November 15, 2004

Into the Dungeon.

Had an interesting and somewhat difficult time teaching yesterday. Not because of the students, though. They were great. It was because of the building and the people running it. The rooms that we usually hold our classes in were occupied and became change rooms for some sort of ballet recital. There were little girls in pink tutus with their panicking parents all over the place. It was insanity. So it was arranged for me to have a room somewhere else. Unfortunately, this room was pretty far away from the usual place where the students know to show up, throwing a huge monkey wrench into the operation.

The Dungeon

So this is the room, sort of a dungeon/nursery in the lower floor of the Community Center’s library. I don’t know exactly the sort of activities that take place here, but I can tell just by looking around that I am far too old to take part in them. Not the ideal place to teach how to draw anime, but I had to roll with the punches. But the thing is that no one else who was working there knew that I would be occupying this room. So as I’m setting up before the students were to arrive, someone involved with the library looked inside with a “What the hell are you doing here?” kind attitude about her.

She says to me “Can I help you?
And I say “Nope! I’m good!” Heh heh heh.

That’s not all, though. See the projector on the left side of the picture? I usually get a TV in my regular room that I can hook a DVD player up to show anime and illustrate certain points I try to make. I didn’t have the TV this time, so I hooked my DVD player up to that projector instead. There was a gigantic roll of shiny white paper there, so I decided that I’ll tape some of that to the wall to use as a makeshift screen for the projector. Well the aforementioned employee who tried to “help” me earlier came back as I was cutting a piece from the roll and was all upset, asking about if usage of this paper was in the contract with the building operators. All I could do is tell her who my boss was and to go talk to him. So a bit later he comes down and asks about this white paper he was told I was using.

How dare I use this precious paper.

I pointed to that. Already frazzled by the day’s events being sprung on him like this, he just sighed and said “Oh my God“, as if to wonder what the hell was wrong with these people.

So we go back upstairs and start rounding up our students. His students were put into a different room around the corner, while I had to wait for mine in the lobby and then take them through the library and then down into this dungeon. I did the class as best as I could under the circumstances, and the students were good sports about it. I was able to turn the experience into a running joke through the lesson, talking about how our classroom had been overrun by dancing zombies in pink tutus. I was not too far off from the truth.

I usually plaster the walls with anime posters, but this room already had a permanent set of decorations for young children that the students didn’t enjoy so much. Case in point is this politically correct, self affirming series of images taped to the wall.

Everyone can be a star in the dungeon!

Everyone can be a star? Yeah, except for the dude in the green shirt on the right. That guy is hopeless.

What a tiring day. When I got home I just crashed with exhaustion. I hope I don’t have to deal with that sort of thing again. Though I’m sure I’ll be dealing with some other disaster eventually anyway.



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