Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Big Meetings

Its now getting to be the time of year when my company insists all teachers go to these fancy meetings called CM's or combined meetings. This would be all and great if they were not a pointless waste of time.

First, the meeting name itself is totally absurd. Combined meetings are supposed to be meetings in which Japanese teachers and Western teachers get together to go over new material. We are supposed to be working together. In reality, you go to the CM and then get split up when you arrive, Westerners with Westerners, Japanese with Japanese. Therefore, we are not really combined, we are just in the same building.

Second, the meetings are always held in a central location within the district. This means that the meetings are at least two hours away for me and the Japanese teachers in my area. So not only are the meetings a waste but I lose four hours of my life to a train commute, four hours that could have had a point had I been doing something or going somewhere else.

Lastly, the material covered at the meetings is pretty pointless. I feel bad for the Japanese teachers because they have to put a ton of work into these teaching demos and they really stress out over them. Native teachers on the other hand basically do nothing. In theory, we present demos too but no one really cares what we do as long as we look busy and productive. The whole Japanese concept of looking busy despite your workload is really getting to me. I am sick of pretending that the administrative aspect of my job has a point and I am sick of having to make up things to do just to fill time. This is the main reason that I am not the district manager of my area's native teachers. If I wanted to take the supervisor position, which was basically offered to me, I would have to move to a city and devote at least two whole days a week to pretending that I am doing something productive in an office full of crazy, over-zealous, Japanese people. I despise the office and that is the main reason I didn't take the job. I don't think I could pretend for that long without going nuts and killing co-workers. The one upside to working in the office is watching the Japanese workers perform their daily calisthenics routine and chanting together to get themselves worked up for a day of boredom. I call them Wakey Wakey Exercises and have actually heard people refer to them as such.

Anywho, I am sorry for the rant but I really don't want to go to the meeting. The only reason I am looking forward to it is so that I can pick up my new weight set from one co-worker and play Nintendo DS with another. I am pretty sure that is going to be the majority of the day tomorrow. Here is to pointless corporate bonding time.


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