On Monday. My boss enters my office to let me know the English classes I had been teaching at the Universidade de Paz every Friday will resume from this week. They’ll happen every Wednesday at 12pm.
To be honest, I didn’t love the classes when I was teaching them before — I’m not a qualified teacher, and there were 40 students of wildly varying levels in the same class, which was a challenge — but these students help us at our resource centre, and I was happy to support my work’s relationship with the university.
I still got nervous before each class, though.
I expected myself to tense up as my boss left my room, but as the door swung shut I instead continued mildly with my work. “Wednesday is forever away,” I told myself as I typed. “What’s the point in worrying about it now?”
Was this it? Was I finally able to plan like the Timorese? Two days in advance (at a stretch), and no precious minutes wasted in getting stressed about it? Go, me.
I’m preparing the class and getting a little nervous now. I research vocabulary, make some notes, and plan out the timing of the class. I get everything together in good time and feel more relaxed. My boss is also teaching a class at the university at the same time, and we’ll talk through our plans on the way there.
11:45am. We should leave now, but there’s no word from my boss.
11:55am. Still no word. We’re running late now. I check my boss’s office but the door is shut.
12:00pm. Class time starts. Still no word.
12:05pm. No use waiting. I’ll continue with other work.
12:25pm. Getting weird now. The university is a 15-minute drive away. The period will nearly be over by the time we get there.
12:40pm. I go to my colleague’s room. “Do you know where our boss is?” I ask. “He went home for lunch,” my colleague replied.
I check my boss’s office again and it’s still locked up. I send him a message – “is English class still happening?” – and pack up my things to head to lunch myself. The reply comes: “No, next week.”
12:50pm. I head for lunch, walking the short distance down from the office into Lecidere. Exiting the office I beat myself up for waiting so long without checking the class time; as I turn onto Jacinto Candido Road my thoughts turn to considering that my boss should have informed me today’s class was cancelled, and why do people here always do that; and as I rounded the corner I congratulated myself for at least being prepared for the first class a week in advance.
I hadn’t made it halfway to Lecidere before all the thoughts cleared from my mind and I decided ah well, doesn’t matter at all, does it, and promptly forgot about it.
Three steps forward, two steps back.
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