2009-06-22

Exercises in futility

If you have been working in Taiwan for a while (company or school does not matter) you may notice how some Taiwanese love meetings. Meetings can solve each and every problem. When I was working in an electronics company, we used to say 越開越會,不開就不會,要開到會. (Sorry, can't be translated, a play on words.) If there is an important meeting, then important people must be in it. But not everyone is entitled to join a meeting...

This academic year was the first time I was not assigned as a class teacher, allegedly due to my administrative work - which had never been a problem in previous years. Anyway, not being a class teacher or tutoring teacher means I do not get invited to the prestigious class teacher meetings - during which all things concerning the semester are talked about, so I don't get to know any of them, even though I am still giving courses. Flaw in the system, one of a few...

The funny thing is, this year is (was) my last at this school, and now, about a month before I "disappear", I am suddenly invited to a "meeting" that turns out to be a "class teacher training". I asked the people in charge of checking attendance why I suddenly was invited - no idea.

The best part however was the topic: Music. I regretted instantly having chosen to wear a shirt a last time instead of for example my "Punk you!" t-shirt. Unfortunately, it was not that much about music. Or, only about a very narrow field. While my music library contains songs of so many different styles that some people would ask me whether I was a musical pig swallowing every song that copmes my way, I do not have any song suitable for today's lecture, since it was all pretty much psychedelic (OK: Only a Northern Song perhaps? Nah, too much melody...) and more suitable for yoga or meditation until you are ready to drop your shoes and hover out of the room.

Really bad she didn't dare to ask me (one of two foreigners and the only "white" face in the room) what music I like - I had my Eee with me and already loaded up Exaile, ready to play a nice sample song... (I even happaned to have the cables with me to hook my computer to their amp, in case people couldn't hear...)

It seems the main goal was to show us how to use music to relax. At least with me that goal was not achieved. Someone probably forgot to tell her that people can't relax to music they don't like. And I didn't like hers. I do not expect her to like mine either (she only spoke repeatedly of "pop music" not being "suitable", maybe she did not even know punk rock...), that's the problem with different tastes, but at any rate I would not ask her to relax to Anne Clark or (OK, let's slow down a bit) ELO.

So, three more hours wasted, at least there was a free lunch box at the end. And I know for sure that I will not attend tomorrow's meeting, even with "invitation". (Or shall I say "demand"?) This time I know the topic, and it would be even more futile on several levels, so I just take the Beatles' advice... (But maybe I should bring my special meeting fish to school, so I can caress it during the next meeting. You have to translate this into Chinese to understand it...:-P)

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