?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Amparo Bertram

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
04:44 pm: Discoveries
Newsflash: I found the faculty restroom yesterday. (Yes, after working here an entire school year.) Apparently graffiti was discovered on one of the faculty toilets, so it was announced at a morning meeting that the homeroom teachers should remind the students A) not to write graffiti and B) they're not allowed in the faculty restroom. The big clue for me is that the person making the announcement pointed in the direction of the faculty restroom while speaking, so I was able to follow the trail. Turns out it's next to the guidance office, where I went my very first day here and then never returned to after that.

I also asked why the schedule is so screwy, with the seniors having their final exams 2 1/2 weeks after their midterms and the rest of the students not having finals until September. The answer is a multi-step process.
  • Most Japanese schools are on the trimester system, with terms running April-July, September-December, and January-March.
  • My school is on a semester system with terms running April-September and October-March. Thus finals are at the end of September.
  • Of course, every college and potential employer in the country expects the student applicants to be on the trimester system, and thus they require the first-term grade report along with applications due during the summer. So our seniors have to be given their final exams before summer vacation so that they will have a grade report.

    Me: That sounds like you're making extra work for yourself.

    Teacher: ^_^; <clearly wants to agree, but "that's the way things are">

    Finally, this afternoon, it was five minutes before the start of my speech class, and I was wondering if I should give the students their self-evaluations. I was handed the evaluations several weeks ago, but was only told that the students were to fill them out "near the end of the term." At a meeting a short while ago, we had determined that next week was the last class, during which the students would give their speeches in front of an audience of their classmates. So, I figured, maybe next week they would be too busy to fill out evaluations and I should do it this week.

    So I asked one of the English teachers if it was okay to have the students do the evaluations this week, and he said yes...since today was the final class.

    Me: But next week is supposed to be the last class...

    Teacher: There's no class next week.

    Me: At the meeting we decided the students would give their speeches next week.

    Teacher: The schedule was changed.

    Me: ...

    Mind you, this is five minutes before class starts--and if I hadn't thought to ask, I wouldn't have known even this much. Good communication, guys.

    Tags: ,
  • Comments

    [User Picture]
    From:kataren
    Date:June 29th, 2005 01:04 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    Newsflash: I found the faculty restroom yesterday. (Yes, after working here an entire school year.)

    Er, so where have you been going all this time?

    So you won't have classes next week? Lucky. :)
    [User Picture]
    From:spacealien_vamp
    Date:June 29th, 2005 01:43 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    Er, so where have you been going all this time?

    I walk back to my apartment on my lunchbreak. (I also steal a few minutes of email time.)

    So you won't have classes next week?

    No, just that one particular class was canceled.

    I will, however, have a lighter-than-usual course load, because the seniors start their final exams, and the whole school converts to a half-day schedule for the week of testing.
    [User Picture]
    From:mangaroo
    Date:June 29th, 2005 01:13 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    For the record, I'm very tempted to answer kataren on your behalf, because the answer is so darned cute.

    Did the students know today was the final class or did you have to tell them after you found out? (My inner student is thrilled that I now won't have to give a speech in front of my classmates. Bet you didn't knwo my inner student was enrolled in your school.)
    [User Picture]
    From:spacealien_vamp
    Date:June 29th, 2005 01:46 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    Did the students know today was the final class or did you have to tell them after you found out?

    No, they didn't know. I made the announcement to them.

    They may still have to give their speeches, though, if there is any time leftover after the exams are handed back. (They hope they don't have to, of course.)
    [User Picture]
    From:wrenwyn
    Date:July 2nd, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    (My inner student is thrilled that I now won't have to give a speech in front of my classmates. Bet you didn't know my inner student was enrolled in your school.)

    That's funny, mangaroo, because my inner teacher teaches with spacealien_vamp. I was too busy being annoyed for her that the communication short-circuited, to even notice they wouldn't have to give their speeches.

    Now I can enjoy that fact, because my inner student HATED given speeches; gave me horrible headaches.

    (=^.^=)
    [User Picture]
    From:amilyn
    Date:June 29th, 2005 05:07 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    This school continues to sound like a three-ring circus. It's just unreal. And the amazing part is that I can see this kind of communication happening almost equivalently in the States with a new teacher--with no 2nd language/2nd culture bits to add to the mess.
    [User Picture]
    From:spacealien_vamp
    Date:June 29th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC)
    (Link)
    This school continues to sound like a three-ring circus. It's just unreal.

