Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why am I so uncomfortable?

I'm actually not at all uncomfortable with Shama (our maid-cum-savior) anymore.  I was uncomfortable with maids even back home.  Maybe out of being such a slob or mostly feeling weird about not doing anything while somebody else deals with my mess or knowing that it's not like I have more education than this person, but I make at least 4 times what they do an hour, if not significantly more and there's more variety and I hate doing what they are doing right now and how the hell is that fair?  This commonly applied while traveling for work and staying in hotels or even staying at my parents'.

Shama is college educated in hotel management and now works as a private maid largely because her mother can no longer manage the household, her daughter is now at college, and her husband has passed.  It gives her the flexibility she needs and working for foreigners affords her a pretty good wage here.  She's been a great help to me in getting more involved errands done and translating flashcard words for class.  She takes pride in what she does, and I do too now.  Whew!

I've run into a sort of similar problem with one of my lessons for the kids:  What do you want to be when you grow up?  I prepared flashcards in advance.  (I prepare everything in advance and make almost all of my stuff from scratch - from flashcards and bingo boards to worksheets - 'cause I'm obsessed.)  And here's where I struggled.  I want to encourage them to be anything and everything they want.  I also want to be realistic.  The word 'realistic' just used, right there, even sounds patronizing, bourgeois, classist - oh my god, I am the devil.  But I still want to be realistic.  So I am using a mix of occupations from tailor and driver and maid to scientist and teacher and pilot and actor.  Oh please, let me not be an asshole. 

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