Partitives. What are partitives? Turns out they’re those phrases that come before nouns that tell us how much of that noun we have. For example: I have a can of soda. “a can of” is a partitive. The thing about partitives is that they’re everywhere in English, and there is no set logic to why and when we use the ones we do to describe the amounts of different things. If you want to know more about partitives, don’t ask me; I suck at teaching them. That’s what my students and I learned today, and that’s pretty much all we learned. So I guess I should have front loaded the class with vocab (although I’ve been instructed to restrict the amount of vocab I introduce at one time), I probably should have asked them to take out their texts books to find a handy dandy list of helpful vocab that I knew was there (although, at this point in the course, we’re not allowed to use material from the student books [as if that makes any sense]), and I probably should have realized that all of this might have been necessary ahead of time (no more excuses). At least now I know, right? I mean, if I ever have to teach partitives again, I’ll know what to do. And I can honestly tell myself all of that, and even start to feel okay again with teaching, and okay with myself as a teacher. I can tell myself things like, “you’re not perfect” and “for a first time teacher, you’re doing just fine” or “plenty of teachers have bad days” and “if it had been your own class, you probably would have been able to better gauge how to present the material to the students.” All of this really does make me feel better. Almost to the point that I feel okay with my 9.2 out of 10. Alone, it’s not such a bad number. But then I think about it in the context of Kristen’s 10, Rhys’s 9.8, and Tim’s constant 9.6+ grades (which he is disgustingly eager to share) (also, at this point, it becomes necessary to add that I’ve only reached the 9.5 mark twice), and it seems pretty clear that any number of the other trainees in the program would have done better in the same situation, would have planned better, and would have gotten a better grade (which they prove daily they can do). This thought only snowballs until I’m fairly certain that any “positive feedback” I’ve gotten was certainly out of pity, and all anyone ever really wanted to tell me was that this ESL idea was a pretty bad one, that I should quit now and see if I can still get my money back, that it’s amazing I ever got this far (that is, past college). I just can’t seem to do well. I can’t seem to get to place where my performance reflects the ability that I should have. I should be good at this, I should be able to do this as well as other people, but it’s looking like I can’t. And I really don’t know what to do with it.
But, as I said before, at least I know now what to do in that situation. Ignoring positive remarks is no way to treat my critics or myself. In context of teachers as a whole, I’m sure that I’m doing fine. And I should probably tell myself as often as possible that the lack of natural ease and ability (in everything) (and a bad day) does not mean that I’m the huge, fumbling, dumb creature that I feel like right now.
"Thank you for being my roommate. It was great knowing you. Follow your dreams, nurture your relationships and let your heart breathe and love. Good luck in school. Take care of your family and your boyfriend."
Dionne had been my roommate for the past week or so, and she just left this morning to go back to Virginia. I hardly new her, but I feel fortunate to have known her at all.
It’s raining here in downtown Guadalajara, and it makes me think of this time (last fall) that me and my roommate got caught in the rain on the way to salsa class. We were both soaked by the time we made it do the dance building, and our shoes were literally squishing as we walked. Not to be defeated, we danced anyway, Megan barefoot, and I in just my little hide-away socks (you know, the kind you wear with flats). I hate to sound all reminiscent and old, but it just didn’t matter then; it was all part of it, the buses, the food, the taxis, the piropos, the determinate friendships. It was all wrapped up in this big, hectic, amazing, illuminating (or confusing) experience that we would one day call our semester in Mexico – a semester that would allow me to accept the fact that I was about to graduate and had no idea what I’d do after (and that it wasn’t grad school [not yet]). I remember the exact moment I decided that I wasn’t going to study comparative literature; I was sitting at a Starbucks in a mall (of all places) with a good friend, and he was telling me about the places he’d been (China and Japan), and how he never really had a “calling.” I guess what Mexico did for me was allow me to be okay with not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Maybe that’s why I decided then to come back. But with the change of context, it’s just rain this time, and these finite friendships aren’t making the absence of my friends back home much easier. In the end, I’m glad to be here again and to be going home soon.
So, it’s not that I don’t love Gdl, because I do. And it’s not that I don’t want to be here or that I’m not having any fun. It’s that I feel really good about the ESL teaching thing, and it just makes more sense (practicality wise) to come home early and pursue that possibility instead of staying here. Not to mention I miss my friends and my family. I’m coming home early, as soon as this course is over as a matter of fact. Please forgive me for the huge/drastic change of heart.
It amazes me that I’ve only been here a week. So far everything has been more or less good; I’ve met a lot of amazing people, and I feel like I’m learning a lot. It’s just been a long week… a really long week… like a month. I’m already craving food from home and missing things like dependable hot water (it’s just too early for that kind of thinking). But I’d really like to be vegan, and I’m not ready to accept that it might just be too hard. Good thing there are Oreos, and wine (not together).