This past Friday, we had another teacher-training demo in Shaoxing, a very old city about three hours south west of Shanghai. This was the second demo P and I were to do, so one would think it would be even more of a success than our first one.
How these demo's work, is P explains the theories of why and how to teach something (don't even get me started on present-continuous what-EVERS) and then I demo games that make it easy and interesting to teach these concepts. Back and forth, that's how it went during the first one, and we had a great time, with a great response. It was fun, the teachers got involved, my kids were awesome, and we got lots of great feedback.
Cut to this past Friday. For starters, my students and I could have stayed freaking HOME for the first hour. P took over the whole thing, talking for almost the entire time, and only asking me to demo a few sentences - not games, just have my kids stand up and repeat back a few questions and answers. It was POINTLESS. Then, for the last twenty minutes, he turned it over to me saying *I* was going to explain the last few things, and then basically sat back and stared out the window (he didn't even pretend to pay attention - I had to say his name to get his attention TWICE).
Excuse me? I have no problem explaining things, but you have to tell me IN ADVANCE. There is a huge difference in explaining teaching techniques to foreigners who speak the same language, and Chinese English teachers - most of whom had never even MET a foreigner in real life before, much less listened to one lecture them. It takes precise, clear and structured formatting - none of which I had ready. I *know* i heard a few in the back going 'xi miensa' (bad pingyin, going phoentically) which means 'What's the meaning' or 'what the hell is this lady talking about?'
And my kids? Did pretty much nothing. it was BORING for EVERYONE.
But let's not stop there. We had planned this to be a day trip. The kids - Happy, Hallen, Kitty and Jerry - had been disappointed that they couldn't see more of Lin'an when we were there last month, so this month, we decided they would get to do a bit of sight-seeing before we headed back to Shanghai. This was planned weeks ago, and we were all in agreement this was a good thing. The idea was to head back to Shanghai at 7pm.
P tried joking about it as soon as we were done lunch - "If you guys (being H, who was in charge) wanna cancel the site-seeing, I'm sure no one will complain."
Um, I would. So would the kids, and I told him that. So he sulked the entire time we were biked around the ancient city on these little pedi-cabs, grumping and basically ignoring us the whole time. Jerry had sit with him in the pedicab and apparently P wouldn't talk to him. Can we say immature? And P is in his early 60's!
But the final straw? It was about 6:35 when we got back to where the van was. The kids wanted to make one last trip to the little stores nearby. so H and I took them. Then, at about 6:45, we were heading back, when H and I both realized we'd better hit the restrooms before getting into the van for a 3 hour drive. We turned to head back to the restaurant, and that's when P braced himself against the guardrail along the river and screamed at us: "SO WILL WE BE GOING BACK TO SHANGHAI ANYTIME TODAY OR WHAT? LET'S GO!"
The kids froze, thinking it was their fault. I was PISSED and yelled back, 'We're going to the frigging bathroom P. You really think I'm gonna ask your permission for that? Just. Freaking .WAIT.'
Well, needless to say he was pissed off even more, and refused to speak to any of us for the 3 hour ride home. Big surprise.
Look, I get that he has a 3 month old he's anxious to get back to. I realize he has to work the next morning. But damnit, so did I - in fact, I had it worse than him 'cause I had to be up by 6 to be out the door for 6:45 to get to my Qingpu class. And H had to work at 9am too, so it's not like he was the only one who would have a rough day.
AND HE *KNEW* we were doing sight-seeing. HE *KNEW* we'd leave at 7pm. This was NOT sprung on him. In fact, it was supposed to be a 2-day trip and we cut it back to one because he complained. To shout at us like that was like treating all of us as children. Don't you DARE do that to me. I don't give a DAMN if you're old enough to be my father - I am your CO-WORKER, and you WILL treat me with respect.
Usually my conscience gives me a twinge when I shout back at people, but I refuse to feel guilty. He obviously had problems about being rude and obnoxious - I refuse to feel guilty about being rude in return. In fact, we have a meeting tonight about a new demo, and I ain't doing it unless we get a couple of things straight about proper behaviour, how you address issues you have with the itinerary (i.e, discuss it like an adult instead of screaming like a fucking two year old having a temper tantrum), and going over in detail HOW we are going to do this damn thing. I am so sick of his attitude.
(and while I hate to throw my weight around, if it came down to it, it ain't me who'll be let go due to problems working with each other. You've got LOTS of complaints against you P - some of which I even defended you against, which you don't know. Not anymore asshole.)