free stats Carmen's Web: Stress
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
My horoscope this week:

"British medical researchers recently announced that contrary to conventional wisdom, brief periods of stress are healthy for us--so much so that they boost longevity and enhance our cells' ability to repair themselves. At the same time, the scientists emphasized that intense, long-term stress is still just as bad for us as we've always thought. If they're right, Capricorn, you should be the picture of vitality right now. The difficulties you've been facing lately have passed the Goldilocks' test: neither too great nor too small, but just right."

There is no way I will come close to believing that the stress I am currently experiencing is just right for my health. But I suppose if it hasn't killed me by now it's got to be a healthy dose...
You form a strange connection with people when you're all thrown into the same situation. Yesterday one of the girls broke down and was ready to give up on the entire experience. She wasn't prepared for her lesson, had problems with her MFP (again, if you never plan on teaching EFL you don't want to know what this is). I was getting ready to run out to lunch (see...I'm trying to eat properly) when I saw her walking up the stairs. She called on me and asked if I could help her with her work. I told her I was going to lunch and asked her if I could help her when I got back...she immediately said yes, that I should go eat, that she'd be fine. I saw something in her eyes though that indicated that she wasn't going to be fine; that she was overwhelmed and on the verge of breaking apart.

Although she insisted I go eat, I told her we should work on the plans first and then I'd go get something. We found an empty room, she took out her work, and all of a sudden started crying. She wanted to just go home, tell the tutor that she was sick and couldn't teach today. Then she started wondering what the hell she was doing here, why she wasted all this money on something like this, why she was putting herself through this hell.

I managed to calm her down a little and we walked through her work together. I didn't do it for her, but helped her put it together. She did all the work herself. After class, she received her MFP back with "it needs a little work, but yours is the best". It was odd because this particular tutor doesn't really say things like that; it was like the universe was aligning to make sure that she didn't get too discouraged. It was exactly what she needed to hear, and when she heard it she whispered a quick "thank you" to me.

It was the proudest moment I've had in a while. I was proud of myself for not having done the work for her, but helped her realize where the problems were and how to fix them herself. I am the kind of person who will do anything, absolutely ANYTHING to take away someone else's pain. I'll never teach them how to fish...will simply give them the fish. And this is precisely what I was talking about yesterday--DON'T SPOONFEED ANYMORE!!!!

So we all, the CELTA trainees, are in a really odd and difficult situation. This course is incredibly overwhelming, we're all far away from home, some of us have no one we know here. It's intensive, constant work, constant (vital) new information being thrown at us that we never have time to process and file in an appropriate folder in our minds. If I were a computer, I'd probably freeze by now with all this information being uploaded. I'm not sure the human brain is equipped to deal with constant bombardment like this.

I'm learning a lot though, and I don't just mean the stuff in books or class...

Oh, and my friend's lesson?? It ROCKED. As nervous as she was and as unprepared as she is, she performed brilliantly in front of class.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 9:38 PM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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