Thursday, August 11, 2011

Swim training: Week 8. Really?!

Yes, my 6-week training has just seen the completion of the 8th week of training. Do we add in the 4 weeks the pool was closed? That spans out to 12. I don't think I'm supposed to count those though.
And, apparently, not done yet. Yes, it's 2 a.m. and I have a bad attitude. It gets checked at the end here.

For the past two weeks, I've been videoed and asked to critique myself. I saw things that needed to be changed. I saw things I did well. I tried to adjust what I needed to this week but it was frustrating. Nadyne will either TELL me what I do (when I'm just about to do it myself) or remain completely quiet. My frustration is apparent on video when I do something wrong or she's telling me what to do.

She asked what I thought of her instructor training and I told her there were holes. She's been doing it 25 years and it's like breathing to her. Check me in a couple of years and maybe I'll be the same way.

Last week I got a long email from her about my lack of progress in training and that I was not ready to teach. I went in asserting that I was getting conflicting information and thought I was doing better on things she pointed out to me. She told me I was wrong and snarked at me for a couple of hours that day. I figured it was going to be a loooooong week.

At the end of last week, she told me I'd "had a good week" and she "should have slapped (me) around earlier." Probably the closest thing to an apology I was going to get.

Between last week and this one, I've had five kids complete the program. Kids I did myself. Total of 7 so far. I think that's a testament that I'm doing okay - I haven't drowned anyone, I haven't traumatized anyone (parents maybe, not kids).

Ok, before I end this rant - and it is just that: a rant - Nadyne told me yesterday that she's giving my training fee back. When her pools open (sometime between October and January)  and I go to work for her, she'll pay me an hourly wage and figure out how she'll return my training fee: whether it's a lump $10,000 if her pool build outs come under budget or spread out over 10 months.

I cried.

On that note I leave you with ... my only baby I've finished came up with hoof and mouth disease today. I had my fingers stuck in her mouth yesterday to burp her after her final test out. I kissed her. And it's a highly contagious disease - one that put Nadyne in the hospital some years ago. So we wait.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Swim training: it goes on, and on, and on

Officially, I'm in week 6 - what is usually the final week of training. But here's how it's going:

The good news: two of my kids finished this week. One is 6-year-old Harper, who liked to have a panic attack the first two weeks of lessons. She cried. She fought. She said,"I can't" every time we tried something. When she finished this week? She was sidebreathing. Sidebreathing! I even raced her across the pool in backstroke, giving her a good head start and she beat me!
You can see a video of Harper here:
Her sister Margot is two months shy of 4. Again, for almost three weeks straight, she'd fall apart before getting in the pool. She tested out perfectly this week.
This is a video of her test out (note: This is NOT how I teach aquatic survival. This is a child fully equipped with the skills to survive in the water i n case she's pushed in or disoriented, which is what I'm testing.)
Every time a child gets these skills, I'm amazed. These are my first two and, given how they came into the program, it's even more amazing to me.
(Yes, I know I look like a troll here - I spend the day getting splashed in the face, plus I'm sick. Cut me some slack.)
At least two other of my kids finish this coming week. I'd have my first baby finishing if she weren't teething, which is throwing off her roll over to float. Pbbth.

Now the bad news. Nadyne told me when we started back after our unnecessary 3-week break from the pool because of heater issues that I would probably be done in three weeks. That will be next week. Last Saturday, she told me she wanted six weeks straight with me. I told her I couldn't financially do it. I thought I would be teaching now and earning money but six weeks more?? I can't. I CAN'T.
Tuesday we rode into work together and I told her I'd gotten a job. When I lived here before, I taught dancing for a company that asked me to come back now and teach again. The original plan was I would teach swimming in the morning (thinking I would be done by now) and have a dance class in the afternoon. Now the dance class is smack in the middle of swimming kids and Nadyne, feeling blindsided, was mad.
She told me I could just start my training all over again in January when the pool opens here. I thought I would be sick. All this time wasted.
Granted, she offered me gas money that afternoon.
And she told me yesterday that she intended to tear up everything I was doing. As I was in the water with kids, she was asking me questions and getting frustrated that I wasn't answering fast enough. I told her I was trying to concentrate on what I was doing with this child - why's he doing that? how do I fix it? what did I just do to get that? - and could not listen and answer her at the same time. We had an episode of swimming a kid and she's giving me one direction, then another, then telling me something else. I picked up the kid, looked at her and said,"I'm totally confused as to what you want." She said just go with it, there's a method to what I'm asking. And there was but I was so frustrated in the process.
She fussed at me for being too close to the baby I was floating. I said,"I was going to back up but knew you'd yell at me for moving so I just stayed put until I got what I wanted from her!"
We're a little at odds. I want to be finished. She needs me to be proficient. I need to earn a living. She has to see that one of her instructors is trained to the best of her ability before allowing me to teach on my own.