    That captures the sense of it really well. ^_^;
    [User Picture]
    From:firesign10
    Date:June 29th, 2005 05:19 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    I never fail to be amazed at the void in which they make you operate! Oh, your class? Cancelled!! Because we want you to teach but let's make it an obstacle course too! And isn't showing someone were the faculty restroom is like a first-day thing? Yowza! *sigh*
    [User Picture]
    From:spacealien_vamp
    Date:June 29th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
    (Link)
    Oh, your class? Cancelled!! Because we want you to teach but let's make it an obstacle course too!

    Most of the time I think it's a matter of "Oh, I thought you heard..." But this time I just can't see how they could have forgotten to mention it.

    And isn't showing someone were the faculty restroom is like a first-day thing?

    You would think so. But no.

    I could have asked, but I have made it kind of a Quest to locate the faculty bathroom.
    [User Picture]
    From:firesign10
    Date:June 29th, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
    (Link)
    The Quest of the Gracious Bowl....

    The Quest of the Holy Receptacle...

    ....."to follow that flush...no matter how faaaaaaaaaaaarrrrr"
    [User Picture]
    From:megory
    Date:June 29th, 2005 09:15 am (UTC)

    My, my, my.....and whoa!

    (Link)
    Whoa! The new format in the live journal kind of surprised me there. (I'm jealous you already learned how to use the tags...not that I make so many entries, but I just feel stupid about them.)

    Anyway, my, your guardian angel is working overtime whispering little ideas like, "I wonder if I should give the evaluations today?" I'm glad you thought about it.

    Is this the last class forever for speech, or just for the marking period? They could always give the speeches for next marking period, I suppose.

    That is an interesting explanation. We accommodate our schedule for all sorts of testing, student activities (e.g. talent show, rallies, homecoming parade), etc., so it makes as much sense to accommodate the seniors' need for grades. I wonder why they prefer the trimester system. It *does* seem to fit best the vacation schedule the students have.

    I love the way you let these failures to communicate roll off your back. Short of asking each day, "What's new/changed today?" there doesn't seem to be a way to stay on top of the news. Maybe they are hoping you will attend all the teacher meetings or something with them.

    'Tis a puzzlement!
    [User Picture]
    From:spacealien_vamp
    Date:June 29th, 2005 01:30 pm (UTC)

    Re: My, my, my.....and whoa!

    (Link)
    Anyway, my, your guardian angel is working overtime whispering little ideas like, "I wonder if I should give the evaluations today?" I'm glad you thought about it.

    Me too. It could have been a mess.

    Is this the last class forever for speech, or just for the marking period?

    Second semester starts a new class. Students have to sign up again. So I don't know whether I'll get the same students or a new batch.

    They could always give the speeches for next marking period, I suppose.

    They don't get actual grades for it, as far as I know. It's kind of like a directed study hall. There are four options: my speech class, preparation for college, preparation for English standardized tests, and research.

    so it makes as much sense to accommodate the seniors' need for grades.

    I just don't see why they can't simply post a mid-term grade report with an official statement that semester grades aren't available until September. You'd think that would work.

    The other thing I don't understand is why they're bending over backward to have a semester system. If they were on trimesters like everyone else, they wouldn't have this problem. But obviously it has some kind of significance for them.
    [User Picture]
    From:melf42
    Date:June 30th, 2005 05:06 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    if I hadn't thought to ask, I wouldn't have known even this much. Good communication, guys.

    I swear, this is my mantra. COMMUNICATE, PEOPLE! I can't believe how often they change the schedule and how little people seem to mind their lives being shuffled around on the spur of the moment. It drives me crazy. Sometimes, I think they all must be telepathic. Well, I'm glad you were able to give your evaluations out at least.

    I found the faculty restroom yesterday.

    Ooooh, fancy! Who cleans it, I wonder? Teachers? Students? Professionals?? I actually asked about a faculty restroom the first day of school because I couldn't believe that the faculty used the same bathrooms as (ick) the students, but they do indeed at my school. It's BYOS (Bring Your Own Soap.)

    [User Picture]
    From:spacealien_vamp
    Date:June 30th, 2005 08:46 am (UTC)
    (Link)
    I can't believe how often they change the schedule and how little people seem to mind their lives being shuffled around on the spur of the moment.

    It does require a lot of flexibility. I wouldn't mind the change so much, though, if they'd TELL me every time.

    Who cleans it, I wonder? Teachers? Students?

    I'd be willing to bet that it's cleaned by students under the direction of a teacher.

    I haven't looked inside it yet to see what it's like, though I have yet to encounter a faculty bathroom that I would want to use in anything other than an emergency.
    Powered by LiveJournal.com