Monday, May 12, 2008

Murphy's Law

Today, my day followed Murphy's Law...

It actually began last Friday night, after a night out with friends. I was sound asleep when I woke dead up to remember that I had accidentally scheduled a Japanese lesson with my NEW Japanese teacher on the same day and time that I had scheduled a make-up tutoring session on Monday (today). Since neither are part of my regularly scheduled weekly routine, I hadn't realized the prior arrangement when I scheduled the Japanese lesson earlier that day.

In a panic (and in the middle of the night) I realized that I would not be able to cancel on Japanese for two reasons: 1) Because it's Japan, and you just don't do that, and 2) I don't have the vocabulary for it. So, I decided to just cancel my tutoring session for this week. Except that I didn't actually e-mail my student's father until just this morning. He is very flexible, and didn't mind the cancellation. I told him that I would tell Mikaela to get on the bus instead of staying after school, and to expect her at the bus stop at the usual after-school time.

Arriving at school feeling like I had accomplished quite a few e-mails before even beginning my day, my principal dropped in to remind me of my 4pm meeting with him in the afternoon. Realizing that I had not only double-, but triple-booked myself for that afternoon, I bowed and apologized (and swore at myself) profusely, and caneclled yet another meeting, as I realized again, that I would not be able to cancel on (my apparently troubling) Japanese lesson (see above reasons).

Before school started, my Japanese teaching assistant, Mrs. Adachi, walked in to let me know that some tickets I had purchased for an out-of-town trip I am taking next week (and taking two more unpaid days for) were actually to the wrong station. The cancellation fee, plus handling fee are going to cost me about $40, not to mention that my ACTUAL destination costs twice as much to go to. I am supposed to leave on Sunday, and am still awaiting tickets to my desired destination.

Mid-morning, the HS Softball coach came to talk to me about this weekend's upcoming MS softball tournament in Osaka, which, I am of course responsible for taking 15 girls to. It had not been mentioned to me, in a previous meeting, that I would have to miss a day of school for this, which, of course, requires finding a sub, planning plans, and making advance preparations. All of this on three days notice. Which, coupled with my two days off next week (see 'out-of-town trip' above), means I now have three sub days in a row to plan for. What also wasn't mentioned? That the tournament in Osaka would not only take me out of school on Friday, but would eat my entire Saturday, leaving me NO time to be at school to plan the last two of these sub days.

Then, at the post office, I had to wait THIRTY minutes (thus wasting a good hour of my lunch time) to pay two bills. I suppose because they were not busy and I am American. It just doesn't work in my favor most of the time. They had to make 37 phone calls to verify my existence, and were reluctant to even let me go after it all. I just wanted to scream 'Just take my money, bitches!'. But of course, I haven't learned THOSE words in Japanese either.

Discipline problems during school, coupled with having one hour to find all of my softball girls to hand out permission slips (while tutoring a student at the same time) made my afternoon a busy one. By about 3:45, though, I was breathing a little easier, and packing up to be at my (troublesome) Japanese lesson at half-four.

I thought all might be well...

Then I looked down and noticed my little Mikaela's stuff still sitting at her table. Immediately, my life turned into a slow-motion movie. I looked up to see her playing outside with her friends, and slowly reached my hand up to slap my forehead (while at the same time silently yelling 'No..o..oo.oo'- seriously, like a slow motion movie).

I had COMPLETELY forgotten to tell her to get on the bus.

(post script - all was well that ended well. mikaela's dad was contacted, and a neighbor, still at school, offered to take her home. i reached my japanese lesson right on time, and am currently STILL apologizing to mikaela's dad for my blunder...)


Anonymous said...

Oh Wendy!

This blog hit a little too close to home for me. While I do not have nearly as many extra-curriculars going on in my life, I could completely relate to over-booking, and then when I read that you forgot to tell the young girl to ride the bus, I felt a nauseaus feeling in the pit of my stomach. On the 2nd day of school this year, I received a phone call from the office that I was to tell a student not to take the bus home, but to take the bus to the Boys and Girls Club. I get very upset when I am called in the middle of a lesson, and I refuse to deliver messages in the middle of a lesson. So, I relay the message after the lesson (or whenever I remember it). On this particular day (2nd day of school, mind you...picture chaos), I COMPLETELY forgot to relay the message. It wasn't until 3:45, that I remembered. I frantically called the mom and explained my blunder. She wasn't too upset...more worried than anything because her daughter didn't have keys to get into the house. The mom tried calling the neighbors, and I said I would drive over and take the girl to the Boys and Girls Club. After 20 minutes of searching for the house, I found the girl in her front yard playing with the neighbors. I picked her up and drove her to the Boys and Girls Club. She was quite surprised to see me. We still talk about it today. Alls well that ends well.

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