Continuing from where I left off, yesterday. I sent an email of amends, explaining how my mother had passed away last semester and how my eyes were painful, perhaps requiring surgery. What I didn’t say was how confused I remain in relation to so many points, except one. The only certainty is that I am always able to take the next step as best I am able and that, the places to hide are becoming fewer.
Yesterday, I came back to my apartment, planning to start school today, I walked into a shop to get some food and the woman said, hi, are you arriving to start school? Yea I start tomorrow, I replied, to which she replied, school doesn’t start until the twentieth, which was four days away. Wow, I thought I’m losing my mind or perhaps, I’m just going blind. Somehow, I had got it into my mind that I started school on Friday, the 17th, when it actually begins on the twentieth. I’m guessing that I just didn’t see clearly. But I must have skimmed over the date many times in the last month. So why would I hold onto that number, even though it was wrong? That’s what I sometimes do, hold onto information as though it’s true, even though it’s wrong. What other information and knowledge have I assimilated as right, when it’s actually wrong? Have I been weaving the web more tightly around me, all the while believing that I was unweaving it, unwaveringly digging my hole ever deeper instead of climbing out of it. I have made an appointment for this week to go and see an eye doctor.
The email of amends that I sent, seems to have worked to bring the words back to a level of communication and cooperation and that’s what I commit to do, cooperate more humbly. However, I will still remain with my stand/commitment to write just one more set of education materials this semester, as a matter of prudence so not to risk becoming overextended when new obligations arise as they always do.
The other day I imagined a story of a donkey who worked hard because he wanted to impress others with how much of a load he could carry. The donkey thought his master would appreciate him and perhaps feed and care for him more if he carried more of the load. The donkey was wrong and the master just kept on demanding more, as though the man was unconcerned for the wellbeing of the donkey. Finally, the donkey had had enough. Not being able to get his message across to his master, he did the only thing left to do. In an act of desperation, he sat down and just refused to move. Finally, the master took notice and asked him what the problem was. To this, the donkey replied, I may be a donkey, but I’m not a jackass. Of course, I am the donkey in this story.
Years ago, I had written a play that won first place in a regional competition. Wanting to be national champions, the management ordered to work more, even during my lunchtimes to rewrite the play and better train the students. I had thought that I would have been rewarded, but instead I was forced to do more, so much more that I began experiencing pains in my chest and I started to become frightened that I would have a heart attack. Finally, the anger and blame inside of me overwhelmed me and I just quit. At the time, I blamed my experiences on the management, but now I see that I always had a choice.
Last semester, when I saw my new schedule with eight teaching hours in a row with only a lunch break, I became very shaken. I remembered the pains in my chest and I knew that meetings would sometimes be called during those lunch times, thereby leaving me to work for nine hours straight or disobey orders. I wrote emails and I talked to administrative people, begging them to change my schedule, but hey just pointed fingers at different departments and said it’s their responsibility. Finally, in an act of desperation, I said I would stop all cooperation in developing new lessons (that bring in additional funds for the school) and start looking for another job. I had been down this road before and I wasn’t going to go there again. My schedule got changed later that day and this is where my confusion lies. There’s got to be a better way. There is a better way and this is why I write.