Yesterday was the last day of my Chungdahm training. I stayed up until 1 am the night before prepping and woke up at 5 am to prep some more – I didn’t take a shower or eat breakfast, just sat in the bathroom with the light on while my roommate Michael slept.
I went in with my first mock lesson prepped, but only half my second mock lesson prepped. I had spent the night before watching and re-watching the Chungdahm instructional videos, trying to perfect my lessons. But that took too long and left me ill prepared. Maybe I should have stayed and practiced more with Teralyn and Lawrence to improve my delivery instead. But then I wouldn’t have had either class entirely prepped. In hindsight I think I will find there simply wasn’t enough time in this training session for me to have excelled, regardless of my strategy.
Anyway, once training wrapped up I was in a celebratory mood. I figured that either way, it was over, so I could relax and let life take its course. But of course, life wouldn’t let it be that simple.
I knew something was wrong. It was the last day of my training, and I was the first to be called in for my results while the others sat behind together.
I did not pass.
BUT, I also didn’t fail. I was in purgatory. To emphasize this fact, they kept me alone in a room while several others shuffled in and out and gave their judgement of me.
First was Tony, out afternoon teacher, who had the manner of a used car salesman – slick to the point of seeming disingenuous. He called me to an empty meeting room and told me that I did not pass, but that his supervisor had some words for me.
I then waited 5 minutes until another man I had never seen before came in. He told me that although I did not pass, they wanted me to do another week of unpaid training. I expressed concern at this unorthodox result, and questioned whether this was outside the bounds of my contract and visa. He waived these aside and told me to wait again.
For 10 minutes I waited until yet another man, this one a former teacher from my training videos, and now training director, came in. He tole me that despite their reservations about my ability to handle a class, my school still wanted me right away. So I was to leave within the hour.
This, after one of the most intense weeks of my life. Days of cramming and sweating before my peers, and nights of practicing and cursing our trainers till near dawn. We were split up. So unceremoniously – we were rushed into 4 different cabs to meet our fates.
There is one part I forgot. After I got my news, I returned to the others, who I believe thought the worst for me. They they were called into another room where they received lighthearted awards for their performance during training – best speaker, best student management, funniest teacher, etc… and watched a welcome video, then finally signed their contracts. I was left to sit outside, reveling in a (temporary) reprieve – and frankly feeling a bit left out.
We had talked of getting drinks together. And as our respective cabbies anxiously awaited, tapping their watches, we exchanged emails, promising unlikely visits. I may see one of them by chance, but I doubt it will be by design.