Thursday, January 05, 2012


Having met one only other teacher here (the one who arrived the same day as me—the teacher who taught in Libya. Cushy gig, as it turns out), I’ve been wondering what the other teachers are like. Most have been on vacation, and the ones who are still here have actually seemed a little unfriendly—or, at the very least, not very curious about the presence of two new teachers.

Ahem, but anyway, now I know. I think I’m living in a frat house. Middle of the night, woken up to music blaring. It’s a Thursday night and I know that at least some of the teachers need to work tomorrow, so I ask, “WTF?” I’m tired, I’m jet-lagged, I’m stressed about starting a new job, and you’re going to blare your music and have the world’s f-ing loudest conversation in the middle of the night? This does not bode well for my relationship with the other teachers. Ass-monkeys.

The other teacher, the one I’ve met, is your standard-issue Brit: steering the conversation to make himself look intelligent, clever one-liners that have clearly been repeated to every new person he meets, conversation that appears confessional but is surface-based, bragging about the American women he’d bedded because of his accent. I’m not impressed, but I’m behaving myself. So far.

And yes to my language teacher friends reading this, I know that list does not have parallel structure. But I’ve just been woken up by a teenage boy who’s gotten drunk for the first time since going away to college and is now playing the first thirty seconds of every song in him music collection (probably for some local girl he’s trying to impress).

My prediction: the guys here will all have local girlfriends, but none of them will have made any effort to learn either Kyrgyz or Russian. Except for the one granola guy who will be fluent in both—but he’s a little weird anyway. They will all be at the extremes of various scales: alcoholics, pot-smokers, seekers, anti-social... There will probably be a couple of other females. At least one will be granola-punk. The other might be a lesbian. (Or this might be the same person). At any rate, I will be the only normal person here.


I was able to get back to sleep around 2am, and then I was woken again at 4am. Fine. I’m a morning person. I made some tea, organized some of my files, then decided that it was time to get started figuring out my prison workout possibilities (prison workout because I have to be able to do it in a small space, for those of you who were wondering about that one). I’d been avoiding it because of the whole not wanting to disturb my downstairs neighbors thing. But let’s face it—nothing motivates you to pull out the jump rope at 5 in the morning more than knowing that there’s a drunk frat boy living beneath you, trying to sleep one off. (For the record, I hate jumping rope. It makes me feel uncoordinated and out of shape. That sh!t’s hard. But for some reason, I’m starting to feel a lot more motivated about doing it.) Anyway, the workout routine will probably be based on the cross-fit format, where I pick a few exercises and do them a bunch of times. When the weather’s nice, I’ll try to get out and run, but I’m thinking that I can’t really depend on being able to do that. I’ve heard that there’s a yoga studio down the street; I’ll probably go and see if I can find it. I’ll need to stay active, especially in the winter when I’ll be stuck indoors a lot.

Ok, back to prepping classes. I’ve made up a self-assessment rubric for speaking, reading, writing, and listening that I’m going to have the students fill out once a week. I’ve never done this before (idea inspired by ETS and my increasing interest in finding ways to develop learner autonomy), so we’ll see how it works. I’m sure the idea will need to be tweaked…


At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Relatively normal.


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