We were to take our Harry Potter class to the park today. Hannah gave me instructions, telling me that the park was right by the KFC. I bussed to the KFC that she had referred to, but there was no park anywhere to be seen. I couldn’t get hold of Hannah, who was my CT for the class, but I managed to get Kat, another CT from Happy English on the phone. She wasn’t sure where to go, but told me the direction she thought it was in. I did come to a park, quite a ways down the road (not close to KFC at all), but it was very small. Either the park was even farther down the road, or I had been sent in the wrong direction. Fortunately Hannah finally returned my call. I explained the problem to her, and told her where I was.
“Wait there I will come to you.” She told me, so I found a place to sit, and pulled my tea egg and yogurt out of the bag. At least I would get to eat breakfast even if I was late.
The phone rang again, “You are not here,” Hannah’s voice told me.
“ Where are you?”
“At the park.”
“Of course not, I told you I didn’t know where it was! You said you’d come find me.”
“Ok, ok, sorry.”
Ten minutes later the phone rang again “Jenn I am at the bus stop, but you are not here.”
“Hannah, I told you I’m not at the bus stop, you said you’d come to me.”
“Oh where are you?”
“Never mind I’ll meet you there.” I walked all the way back to the bus stop, only to have to turn around and walk back in the direction I’d come from. The park was only a few blocks over from where I’d been eating!
Once at the park things went well. I taught the children the names for different sized rocks, mostly “boulder” and “gravel”, and when we got a big game of duck duck goose going with all of the parents and children involved I changed the name to gravel gravel boulder. The game went well, though we did have two wipe outs. Sunny scraped her knee and chose to sit out for the rest of the game, and Tyler fell as well. Tyler got right back up and just kept on running. For a moment I though he was going to tough it out, until his parents rushed over to make a fuss over him. That was when the waterworks began.
Hannah is getting money docked from her pay. We had knocked the Pineapple class back by an hour so that we could go to the park, but Alex’s parents apparently had not remembered, and had showed up for class early. Hannah is being blamed and is losing some pay for the mistake. I do not think this is fare and even told her I would vouch for her, as Alex’s parents were in the room when the announcement was made and all the parents agreed to the time change. Hannah doesn’t want to fight it though. I’ve had similar feedback from other Chinese Teachers. They are afraid that if they make a fuss they will lose their jobs. Some pretty good CTs have come and gone, some of whom may have been let go for similar complaints.
Nate’s friend Larry was going to Qingdao to visit his family, and offered to give us a ride there. We took him up on the offer, going to one last trip to our favourite get away location. Larry met us at the school, and then we walked with him out to his car. I was shocked to see that he had parked in the middle of the street!
The bed we sleep on in our apartment has next to no cushion. It is more like a box then a mattress, and after over a year of sleeping on hard surfaces I can have a bit of an odd problem when traveling. Sometimes the mattresses are too comfy and I can’t sleep! This was the case in our room in Qingdao that night… If I seem grouchy at all in tomorrow’s post you can blame the comfy cushions!