Yes there is class, but there are no students.

Mám otázku, ale nevím kdo ptát se.  Ted‘ mám lekce (points to schedule), ale nejsou studenti. 

This was my grand speech yesterday morning in the student affairs office.  (Yes, I know it contains errors.)  I had woken up around 6:30 and gotten ready quickly.  I opted against showering and makeup, but I was presentable.  I was almost out of the dormitory when I realized I’d left my glasses.  I went on without them, feeling mentally prepared for my introductory lesson with a new class.  That’s right new class.  Perhaps this is a misnomer.  Really, this has been on my schedule since the beginning of September.  However, due to Fulbright orientation, my every-other-week schedule at two schools, and a Wednesday national holiday (or bank holiday), I have never seen these students, and here it’s halfway through October!  Moreover, next Wednesday (in which I am breaking from the norm and will be at this school again) is yet another holiday.

So, you can imagine my disappointment and concern, when I went to the assigned classroom and found no students present.  It was the right classroom, but maybe they didn't know we had class this week.  I was completely lost for what to do, so after some prayer and waiting, I went down to the student affairs office and made my speech:

Mám otázku, ale nevím kdo ptát se.  Ted‘ mám lekce (points to schedule), ale nejsou studenti. 
I have a question, but I don't know who to ask.  Now I have a lesson, but no students are there.

I didn’t necessarily start at the right office, but they quickly found someone who spoke English and she told me that it was posted that they would have class, so there was no reason for them not to be present.  She then assured me that she would somehow take care of it.  I can safely assume that students were not intentionally missing my class.  This was likely an instance of murky communication (how many students really observe notice boards) and perhaps there were scheduling conflicts with rehearsals (this is a conservatory).  Whatever the case, the whole thing felt very heavy and I found myself being washed over by my concern for what this means for my students.  School has been in session for nearly two months and I've a class I haven't even seen.  How will they progress? 

Such a state sent me home to a nap and some reading yesterday afternoon.  Today, after quite an uplifting dream and a relaxed morning, I went to class and had only two students—whom I have never seen before.  I was a bit surprised but still very thankful to have any students.  Moreover, having only three people made this a true conversation lesson.  So, I will continue to be thankful and strive to make the most of these small class sizes.  In the long run maybe fewer, more-involved lessons are better than consistent attendance with less participation.  I am an unconquerable optimist.


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