Monday, July 23, 2007

Training Insanity

Well, life is pretty much crazy at the moment. I got up at 3AM Sunday morning after spending all day Saturday working on and attending my parents retirement party (by the by, it was a smashing success!) and headed for the airport by 3:30 with Brian. We had a nice chat about politics on the way in which kept me from getting too sleepy, which was good. I'm not exactly the political type myself, but it was stimulating. I was actually driving seeing as how it was the last chance I'd get for a while.
I had difficulties with both my flights. The first flight was delayed due to fog in San Francisco. When we finally did get to SF we had to circle around a couple of times before we got to land. By the time I got off the plane I had a scant 10 minutes before boarding time for the next flight.
I made it on just in time, only to have to sit for about an hour with no air conditioning. Not so fun. Fortunately, I was prepared to be flexible. I managed to just sit there and not lose my "cool" while other passengers were having a harder time controlling their emotions. There was a woman who was literally freaking out about the temperature which resulted in her refusal to fly on the plane. Some people!
I finally arrived in Burbank, CA only to learn that my luggage had NOT arrived with me. Frustrating, considering we had been on the ground plenty long for it to have gotten there. By the time I had filled out my little report for them to send it when it did arrive, I was over an hour late for my shuttle. All the while I kept trying to repeat to myself that God is in control. It has definitely become my mantra already!
My ride was still there, although a bit perturbed by the wait. All the same, he delivered me successfully to William Carrey International University where I will be for the next 4 weeks doing a very intensive training program in TEFL, and working on team building.
I had a few hours to unwind before my roommate and suitemates arrived. My luggage was still MIA, but at least I had a chance to relax a bit. We had a short Q and A meeting that evening, but I was so out of it, and so worried about the absence of my luggage, that I really didn't pay a whole lot of attention. Basically I had a lot of people say hello, but I really didn't grasp much.
Just as the meeting was getting out I was saved by the bell! My phone rang and my luggage had arrived, and all in one piece! What a relief. I hauled it up to my room and began at last to really relax.
Now, a little confession. I, Sarah Beth Everest, went to bed around 10 PM! Not going to hear that one often for sure! I was seriously dead to the world! We don't have an air conditioner, so I about suffocated in my room, but it was nice to get some sleep.
Today has been full of meetings and slowly getting to know people. This course used to be run over 5 weeks, so they've really packed a TON of stuff into every moment. It's good, but a bit overwhelming. Especially every time the word "TEST" comes up. Do you know how long it's been since I've taken a test? (sigh) I guess this is what I signed up for after all.
It has been good to learn a bit more about the organization as well. While the focus is definitely on being the best teacher possible, the real goal is to develop relationships with our students and team mates and to shine the light of Jesus in such a way that all will see and know. I'm excited about the prospect of what is to come, even while I still feel apprehensive about the actual act of teaching.
We had our first practicum tonight as well. Those teaching are former participants in this program, so it was nice to get a feel for what we'll be learning over the next four weeks. I think I can manage, but I'm still not so sure about that whole test taking business.
Well, this has rather been a bit of an information overload. I'll try to get some photos in before long to break up some of the monotony. Hopefully it'll work this time :)

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