Yesterday we had an interactive interpretation and one girl started crying and nobody turned off the cameras, she just had to struggled through it.
After that we had an hour of recitation where it was unsafe to say a g-damned thing cause our class is the GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT, physically but not mentally present, unwilling to take initiative, and no one will trust our interpreting, especially because at the very least we haven't learned that the interpreting setting is NEVER ABOUT THE INTERPRETER who exists only in a capacity to serve the communication of others...never to be trusted especially cause we don't have the courtesy to keep our interfering emotions to ourselves...
And I came home and told the BF who called her a number of unkind expletives at which time I felt obligated to rise to her defense.
But then she showed up for class today perky...perky! and not the least bit contrite which steeled my resolve to write the letter I have been writing since fall term with more and more vehemence, as often in defense of my peers as my self, till I was writing in rush hour all the way home....
Dear Teacher Lady,
Your approach to the honorable profession of teaching coupled with your style of communication is difficult, combative, unreliable and punitive enough to be a detriment to the educational environment. For someone who has been a working interpreter and teacher of communication for over 25 years you should understand better then anyone that HOW you communicate is as important as WHAT you communicate. I am paying you a lot of money to teach me the skills to be an effective interpreter. I treat you with the respect you deserve and unconditionally expect your respect in return, not to be berated, babysat or disciplined.
When there is a regular pattern of student error, unanimous and uniform in the specifics of how they make a mistake perhaps you should examine where the potential breakdown in communication might be.
When you disparage the group for not having pens poised the second the clock-tick indicates the class-starting hour you too should respect those standards, that is, maybe you should show up on time at least half the time.
I work my fucking ass off to be here, as do 92.8 percent of the other students in this program, functioning on less then 5 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Pulling 15 hour days, I leave my house at 7am, go from school straight to work arriving home at 10pm, doing homework for a couple hours and crawling to bed at 1am, usually feeling anxious enough to lay awake for at least another 45 minutes...... till the alarm goes off at 6:15 the next morning.
I get my homework in on time. I HAVE NEVER TURNED IN A LATE ASSIGNMENT. I expect that you would take the time to grade those assignments and give me a little bit of useful feedback. After all, you are the one teaching. I don't think that is asking too much. I wouldn't mind knowing how I did on those interpretation videotapes I handed in over six weeks ago. The feedback might be relevant to the work I am trying to do right now. Thank you very much.
There is so much more to this story, like the echo in the community of working interpreters and the drop-outs and show-downs and the WHO is NOT a disappointment, and why do I want to like her despite myself and yet... I know I am gonna be one of the best feckin' interpreters that ever graduated from this stinkin' stinkhole (if I want to be) even if my instructor is the least supportive instructor I have ever had who has absolutely no personal investment in the success of her students. I may try to impress you with my lamelife-ness but I don't complain about it because I like the challenge and I have places to be that I shoulda been at five or eight years ago if I hadn't been vortexed away into a head full of thistle-fluff on the coast for so long. And now I am behind schedule dammmit.
But whatever. Summer is coming, I can hear the birdsongs between cloudbursts.
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