Sunday, July 13, 2008

A good weekend...

This weekend was pretty great. Not for any particular reason, but it was a lot of fun and I was able to kick back and relax for a lot more of it than I have been able to these past few weeks. I left work on Friday, went to the grocery store to pick up some things, then came home and cooked, played with Bailey and watched the 11th hour in preparation for the Green Business Forum on Saturday hosted by my company. ( The movie was interesting and I agree with a lot of what it said. I liked that it utilized fear to get its message across but it didn't go overboard. I wasn't turned off by its preachiness, which is saying something considering that I usually hate being preached to.

Saturday I woke up and went to teaching at 9:30. The annoying part about getting up that early to go and teach was that when I got there... there was no one else there, and the door was locked. Now, I can be pretty patient and I go with the flow for the most part (I think...). However, my Saturday morning was annoying. The lock on the door was frustrating, but what was really annoying was when I got ready to leave at my scheduled time of 12, the woman I work for was like oh well you still owe them 30 minutes because you started late. 

Maybe it's a cultural thing..
. or a company thing... I don't really know, but where I'm from it's not my responsibility to make up the time that was lost because I was standing out in the hall because someone forgot to unlock the door. Also, I was all by myself when I first got there. No one else showed up until closer to 9:40, and only 2 of the 4 students that came were there before we were let into the office at close to 10:05. I started teaching at about 9:50 out in the hallway while we waited for the office to be opened, and while it wasn't the most comfortable or convenient place I've ever held a lesson, it worked. So basically, 20 minutes were wasted because people were late... and there was the slight inconve
nience of being out in the hallway. We get let in and we have a nice lesson.. the other two show up at close to 10:30 and I finish the lesson at about 12:05. I walk out and she's like oh well there's still like an hour left because you started late. I just about screamed. 

I have no problem with waiting outside... with waiting for students to show up that are late... with any of that. However, it is not my responsibility to make up time lost because of any of these things. If I were late, obviously I would make up the time, but I feel that in a classroom setting like this you get the 2 1/2 hours from 9:30 - 12 no matter what time you, the student, decide to show up. For m
y one on one lessons I'm a little more flexible... and honestly any other day I probably would have been more flexible as well. Yesterday I had no time to play games like this though. I had planned out my day carefully... Lesson over at 12, run home to change for work and take out Bailey so she's not cooped up all day, take a taxi over to the Grand Hyatt in the Jinmao in Pudong for the forum and be there by 1:15. I didn't have time to waste!!! Shanghai's not a small city, and getting from Xujiahui to where my house is takes about 20 minutes by cab, and it takes almost 30 by cab to get to Pudong.... so you 
can see I didn't have much time to work with. Am I wrong for thinking that I shouldn't have to make up the time and that I should have in fact been paid for all 2 1/2 hours that I was there? Am I crazy? Self-entitled?

Anyway, that was my one hiccup in an otherwise pretty smooth weekend. I got to the Grand Hyatt only a little bit late and the forum was actually pretty interesting. We had two panels and I really enjoyed the first panel. The second panel was not nearly as good, and we were running about an hour behind so by the time the last speaker spoke... less than half of the people that had been there at the start were still there. It was sort of sad, but I still thought that on the whole it went well. After the forum the whole staff (almost) went out for dinner for Nenette's goodbye dinner. 

Nenette is one of our lovely interns that worked with us for the past 4 months during her study abroad here in Shanghai that is now going back home. Dinner was great. Good food, good company, lots of laughter. They all went out together afterward, but I opted to go to a friend's house party instead. I hadn't seen Griff (the host) or anyone else from that crowd in a long time because of going back to the States and all of that, so I was excited to see them again. 

The party was fun. I met some interesting people and saw most of the people that I expected too, and a few more that I didn't expect to! I drank more than I should have... which meant that today during the day I didn't feel so hot. As a result, today was spent lounging on the couch and watching movies!! It's been a long time since I've had a day spent predominantly on the couch. I just ordered food and parked myself in front of the TV for the majority of the day. It was awesome. By the way... Lars and the Real Girl is a fucking hilarious movie. Not because anything overly funny happens, just the premise is ridiculous. I really enjoyed it. 

I had teaching tonight, and only one student showed up. It actually was nice though, it's a lot easier to engage in conversation and encourage speaking when there are fewer people! Plus we were talking about the American economy so I had lots to talk about. Next week is politics and I'm really excited for that!! I really like talking about politics with people and explaining how the American political system works. It's not necessarily the best system, but it's sure as hell interesting. 

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