tired, sore, frustrated

October 13th, 2008

It’s one thing having to deliver the same lesson four times in one day- which may not sound too bad to those who work in primary, middle and high schools, but at university level that’s four times two teaching hours. Remember that. It’s worse, much, much worse, when circumstances dictate you spend most of that lesson talking. Not just talking, but talking to the entire class so that all here. And not just that, but driving a message home. Y’see, Test 1 revealed that my second year writing students were in desperate need of a wake up call.

Wake up call delivered to all four second year classes, my throat hurts like hell and my voice is shattered. The following word is to be read in an ET voice: Ouch.

But what’s really got me irritated is that the screen on our new HP laptop is playing up again. Yes, again. This time the screen is staying mostly lit, but it’s flickering constantly, and making a strange sound as it flickers, and tonight it was lit only in the centre, and half lit at best in the lower left and upper right corners. This, because I am at this point too lazy to break out the old Lenovo laptop, means I have to use the Lenovo big box computer the university provides. That would be ok if the big box in question had:

  1. A halfway legitimate version of Windows- or any legitimate version of any OS- installed;
  2. Was capable of displaying Chinese text properly (I spent a hell of a lot of time trying to get that to work properly, and failed);
  3. Could at least let me read blogs and newspapers, English, French and Chinese, online in reasonable comfort.

Point three is the real killer. The screen is too big for me to read in any comfort, but when I open a Chinese newspaper, point two kicks in and it becomes just plain painful to read no matter how I adjust the size of the script.

Well, so I have tomorrow afternoon off and I should hopefully manage to get the HP fixed and the last of my tests marked and all should be fine. Failing that I’ll break out the old Lenovo laptop. That still works perfectly.

Now I just realised I need to plan tomorrow’s writing class… back to the books.

3 Responses to “tired, sore, frustrated”

  1. John Says:

    Four of the same conversation class is quite enough, I find, and they only last for forty minutes at a time. I’m grateful they don’t last two periods partly because of the toll such things take on my voice.

  2. justrecently Says:

    Well, I do some teaching in middle and high schools (in Germany), and I enjoy every time I can do lessons with grown-ups. But maybe it’s a different story when teaching in China?

  3. wangbo Says:

    John: Yup, although I suspect my students are slightly more mature and, dare I say it, capable than yours. And I’m sure you can imagine the state my voice was in at 5pm yesterday. It’s not so bad when I get reading or writing, and therefore get long periods of vocal rest, but yesterday was four times 90 minutes of haranguing the students. Painful.

    Justrecently: I think you misunderstood slightly, which is easy to do when I’m venting. I do actually enjoy teaching my students. It’s just frustrating to get their test papers back and see that most of them have not been doing what they’re supposed to have learnt. But it’s early in the semester, so in actual fact, all I did was give them a good wake up call, followed by positive encouragement. I’m pretty confident I’m going to see an improvement in both their study habits and their writing.

    And I can’t and therefore won’t compare them to your students in Germany, but I would not call my students “grown ups”. They’re still very young. Actually, I like chatting with those I taught last year, they’re starting to show a bit of maturity, buy my current writing students have just entered their second year at university, and so still have a lot of learning to do. But they’ll get their, they’re good kids.