Friday, June 05, 2015


Annnd, a good week was capped by a horrible end of day. 

My first paper was rejected, and I was told (first in writing, then in person) that I was repeatedly and profoundly wrong about 65% of the contents.  The tutor (one of three we'll have on the course) was absolutely horrified and acted like I was little better than a psychopath for submitting the illustration I did for the word "scalded".

On this assignment, we had to take two grammatical and two lexical items and figure out how best to explain them to a pre-intermediate English class. The picture for the last word I pulled from a general-circulation paper in the UK--it was of the torso of a little girl who'd spilled a teapot on herself. Her face wasn't shown. I figured not only would it burn (with steam or otherwise) the term "scalded" deep into students' brains, it would irrevocably imprint the notion that this was to be avoided.

Gosh, you'd link I'd ENDORSED scalding children. The tutor ripped me to shreds. And it didn't help that I'd totally misunderstood the assignment elsewhere (we've been using the term "context" to mean setting the stage for an activity, collection of vocabulary and the like--turns out the context wanted was to put the particular word into a dialogue or story).  Frankly, despite the real mistakes I'd made, I got the impression that she'd flipped through, seen the picture and been inspired to hunt for every other error she could find.

This tutor's the one who seemed to take a dislike to me from the first (ignoring me in the couple of classes she's led, barely rearranging her face into a mask of civility when I've asked direct questions), an impression only cemented when she took me and several others out in the hall during an exercise earlier this week and showed us some pictures we'd have to describe to the rest of the class. Mine was a picture of a woman in black with two sullen-looking white guys, one of whom was wearing heavy eyeliner. I remarked, "That guy looks like a young Marilyn Manson" (which he totally did), and she responded, "Those are my friends." Seems it was an Eighties party.  I'd presumed, (ASSumed, it seems) that she'd just use random pictures for such an exercise. And she wanted us to describe them. It was like a deliberate trap.

So, how am I spending my weekend? Rewriting the one paper in its entirety (so much was wrong with it I can't just do a few corrections--I have to basically begin again--and she told me she wouldn't consider passing it with the current "scalded" visual), preparing for the first of two lessons I will be teaching to a new class of upper-intermediate English students, and writing two other papers (one due Tuesday, the second Friday). We're allowed to flunk one paper and still conceivably pass. I'd much rather not have my graduation hang by such a slender thread. 

Ironically, the previous 4 1/2 days of this week went really well. I got positive marks on my teaching (praise God!), and I'd been optimistic that I'd not have even a couple of corrections on the paper that was to be returned today. Then, WHAM! I hate the feeling of being wobbly on a tightrope over a knife-bottomed pit. What I dislike more is that I don't know what to do to effectively get my balance.

Maybe nap? Then all will be clear... 

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