Thursday, 5 February 2009

Mixed Feelings!

For some reason, I can't seem to get this blog going the way I want it to right now. Don't quite know why either, which is very annoying! I liked it when I updated it every day, more or less, and just made it a general record of what was going on in my life - but for some reason that hasn't happened in quite a while.
One reason, I guess, is that January 2009 was quite turbulent for me, and I didn't feel like writing about everything here - at times I felt like I could write about things after having gotten some distance to it but instead I felt I had to give a lot of backstory ... and it mostly ended up being confusing!
I hope I can find my way back to the way I used to keep this blog, because I was really happy with that! *fingers crossed*

Okay, what's been going on today! Not much in the practical sense, perhaps, but all the more in the emotional. I had to cancel Tuesday's mentor meeting, so I moved it to today instead, and that's what pretty much everything circles around right now.

I went to Uni pretty early this morning and started preparing for coffee and stuff. The lecture started at 10.15, and it's quite a strange feeling sitting there now. Part of me really enjoys it, this is so totally my subject and I really love working with the Hebrew language. But another part of me can't help but feel a bit ... well, bored to be honest. The level of the students vary, which is perfectly normal, but it does take a long time for them to get through the prepared sentences every day, and I don't find that very rewarding - which isn't so strange either, I think. I also have to get used to another teacher, and it takes a while adjusting! This new guy is terrific and he's really friendly and I like him a lot - but I was a true disciple to the previous teacher - who had been teaching Hebrew for 33 years straight (!!), and it does take a while before you get used to a different teaching-technique.
When we had a break I rushed down to the Student Union (in the cellar *lol*) to borrow some cups and spoons. Luckily a girl I know the Greek course was there (she's active in the Student Union), so it was quite all right to borrow some stuff. Took that with me, along with coffee and the rest, back to the classroom for the second half of the lecture.

When we ended I made a comment that we were going to have a mentor meeting, and I started to leave first. Our teacher came up to me, we talked a little about the course, when he suddenly stated: "It's so good to have you as a mentor on this course!" I was quite stunned because I haven't at all felt like a success, but he went on to tell me he'd been sceptic when he first heard about it, but felt I was a real assett and an inspiration ... Wow .... *add smile here* :)
He tried to tell them that it was good if they came to the mentor meeting ... but of course ... they didn't! *sigh*

I can't help but feel that something has gone wrong since there are so few coming! Now I know a few students who couldn't make it because I had changed the day - but today they were three ... and one of them left after a while!
The whole mentor thing is about working together, in a group - how do you make groups out of 2 or 3 people - it just doesn't work!!! They keep telling you that a mentor is not a teacher, so you shouldn't go around answering questions, but instead help the students to find the answers themselves. That sounds really great, and I totally buy that, but I can't seem to make it work.
I sit there with two rather insecure students who wonder how they are going to study, what they should prioritize, why the grammar works the way it does - how can I NOT answer there questions?!?!?!!?

This was indeed frustrating, and after the meeting when I was done cleaning up, I found the mentor-supervisor and decided to be totally open about this!! She didn't have much time, but she was really nice about this. She also, of course, felt it wasn't good - but she didn't yell at me about, she gave me some constructive ideas to test etc. and that feels really good.
We're having the next meeting on Tuesday, and she's coming for a visit then (she visits all the mentor groups one time), and then we'll decide on a time when we can sit down and have a proper chat about this. Meanwhile I'm going to write a survey and hand out to them on Monday, asking questions about the mentorship, why they aren't going, what they would like to get out of it etc. and hopefully that can help me get more people to come!

As the title indicates, I have very mixed feelings about today! The whole attendance thing is very disturbing and frustrating and I do worry about that. But on the other hand, the comment from the teacher, the talk with the supervisor, and also the fact that I myself feel a lot more relaxed and not so anxious at the meetings, feels really great!
Very confusing!!

I've decided to stay home tomorrow, and I have three full days to get onto my own courses - which is much needed right now! I have to know 10 pages Hebrew text and (over) 1000 pages of literature for an oral exam for the Head of the Faculty on February 20th. *gulp*
So, now I'm going to take an early night and hopefully get started early tomorrow morning!

Take care!

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