Thursday, November 27, 2008

Week 20 - Day 4

This week has been a very tough week. We are still doing Business practices - mostly involving Economics and Entrepreneurship and Business plans. As a project we are busy creating business plans which are due next week.

On Monday (4 days ago) our instructor (S) came to school looking very unhappy. It turns out that her husbands nephew was shot and killed in Chicago over the weekend.

Now when I first came into the class the morning students already knew about this, but the afternoon students did not. So when I came in, the students were telling S to go home. She said, I cant. I have to be here. I have to teach. I (stupidly enough) spoke up and said, yes S has to teach. The morning student (who happened to be the women from Trinidad who attacked me a few weeks ago) rounded on me and said how dare you say that. You think that she should stay where when someone in her family has been killed? Now how would I know that? Thats the first I had heard the news.

So S stayed and we continued the class. But an hour later while S was speaking, I was listening and this Trinidad woman spoke up and said something that I couldnt hear. I also could not hear S because this woman was talking too loud.

And I snapped. I turned around to her and my brain said Be quiet. But apparently my mouth said Shut up. I do not remember saying shut up. Anyway she stood up and she started anohter tirade against me. She called me rude, and lazy and disrespectful, and she wasnt going to listen to me anymore. Then she started on S calling S rude names as well. And the language. Every third world was a foul word.

S said I'm not going to deal with this, so she took us to to the directors office. Once there she went inside to explain the situation to the director while we stayed outside. This woman was walking around, angry and agitated, berating me for being a cry baby (and yes I was in tears). She even called me TRAILER TRASH.

My daughter is 29 years aold and she does not behave so rudely like you did, and why are you crying. How old are you? Why are you crying? Trailer trash. You are nothing but trailer trash. I've been here for 30 years and I have never been treated so disrepectfully.

While we waited, she got tired of waiting and stalked off down the hall to the classroom muttering I'm not going to wait. S can come and get me.

Eventually S opened the door for me to enter. I said she's gone back to the classroom and S had to go out and drag her back.

We were in the office for maybe 20 minutes while she kept going on and on about how rudde I was, how I never say hello and goodbye and how when I get to the classroom the first thing I do is get on the computer. And how I dressed so unprofessionally and how I had no respect and how I was just so rude. Yes I know she cant hear me and thats why I talk loud. She can hear me when she chooses to, and when she doesnt. (which is true).

The director said to her that I can choose to not socialise if I dont want to, but to me he said you must socialise. Now that is a contradiction. I detest doing small talk just because its socially required. I'm also not very good at it.

She said she would try and cope with me since she only has 2 weeks to go until she graduates. After a while she said, I've had enough of this, and she stood up and left the office.

I got my own talking to for another 20 minutes and was told that I cannot go around saying shut up. I also did need to be more confident and make more effort to be more friendly. Oh and and wear business clothes. He said, I dont like wearing ties but when I put it on, I feel more confident. When you wear busines clothes you feel more confident.

Well other people may feel more confident but I dont. I prefer to wear loose comfortable cotton clothing. Being forced to wear dresses, and skirts and scratchy linen and ugly blouses makes me physically very uncomfortable and no confident. I do wear pantsuits and T-shirts when I am working.

I am also losing weight and I do not want to be spending money on clothes now that will not fit me in 6 months time. It is a waste of money.

The other students all wear jeans. What is wrong with me wearing pants and a t-shirt?? After the meeting as we walked back to the classroom, I apologised to S for making her day even worse.

Well the upshot is that this women has not been in class for the last 3 days (tuesday through thursday). Its no skin off my nose if she chooses to fail the class. She has been to ONE morning class out of the three days. She went home at the end of that class claiming a huge headache.

But what really bugs me is being told I dont have to be sociable if I dont want to and then be told in the very next breath that I must be sociable. I can be very social in a one-on-one basis. I have no problems with that. But due to the nature of my disability, I cannot handle a group discussion with everyone chatting at the same time. When I am listening to someone in class, I expect everyone else to be courteous enough to not interupt so that everyone can hear the speaker.

The funeral of the nephew was today. S chose to not go - partly because the funeral was a small private one. But she is going to Chicago to spend a few days with the family next week. At least that is the plan. So we students get to finish our projects, do the study and the last chapter of the book on our own and be ready for the final exam on Thursday next week. She will be back on Thursday. And we have to present our business plans to the class before the exam.

LIke I said, its been a tough week.

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