Friday, January 15, 2010

14 January 2010

Its early morning and I’m sitting at work in the staff room, waiting for the 8 a.m. briefing where we will be given our tasks for the day. Today will most likely involve much administration and collection of school fees. Discipline is near impossible because the second I put my head down to handle some paper work, some of my students run out the door. Yesterday I had to resort to locking the classroom door and appointing a door monitor to open and close it as needed. Today I plan on rearranging the furniture so that my desk is nearer to the door and then there’s the matter of an alphabetical seating plan. The latter makes it really easy to see who’s missing and saves time when taking register.

I really find it funny when I watch American sitcoms and movies that show a high school setting. Do the learners really sit quietly and do their work? Is the worst disciplinary problem someone whispering to a friend? If so then I want to move to America. In South Africa I’m lucky if I get 20 minutes of work done in a 50 minute period. Each period roughly goes like this… the kids enter the class, don’t bother to settle down, I scream, they eventually sit, I beg them to get their books out (if they have even bothered having books or any form of notes at all), I pass out notes/textbooks (the children share because the school can’t afford a book for each child), they start writing/tearing the few textbooks we have, I scream, then they contemplate whether they want to do any work, chaos breaks out, I lose my voice/burst into tears/have a potato thrown at me. Yes… they once threw a potato at me! Creative little $@%*$!!! It’s all terribly demotivating. I try so hard. I keep psyching myself out to be a fantastic teacher. I spend endless hours preparing but they never appreciate a bit of it. They don’t even try to learn. It’s like they don’t want to excel in life and then they wonder why they fail? That is if they fail at all. Half the time they fail but the report says that they pass or are condoned. The department doesn’t like a true reflection of the terrible state of the South African education system so they force schools to change the marks and then children who can barely read are passed. Then when the matric (grade 12) results come out and pass rate is appalling, the department and the media start to blame the teachers. According to them, we teachers are overpaid and lazy. I’d love to see a journalist last a week in my world! The real problems are lazy learners, no disciplinary support (because the learners fear nothing and have no respect) and a total lack of the resources teachers need to provide a quality education. I mean even paper is scarce! No wonder we have a lack of skilled artisans and professionals in South Africa. The education system is completely failing us. Okay… enough about my job frustration.

Moving on, today I had a fight with my boyfriend in the morning. It was stupid and it was entirely my fault. I was being totally selfish. Yet, he was the one who apologized to me. I am so grateful to have him. He drives me crazy sometimes but honest to God, he is the only person in the world who can handle my bullshit and I love him. It’s so easy to see the flaws in others but sometimes we all need to be humbled. We all need to look in the mirror sometimes and see the problems in ourselves. It’s the only way we can really improve as people.

Now to end off today’s rant. The other day the ladies at work and I were having a chat in the staff room about weight loss and I, with my recently acquired knowledge from reading the 1.5 e-books on the subject, decided to chip in. It was a just my usual ranting but by the time I got to the end of it, the ladies were rather amused at the truth behind my little observation. Please note that the following rant is based entirely on my observations of the human race and not on my own experiences.

In modern society, between soaring inflation and recession, it has become a necessity for a family to have a dual income household. Hence, women are empowering themselves and joining the workforce by the droves out of necessity. When men work, they expect to be treated like Lords when they get home with the poor wife often playing the role of maid. However think of the poor female and her suffering. She has to get up and see to the kids, hubby and herself in the morning, go to work after the school run and work a full day, come home and see to the kids, dinner and cleaning, then hubby comes home and she has to see to his needs. So despite being double as run down as he is, she still has to play the spritely young lover when the kids have gone to bed. Now, let me get to the point of my rant. When these women are overworked and stressed, naturally the body produces a substance called cortisol. This hormone causes the body to break down muscle. Since muscle is responsible for cellular respiration, it is the metabolic tissue responsible for excess fat loss. Less muscle equals less fat loss. Next, it also causes the body to crave the foods that cause weight gain and even worse to store as much fat as possible even when the intake of these foods is low. So in conclusion, women gain weight because of the pressure that society and their men put on them to be working mothers and ‘happy housekeepers'. If a man has the audacity to come home and call his working woman fat, he better hope to God that his medical aid is in order because he’ll need it! He is after all part of the reason that she has gained this weight, so he should be a little more understanding and should love her curves, bumps, orange-peel and all.

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