My overfilled schedule…

I’m working – finally!  But my entire schedule is FILLED.  I have “days off” from one job or the other, but no “me” time.  But it’s money, and I’m broke.  Next week is filled with work and school – EVERYDAY.  It looks like my weekends will be spent at the Halloween store and the weekdays will be between school, Kumon, and occasionally, the Halloween store (they crammed me in during the week somehow).  The Halloween store is temporary, only until a little bit after Halloween.  The boss/owner has a lot of high expectations of his employees, so I hope I do well (and get paid more).  Thankfully, it’s close to home and I don’t have to drive as far.  Parking sucks (it is downtown Walnut Creek-ish), but I plan on parking in the other lot and walking over to the store.  It’s a casual environment; we can wear jeans or khakis to work.  However, we are stuck wearing ORANGE, the color of Halloween.  I don’t look good in orange, not to mention, I don’t own an orange shirt – at all.  The store is supplying them, but they’re not in yet.  We cannot have the weekend off before Halloween and the weekend of Halloween.  It kind of sucks, but hopefully I’ll be able to dress up.  I’m going to ask for Fleet Week off (just that weekend), so I can enjoy the sailors and the Blue Angels.  I’ll probably be working the remaining weekends.  I have a discount, but I can’t just give it out to anyone.  That’s about it, since it is a retail job.

As for my other job at Kumon…it brings back memories.  I used to be a Kumon student as well (20 years ago), but I DON’T REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT IT.  I remember their “general” method of doing things, but like I mentioned before, I don’t really remember anything about it.  I’m a tutor/grader/whatever else there is to do kind of person, so I’m learning a lot in a short period of time because the lead grader (that’s what I’ve considered her) is leaving for her first year of college.  It’ll be different without her around.  Working at Kumon has taught me a lot about myself and my educational standards.  Kumon, in the US, focuses on math and reading.  Kumon in other countries probably does the same, along with other subjects.  It has Japanese roots (I mean, just look at the name).  When I was a student at Kumon, I only did math.  Kumon wants to unlock a student’s potential to do well in math, and well, they do it through repetition, which I feel is the only way to learn math concepts.  Rinse and repeat.  I wouldn’t do it any other way.  I’ve worked at Kumon for 2 weeks, and I’ve learned a lot about the students by grading their homework.  First of all, some of the kids’ handwriting is ATROCIOUS.  You can’t read it, or it’s barely legible.  If pharmacy was like that, no prescriptions would ever get filled because NO ONE would be able to read it!  It makes me wonder if teachers and schools focus on penmanship anymore.  If I wrote like a slob, I’d never forgive myself, although if you look at my notes in school recently, I’ve gotten lazy about my handwriting.  Second, it makes me think about my own math skills (which evidently SUCK).  Some of the students are far beyond what they would learn at their grade level, so obviously, the Kumon method works for them.  For other students, they still struggle (which is why there is the repetition).  I’ve managed to match names and faces of TWO kids.  It’s pretty bad since I’ve been working there for 2 weeks.  I’m sure I’ll figure it all out eventually.  There is one student (no names, of course), who is probably in junior high, and struggles with multiplication tables.  He will get them correct on one page, but he’ll get the same problem wrong on another page.  I don’t know how to help students that are like that, since my degree doesn’t help me with this kind of stuff (nor do I have a credential).  I am very unfamiliar with the reading portion of Kumon.  It’s also really hard!  Even harder to grade (or to complete).  It’s all so subjective, since it’s reading comprehension and it depends on the student’s interpretation of the passage.  I was never really that good at reading comprehension, although standardized tests (like the SATs) love them.  Grading math is easy, since it’s either right or wrong.  Reading, on the other hand, takes off half a point for spelling, grammar, or punctuation.  Or in my case, in the one I was grading (I only got through ONE packet), the entire answer was wrong.  What they want the student to do is to rephrase what the author is referring to in an above statement, and well, the student didn’t do that, so it was wrong.  The fill-in-the-blank is easy; words are either provided or found in the passage.  Thankfully, I’ve been grading math or checking in students (which takes practice, too).  Even though my math skills has gone downhill significantly, I can grade the math faster than the reading.  And a lot of kids do both math and reading, in addition to whatever they are doing in school.  It’s encouraging time management at a young age.

Anyway, I just wanted to update on what my working schedule is like.

Until next time…


~ by twilightmelfina on September 17, 2010.

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