A week full of mixed emotions. On Tuesday my daughter had her last exam. A day I was waiting for; for a long time. As a single mom, I had no partner to help me with the school things of my daughter. However, I cannot deny that my parents helped me a lot. But I do not like to bother them with my things. Anyway, I was happy.
Just a few hours later I was putting Raul on a plane to Israel (almost to the other side of the world) for a Commando Krav Maga Bootcamp (self-defense). Not that happy, but happy for him.
I thought that I would have had a very good night sleep, but in the middle of the night the (not so clean) water came up from the dishwasher sewage disposal and from the toilet of my daughter. For some 2 hours, I was cleaning up the mess. By then I didn’t know that this would be the pattern for the next 2 days; 3 times a day. We called the institution that could help us, but they put us on a waiting list. Can you imagine that? Not happy at all!!
In the middle of all this, I had a table tennis tournament, ‘Kopa Irene Moreno’. I finally won!!!! It was my first tournament win against male players. We are not playing at a top level, but every new achievement is excited and poses a new challenge. Very happy!
In our top-level table tennis, you have only a few young people playing, like Dimitri Leon, Michael Dalnoot, Henny Metry, Devon Mellink, Sigmar Camelia (a judge), Jaysron Mathilda and a few more. Most of the players are older than I am.
My next challenge is that I am going to win from everybody that is older than me.
Ok, now about the Ph.d., I didn’t do a thing. I was pondering whether to keep working at the university or not. To stop would mean to that my road could come to an end without reaching my goal. But the stress I am working under is too much for me.
I can imagine that you wonder why I would like to stop. Well, my character is the reason. I can not do work that leads to nothing. Work just to get paid, being afraid of the bosses, just keep on taking work without the faintest idea how to accomplish them all. That’s not me.
Since I started working at the university I found it difficult to fit in. At first, I thought finally working with people who are innovative, that would understand me better and probably work more professionally. Not at all. I was the youngest in my faculty, with my 46 years. I was the first to have digital assessments. And working there is based on fear; fear of making mistakes, fear of what people would say, fear of ……
On the other hand, we were dealing with students that have less knowledge than a 5th grader. Do I have to make a teacher out of them? I think that if you want to teach something at least you should have an idea of what you are going to teach. Can you imagine students that can not subtract 9 from 15, students that do not know what is happening with the temperature when it gets colder, or students that think that their shade has always the same size, or do not understand Dutch?
When we visit them in year 4 for their performance assessment, we are ashamed of how poorly they are doing. But could we expect something else? They cannot speak the languages well, they do not have class discipline, their lesson has no logical structure. (Level 3F of math forces you to have a structure in your thinking). Should we be surprised? These are the fake emotions and fake conversations I cannot handle. For 4 years they are going to do something about the level of entry of the students. Nothing is happening. Money is more important than delivering quality teachers. I introduced a course in the first year where they have to pass the level of 3F. A whole year long I had to write a letter to the dean explaining why the students are failing. Really? After one year I was tired and I refused to write these letters. I do not want to be part of this. Only a few of the teachers we deliver, we deliver with the conviction that they will be a good teacher. But most of the time, ‘nos ta tene nos kurason’. Literally translated ‘we hold our hearts’; we are not sure what is going to happen. We know, these teachers will let a lot of children down, they cannot help the children to reach their potential.
I had to find a way to fit in somehow. I could not leave again, could I? Fear already set in.
At a given moment I thought I found a way. Teaching and guiding students while leveling up. Doing research to show what is going on with the fundament of math, while being on my road to Ph.D. Our director of the University, our Rector Magnificus, asked me to look around, shop around and come up with a plan of how we can really help math in Curaçao. I thought I had the best job on the island and that I could stay here for a while.
In December I was all excited to start the new year, with challenges I like. That happiness had a short duration. A colleague resigned and I was asked to take over. She had a full-time job, I have a full-time job, so am I missing something? My colleague signed in January 2018 a contract for a year. She told them that she would not stay after that year. Maybe they didn’t believe her, but at the end of October, she handed in her resignation. She had a lot of responsible and complicated tasks. So I was asking, who is taking over. They didn’t know. A week before I left for my vacation I was asked to help out. Me? Really? Oh no! My planning and my ideas went through the drain. They assigned some people to help me; one helped greatly and the other was nowhere to be found. Anyway, it wasn’t working out. You have probably already read about it in my previous weeklies. 5 months after my colleague left, they put an add in the newspapers. This process will take at least 4 to 5 months before they find somebody. I sent my dean an email saying that I will not keep doing this work. She told me I could not refuse. But I already did.
The ICT-department of the University decided all by themselves, without telling a soul, that they will block all social media, and other websites they think we should not use. I communicate with Ban Har Yeap via Facebook, and I get idea’s from Tedtalks, and so on. Are we living in 2019 or 1919? Am I ahead of time again?
I hope I have not bothered you with my thoughts, but I wanted you to have an idea of why I am doubting about staying or not. I really tried to make changes to go forward. I participated in meetings, discussions, etc. But afterwards, things just keep going as they were. For 4 years now I am telling them that the 1st year students cannot teach math at their internship. They agree, but it keeps happening every time again.
OK, enough. Next week I have to make a decision.