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System Error

Posted by Mick on February 17, 2010 – 8:52 pm

This class is making me sick.

Sometime in the last week, I might have mentioned that I’m having to teach a rather complex class without an adequate amount of preparation.  I’m having a difficult time putting how I feel in to words.  Frankly, I’m sick of my own whining.  The fact remains that I’m having to fight to keep from throwing up most of the day.  It’s the stress of standing in front of a room full of people and feeling like they are all staring at me and thinking I’m an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

I’m not used to that.  I make it a point to be very confident about the material I’m teaching.  It’s rare that a student asks me a question I didn’t anticipate, and therefor I rarely get a question I can’t answer.  That’s partly an ego thing – I don’t like to be embarrassed – and it’s partly an ethical thing.  The place I work charges a hefty hunk of change for a day of training with me, and most of my students are there for 3 to 5 days.  In addition to the cash, there’s the issue of time.  These folks are away from the office, but our type of work doesn’t go away.  Many of them will be making up these hours in the evening, or over the weekend.  It’s an investment of time.  I believe that I owe it o them to make that time worthwhile.  You come to me to learn something, I need to do the best job of teaching you that I can do.

When I’m prepared to teach, I enjoy teaching.  It’s fun for me.  I’m not as prepared as I should be, and it’s not fun.  It’s making me physically ill.  I’ll be glad when this week is over.  And then I’ll dread the next time this class comes up.

To be fair, so far the class isn’t going as bad as I thought it would.  The students seem to be happy.  I’m not detecting much frustration.  Maybe I’ll make it through this with only minor damage.

On the home front, I had to yell at Tara tonight.  I didn’t want to yell at her, I had to yell at her.  It was about the dishes.  She doesn’t do them correctly.  We both know this, and she’s usually very good about leaving them alone so I can wash them.  To be more precise, she leaves them alone so that I can wash them correctly. I have a system.

My first job, at the tender age of 12, was as a dishwasher at my grandparents restaurant.  And my grandmother was a stickler for correctly washed dishes.  We didn’t have a fancy Hobart dishwasher.  We had my hands, a scrubby sponge, and 2 sinks of extremely hot water.  And soap, of course.  I took quite a bit of pride in my dish washing.  I held a few other positions as a dishwasher between then and my college years, and even when we had a dishwashing machine, I still hand washed the pots and pans.  Machines don’t get things as clean as a good handwashing.

I don’t like washing dishes.  I just don’t mind washing dishes.  I’m good at it.  Tara is good a cooking.  And getting dishes dirty.  Getting large quantities of dishes dirty.  She cooks the food, I eat the food, I wash the dishes she makes dirty when she cooks the food.  It’s a system that works.

Be good to each other.

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