exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Adventures in Teaching
I gave my second "business seminar" tonight. Can you guess how it went? If you answered, "Not as planned," then you've been paying attention. Good job. Move to the head of the class.

I was supposed to be driven to the business by someone from the school. As I arrived at the school, however, I saw my ride driving off with the owner. I flagged them down and explained the situation. Apparently they had forgotten the plan. Fair enough. There'd been a week's vacation since we last talked. I'm as guilty as anyone of being forgetful. But did they stop and offer me a ride? Nope. The owner told me to go ahead into the school and she'd have someone give me directions. And they were off. Fan-tas-tic.

I cursed. I considered blowing off the class. It was becoming a hassle, more trouble than it was worth. I would've been on time with a driver. If I had to rely on the bus, I'd be late for sure. I could just go home. That'd be easier. I'd already spent half my day riding busses. There are teachers in Costa Rica that spend all day traveling from business to business. They make good money, but I don't envy them.

My sense of responsibility (and obligation to my students) prevailed. Better not to burn any bridges. So I went into the school where eventually I was told that they would get a taxi to take me. The receptionist handed me the address for the business and enough money to pay the fare. Okay. This might work out.

Time ticked on.

The cab arrived and away we went. Right into a traffic jam. We were getting nowhere. And my driver wasn't particularly aggressive, especially compared to the other Ticos on the road. We were getting passed all over the place. I was surely going to be late. "Oh well," I thought, "it's the school's fault, and it's the school's reputation that will be hurt." I was a little grumpy. As we got closer, it become apparent that my driver wasn't exactly sure of where we were going. We made a few wrong turns. And then he started asking other drivers for directions. Tick tock. Tick tock. And finally, there it was! We made it. Only a few minutes late. Perfectly acceptable by Tico time.

At the front desk (did I mention the business was a hotel?), I explained that I was the teacher and asked where I'd be teaching. They said they'd find a room. I figured they might have a conference room or something we could use. But no, they meant a bedroom! This was a first for me. For better or worse, I only had two students. So we got comfortable and started class.

It went surprisingly well. I was relaxed, not nervous at all. I guess that's an advantage to a small group. And they were, thankfully, talkative. The time went by quickly. We covered everything I wanted to cover. And I think they got some good practice.

Afterwards, I was able to find the right bus and made it home without any problems.

So in the end... "todo bien."

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