Earning my ears is the very first Disney slang expression you are taught. It means you’re in training, it means you are an actual Cast Member, it means a piece of red cloth attached under your nametag, that little pin you dreamt of for weeks.
At the end of your training period you’re supposed to hide the Earning my ears cloth under the nametag, but there’s something our Tradition teacher told us that has been stuck in my mind: «I’ve been earning my ears every day since my very first day at Disney». You never stop learning, don’t you?
I experienced a wonderful first working week – I felt my tasks were not so difficult, that I was able to manage them. Now, half a week after the end of my training period, I feel completely hopeless – in the last three days I did way too many mistakes, and it wasn’t just bad luck. I suppose I need to take a deep breath and recover, and the two days off I’ll get tomorrow and the day after come at the right time. There’s still a long road to walk before actually getting my ears – which, by the way, I already got & proudly showed for four hours at Disney University –, but I am steadfast.
Though this bad feeling is pretty much everything that’s on my mind at the moment, it’s not everything Week 2 and Week 3 have been about. I visited Epcot as a guest and rode my first two Disneyworld attractions, I went to a Polynesian party and got two flower necklaces, one of which I accidentally broke while dancing Disney Channel songs, and I found out I’m still capable of holding an everyday conversation in Mandarin.
There’s something that worries me, tough: I don’t feel I completely belong here, and I feel stuck. I need this to change direction – I’m not in the USA to feel as I was feeling back home. But Disneyworld is the place where dreams come true, isn’t it?