I can’t really get it together today. I don’t know what has done this to me. I know all the contact with C and all of the difficulties of it made it hard for me, but this seems to be something beyond that, and maybe it is that I have something I need to work on for my performance appraisal.

The thing is that the only reason the performance appraisal matters is that I need to extend my contract to be here to take care of C. Otherwise, I don’t know that I would even need to do it. It forces something to the forefront of my mind that’s really painful to me, but I don’t know what it is. It is so painful that I cannot really function or cope to get the appraisal work done. This is partly because I am afraid to fail at it. I have promised I will be here for C. I have told her that. It means I need to get it together to follow through on that.

But I think that is only one piece. It’s not about my actual job performance, because I don’t think that will figure in. No one believes that it will. Most of us believe it is a fairly arbitrary and capricious affair and the main thing is to look good on paper. I am not that great at looking good on paper, but probably it can be arranged. I do feel worried about it, because our new department head is careless in the extreme. I had to remark all of the questions that were assigned to him on the final exam last year for my students because he did not mark them correctly. He did not give the correct number of points for answers completely correct, did not look at the steps followed and give points for correct steps. I don’t know what he was doing. But he likes being right. He likes being right and he likes finding fault and he enjoys being punitive about it. He was very happy to have students fail my exam. It’s also possible he does not like me very much, because the teachers were discussing teaching in English (which we were supposed to do) and I made a comment that this can be done. You can teach entirely in English, and he thought you can’t.

I realized later he can’t because his English is terrible. Of the teachers who are not National Language teachers, he is among the bottom three. Every sentence out of his mouth has a grammatical mistake out of it. He speaks like C does. So, yes, he is going to have a hard time speaking English all of the time in the class, because he cannot say what he wants to say in it. He doesn’t have the flexibility to do that.

I don’t think that is the main fear either. I think the fear is that it is important to me, because C is important to me, and I feel very isolated and unsupported at the moment with that. I feel all alone in thinking a relationship with her is important or worth having. I feel repeatedly told to try harder to be a paper plate. Just stop having so many feelings. Life will be fine. That is how I feel at the moment.

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