighting. I’m going to have to approach this very differently than I did last time.
I’m going to have to drink their Kool-aid and like it. And I’ll get my visa.

After the orientation, I was getting ready with my new co-teacher to go visit the school.
Representatives from the agency told me I didn’t have to go, and was expected to go back to the agency office to sign up the papers.
When I got there, I was told there was a delay and the guy I needed to see wouldn’t be available for 4 hours.
So I had to kill time in Chiba City.
When I got there, they made me wait another 30 minutes.
When the guy finally came, I was out of a job.
Something came up in the records.
They wouldn’t say what it was.
But they were freezing my account with them. I won’t be getting a job through them again any time soon.
No job, no visa, no reprieve from crisis.
No awful job teaching kids to speak an English I don’t recognize.
Something in my records is poisoned.
But I’m reprieved from starting a really depressing job.
(To be Continued)


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