Thursday, September 01, 2005


Showers yesterday morning was an indication that cooler weather was coming to Tehran. Today was my fifth day in a row in the classroom and unfortunately I just did not have the reserves that I can normally rely on the in classroom and I was a bit shorter with the students than I would have liked to be. At the same time, meeting the demands of 65-70 people at the same time can be a lot to deal with for a 9-5 day, but it has given me reason and cause to reflect on how I generally deal with stress or even people.

The intensity of the experience here is probably something that I haven't quite recognized. All sorts of little things have accumulated and over the course of time I do my best to laugh them off, rather than complain about them. Individually none of those things seems like enough to whinge and groan about but gradually a small toll was taken. I guess right now the question is whether it was a whole month's worth of it or just the consequence of a few very intense days as the course comes to a close and the pressure gets amped up a little more. I suppose some people would say I am allowed to have a day where I'm less than stellar, an even that I am more worthy of that in the classroom. Still, I feel it is a moment to look within and see what kind of person I am under stressful conditions and how to deal best with such things.

This is not, however, an entirely down-on-myself moment. I know that in a few hours I'll feel a bit more refreshed and have a clearer perspective on things. The month here has been quite demanding and for the most part it has been a test that has helped bring the best out of me at times and the experience in and out of the classroom, especially in, has been quite valuable to me personally and professionally. I've rediscovered my desire to travel thanks to my time in Isfahan and by the things that I have learned from my students/friends (Sunday they'll be friends).

Today though I am spent and pondering questions about how to ration my patience or figure out when it is best to bear with something and best to say enough is enough and make things a bit more tolerable rather than merely tolerate them. It is probably a question that faces all teachers. On that note, the experience has made me a better teacher.

On that note ...

A car stopped in front of me and asked for directions. I guess I'm blending in.

After leafing through an in-flight magazine loaded wih ads for cosmetic surgery I've started to notice more and more people with bandaged noses over the last few days.

Today the elevator is out in my hotel. No sign required.