Monday, August 31, 2015

my job: the night shift

(I apologize for grammar spelling errors that may appear in this post.  I was tired and my brain wasn't at its finest).

I realize that as of yet, I haven't spoken a lot about my job and what it's like being at Branksome Hall Asia.  My posts are mainly about going off campus, and as such I've had questions like, "when do your students arrive?" from a few of my friends.  Surprise!  The students have been here for two weeks! I tricked you all! Muahaha.

It'd be too much for one post to cover all that I do, so today I'll give you a brief image and cover what I am doing now.

I am one of 6 Teacher Dons that work in the grade 11 and 12 residence at BHA.  We're slightly different from the other residents because our girls each have their own room (they share rooms for the grades 6 through 10) and they are doing the International Baccalaureate curriculum.  If you don't know, the IB program is extremely rigorous and demanding.  The girls are only two weeks in and some of them have already been close to pulling all nighters to finish essays and assignments.

Each night, three of us are on overnight duty.  If there is an emergency, we're right here within reach.  But also, if the girls are acting out, we have to put things back in order.  In the morning, we're in charge of making sure the girls get up, go to breakfast and get to school on time.  If you've been a teenager or know any teenagers, you probable can imagine some of the challenges we face with that task alone.

My night time hangout.  (I really just wanted to include a picture).
Currently I am on overnight duty.  And while night duty isn't strenuous in regards to physical labour, it has its trials. These girls are really smart and fun, but they are also really sneaky.  They have to be in their own rooms by 11 o'clock and ideally going to bed by midnight (as I mentioned, some stay up later because of their homework).  In the last couple of weeks, a number of grade 11s have been sneaking out of their rooms after curfew to go and chat with their friends.  The big problem--beyond sneaking out--is that these girls are not quiet.  They are chatting loudly and the voices echo through the dorm, disturbing the grade 12s who are trying to study hard.  That's not fair to the grade 12s or any other students who are annoyed by the noise.

And so, we've had to crack down.  I am currently sitting on the second floor of our building, waiting and daring any student to poke their head out their door.  My ears are poised for the slightest sound... although I think I'm starting to psyche myself out with phantom noises.  (The echo in the dorm doesn't help pinpoint where sounds are coming from either...).

The consequence for leaving their room after 11pm?  They will come home from school the next day to find that they have relocated to the first floor, away from their friends, and also with the possibility of crickets and centipedes crawling up their drains.  The only question is, how long do we wait?  Until midnight?  Until 1?  Will the girls try to out wait us?

As I write these words, it is nearing midnight and I want to go to bed.  But how long do I wait?  Morning comes too soon.  Morning is still so far away.

Love and Hugs.

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