Friday, April 24, 2009

The Compromise

(In which I had a change of plans.)

***

The admin secretary knocked on my door and told me that the manager wants to talk to me. That could mean many things: a) a student has complained about me and I’ll be given a warning; b) a got a very serious complaint from a student and I’ll be fired; c) I will be substituting for a teacher who’ll be absent; and the list goes on. I wasn’t considering option a and b since I wasn’t that bad. And I thought it was a good time to talk to her about changing my schedule.

When I arrived at her office, she was having a serious talk with a client so I decided to come back after thirty minutes and luckily she was free when I returned. I just wondered why I was nervous that time. Being invited to her office never felt that uncomfortable.

It turned out that the reason why she called for me was that she wanted me to come to work earlier since I’ll be handling a new student – Susan. She has been studying in the academy for a year or so and her English is really good now.

“She wants to study in a university here. She said she wants to focus on writing for some time and that she wants to learn from you,” she told me.

I don’t know whether that last sentence was true or not. Probably she was just trying to make me feel good. But I wasn’t flattered, really. For whatever reason, I don’t know. But handling a new student, especially the kind of Susan, was no problem. So I said yes. Even if it means coming home at past twelve midnight and waking up at 8, it also means extra cash, you know. Wait. I don’t mean big cash.

Now I have to talk about my purpose of coming to her office.

“Madam, I have told you about my plans of taking my Master’s degree. I was informed that a student is only allowed to take up six units on a Saturday which means that since I want to take up 9 units, I have to have a class on a weekday and they are only offering weekday classes at night…”

“At night?” her face was half smiling, half shocked.

“Yes, Ma’am. That’s why I want to ask you I can change my schedule from the evening to the morning.”

“I understand that. But it’s really a tough decision to make. You see, you have many group classes and…”

So she gave a list of some problems that we’ll be facing if I will be shifting my schedule soon.

“When will you start studying?”

“This June, Ma’am.”

“In that case, is it possible for you to take up two subjects for this semester and make up for the other units on the next semesters?”

That wasn’t a bad idea. I was actually thinking about that, too.

“It’s possible. I can do that but I’ll still need to transfer after this semester.”

“When will the first semester end?”

“It will end sometime in October.”

“Okay. Until then, can you keep your current schedule and we’ll just talk about your transfer before the end of the first semester?”

“Yes, Ma’am. I understand.”

So I compromised. Anyway, I knew for a fact that that won’t be easy for me or her. Some of my students have been with me since I got hired. And she has her reasons. And honestly, if you saw the sincere and bothered expression on her face, you could have done the same thing as I did.
So until next semester, then.