I Moved To Oaxaca

Monday, September 27, 2004

So, apparently there’s something in the water in D.F. I don’t mean the usual pathogens swimming in Mexico’s tap water. I mean like some kind of mind-control substance. Because that's where the school's supervisory personnel go for "training."

A couple of months ago at work Manuel got demoted from Instructional Supervisor to a regular ol’ grunt of a teacher, and Jonathan got promoted in his place. One of Jonathan’s beefs was Manuel’s surprise observations of classes, and after he got promoted Jonathan promised to end that practice. Not like it bothered me, but I thought, ah, maybe he’ll clean house of some of the school’s more asinine practices. Like no weekly schedule, or fruitless and boring (mandatory) teacher development sessions. But, no, things continued pretty much as they had under Manuel.

Then little things started cropping up. A post-it note asking me to please indicate which book I was referring to in my kid’s lesson plan. (There is only one kid’s book.) Or progress report templates that wouldn’t accept the current date. It’s not like I haven’t worked in countless offices filled with their own petty requirements and snafus, so for the most part I just let it roll off my back.

Then a couple of weeks ago, Jonathan came up to me and said, “What are you wearing Saturday?” Huh? “Oh, Patricia wanted me to remind you that you’re supposed to wear jeans on Saturday.” Oh, really. Last year the rule was, absolutely no denim or sneakers of any color or style, ever, to this spring when Patricia (the director of the school) said we could wear jeans and sneakers during Saturday classes because of the heat. Though I am still unclear how jeans and sneakers are cooler than any other kind of pant and shoe, but whatever. To now, apparently, that we had to wear jeans on Saturday. Again, whatever. Jeans aren’t great pants to bike or hike in, so even in San Francisco I only had one pair. I brought them with me to Oaxaca, but usually it's too warm to wear them, and after losing so much weight last year they don't fit that great. But hey, if the director wants us to wear jeans on Saturday, I’ll wear jeans.

Then this last Thursday, Jonathan says, Can I talk to you a minute? It seems that Patricia wanted him to tell me that I wasn’t following the dress code for the school on Saturdays. But I wore jeans, I said. Yes, but not blue jeans. You have to wear blue jeans. I started to lose my patience. I don’t have blue jeans, I said, I’m wearing the only jeans I have. Well, Jonathan said, Patricia said that if it was a problem she would help teachers buy the clothes they need. ! That’s not the problem, I said. If Patricia knows of any place in this city of midgets where a 5-foot-10 woman can find a pair of blue jeans, I’ll be happy to buy them. I wanted to say “of midgets” but I didn’t. Well, ah, then you should wear what you wear during the week, he said. Fine, and fuck you, I thought.

To be continued.


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