Tuesday, November 11, 2008

vogon poetry

Oh dear, I have been a baaad blogger. It's cause I WANT to blog about my trip to the Middle East, because it was fabulous and I must remember it 4evah, but when I sit down to actually write it, I feel so . . . daunted.

So today I'll tell you some work stories instead. Nice, manageable work stories.

One of the best things about my ESL job is I get to teach whatever I want, however I want. There's no one breathing over my shoulder and no one fighting me for control. HOWever, we recently hired an extra teacher. I'll call him Dr. Bob (he insists on the "Dr.").

Dr. Bob's teaching role in our organization was supposed to be fairly limited, and he and I were not supposed to interact. But in a brilliant display of the principle "Say It Loud and Long Enough and You'll Get Whatever You Want," he ended up worming his way into ALL the classes as a co-teacher. So MY CLASSES, my precious precious classes, got invaded by Attila the Hun.

Now Dr. Bob looks great on paper (that blasted "Dr." ) but in the classroom, he's a barbarian. He hollers at the students, he takes 45 minute smoke breaks, he irritates the stuffing out of me, and, worst of all, he doesn't teach anything. His idea of teaching is spending a couple of hours reading out loud poems he's composed. The problem is 1) they're crappy poems and 2) he's reading them to students who are BARELY LITERATE. This helps them learn what, exactly?

Actually, I take that back. Learning to suffer obnoxious people without employing throttling is definitely a useful job skill (and apparently one I have yet to learn). But Dr. Bob certainly isn't helping with the English teaching. In fact, he seems to think he's one of the students. When I ask a question like "OK, class, how do we spell 'pencil'?" he waves his hand wildly in the air and shouts "P - E - N- C - I - L!" and grins at me, apparently waiting for congratulations. He's just lucky the P - E - N - C - I - L doesn't find its way up his nose.

Juuuuust kidding. I would never advocate violence. But I certainly do advocate going to one's boss (and going back, and going back again) and trying to get Dr. Bob fired. Apparently I've learned something from him after all, because if you say it loud enough and long enough, sometimes you do get what you want. I just found out Dr. Bob is outta here.

It's just in time, too. He's spent all week interrupting me in the middle of teaching (who DOES that?) and trying to sell me a self-written, self-published children's book, telling me it would be a great ($30!!) holiday present. There are no children I hate that much.

So here's to freedom from Dr. Bob, and freedom from his hideous poetry.


  1. I was just wondering why it has taken so long for you to blog. But I can see you have been busy trying not to break the 6th commandment. That is the second person you have gotten fired, right? Just keeping track.

  2. 6th commandment = no shoving pencils up noses?

    Oh, and that's true about this being the 2nd person fired--what's the opposite of a kingmaker? cause i think that may be what i am.

  3. Wow. You're good. And that is so funny. Let me think. Who would I like fired? When are you coming out here?