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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Week 19 - Day 3

It snowed today in Toronto. The first proper snowfall that has actually settled on the ground. Today (IMO) is the first day of winter.

This class has a lot of home work every day and one huge big project due at the end of the class. The class mostly covers Economics, How to Start up a Business and Business Plans.

The big project is to create a product or a service and then create a business plan for that product or service. The class of seven are doing this in two teams.

Oh yes, and the school put a Xmas tree up in the student lounge today, complete with flashing lights and everything. Considering the high number of students at the campus who are not from Western background, I would think this would be a bit risky, I wonder if anyone is going to actually complain about the Xmas tree showing a bias towards Christianity - which it does.

The only thing that bothers me about the tree is when I have to wrote Xmas out the "proper" way. XMAS is much shorter and it has less religious overtones. But that's enough about religion. Xmas is a tradition and we have to keep our traditions.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Week 18 - Day 1

To day is the first say of Canadian Business Practices class. We will learn about the economy, supply & demand and various other things one needs to know about the business environment.

The book covers the Business Environment. It also covers HR and Marketing and Financial Accounting. But we will not be doing those chapters. Because we have already done HR and Marketing and I will be doing Accounting next year.

About my marks in the Marketing class. I discovered that one girl failed - she sat the exam the day after we did because she was not present. She also missed most of the assignments and quite a few of the classes. She will have to redo this course next year. And yes we do get marked for attendence.

Another girl got 97% as a final mark. She is estatic as it is her best mark, and she will be completing her course work next month. Business Practices is her last class. The young man from Switzerland got 90%. Which he is pleased with.

As for the girl from Trinidad. I dont know what her score was. I certainly was not going to ask her. BUT she did get a job today. She went to a job interview today at 11am. By the time she showed up for class at 1 pm, she had a job offer in her email box. She was estatic. She says she will be an inventory control person for an IT company. Now she has to make arrangements to finish her last class (Busines Practices) and start a new job.

I would like to be an inventory control person as well. I think I would do well in that type of position. This job usually involves shipping, customs and brokerage. It often involves forklift driving as well. I dont know if I want to get a fork lift license. Surely there must some inventory jobs out there that do NOT require using a fork lift.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Week 17 Day 5

We did the marketing exam yesterday and today the final grades are up. The fastest marking I have seen yet. I guess the teacher wants to make up for the very slow time she took getting the HR results up. That took a whole month. But she was in a lot of pain. However she now has a pain patch that she wears and she is doing much better. BUT still she cannot take any time off to get the surgery she so desperately needs. Unless she can find qualified people to teach all her courses.

S does all the Accounting (basic and advanced), Bookkeeping, QuickBooks and Simply Accounting courses as well as Marketing, Business Law, Human Resources and Business Practices. How many people do you know, who have experience in all those areas AND can teach all those courses?

My final grade for Marketing is 92 percent. I am actually very pleased with that. So far my entire course average is 90.5%. If I can get more final grades in the 80s and 90s (to make up for the poor 76% I got in HR) then I might be able to graduate with Honours.

Trios College has a rule that says if you get an overall average grade in the 90s for your entire course, you graduate with Honours. If you get an overall average grade in the 80s for the entire course, then you graduate with Distinction.

I want to graduate with Honours. It looks better on the Diploma and on the Resume.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Week 17 Day 2

This is the last week of the Marketing class. The exam will be on Thursday. Next week we start Canadian Business Practices for 4 weeks.

But I want to tell you about what happened to me last week.

As you all know, Canada is very diverse - very multi-cultural. In my class there are students from Brazil, New Zealand, Canada, Bangladesh, Switzerland, China, India and Trinidad/Tobago. When I first met the girl from Trinidad, I made a comment that my sister in law is also from Trinidad and Tobago but she is Indian. This girl was black. I did not mean it as an insult, I was just making an observation. I had not known that Trinidad had people of African origin as well as those of Indian origin.

That was 3 months ago when we started the Human Resources class. All through HR, Business law and Marketing she has been loud and petty towards me, telling me I am wrong and not accepting that I am entitled to my opinions. No, she has to be right and I have to agree with her. It got to the point where I just ignored her.

Because I have a hearing problem, ignoring someone is very easy for me to do. I can read a book and tune out everything else around me.

So one day last week, the teacher took the day off to attend a funeral. She didnt tell us she was going, in fact she had mentioned the day before that she was NOT going to attend. She left a cryptic message with one of the students that we were to answer the questions at the end of chapter 9 in a group. I decided that I didnt need to be part of their group because this other girl would be telling me I was wrong when I know that I am usually right. So I read my text book and ignored the group. I didnt listen to them, and I heard noone calling my name.

The following day when the teacher came back, we went through the answers, and when they all got one answer wrong, and mine was right, this Trinidad girl lost her temper and went into a tirade. In front of the teacher. She called me a liar, a hypocrite and a racist.

She claims they tried to get my attention the day before, to ask me what I thought, and I just ignored her. She thinks I ignored her because she is black. NOT TRUE. I ignored her because I didnt hear her. And she made no attempt to get my attention by any other means except for calling my name. She made no attempt to touch my arm or to stand in my field of vision to get my attention. Which any intelligent person SHOULD have thought to do.

No she assumed that I deliberately ignored her only because she was black. I would have ignored anyone calling my name no matter if they were red or yellow, black and white, (Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world - so says the old religious song). I tried to tell her I was deaf - LIAR she screamed back.

I was shaking and crying by the time she sat down. The teacher did nothing. She said to me later it was better if this girl got her anger out. I too was glad that at least the anger was out. Anyway I told the teacher that I did have hearing problems and I did not ignore her because she was black. I ignored her because I did not hear her and she did not try to get my attention. The techer promised to talk to her to explain.

Now I just ignore her and she ignores me. All I can do is to study harder and get batter marks than her in the next 2 classes - Marketing and Business Practices. I want to tell her to not be so defensive about her race - but I cant. I dont want to set off another explosion. But she is DEFENSIVE.