back to reality

back to life ... back to reality

Monday's in general suck. But the Monday after a three week break is beyond shitty. I could hardly sleep because I was so worried I wouldn't wake up in time for work. The countless days of sleeping in until early afternoon made the idea of being up at 7am almost impossible to grasp. But I managed to be awake, showered and hair blown dry with time to walk to school. Yes, that is right. I decided to leave my lovely white scooter at home in order to get some exercise. It is like a 10 minute walk ... so basically I have been a lazy ass this entire first semester by taking a scooter. But not this term! I promised myself I would walk to school unless it was pissing rain ... and well lucky me, today it was pissing rain. Frig! There goes that plan. So, I dug out my rubber boots and smite blocker (my garbage bag of a raincoat) and drove to school ... I guess I will walk tomorrow.

As for school not much has changed. I plan my lessons ahead of time so that I can basically rock up, teach new words, sentence patterns, read and play games. In breaks I am totally bored unless I try to make myself busy by creating something for future lessons. This is by far the least stressful job possible and yet I can still manage to complain ... I just hate being bored! I would do more and be a go getter here ... but no one cares. All they want is for me to do my job ... be white, speak English and have fun with the kids. So here I am ... blogging, facebook ... the usual lunchtime activities until I head back to class and teach the same lesson two more times ... exactly as I did all morning.

What makes this all better is that come 4pm ... my day is not over! After my public school day job I drive to my second job (shhhh it is not legal due to the contract I signed with my first job, but everyone does it to make more money) At this cram school I teach English to students who do not want to be there. From 4:30 - 6pm I drill Language Arts, Spelling, Phonics, Reading and Writing into students of various ages who are all in one class because their English level is the same. So, I have grade 6 age students in with grade 2 ... fun stuff... This is where people in Taiwan send students after school ... more school. If it is not an instrument lesson or extra Chinese tutoring it is most likely English cram schools. Meaning I stuff as much info into these kids and test them weekly. Because I am not legally employed at this school I feel like I am living a double life. I am not on their books, I do not go by my real name. I enter the building via a back entrance and use a service elevator to go to the basement where the classes are held in a windowless room. I show up, teach my class from the lessons provided and leave as the students walk out the door. I never go anywhere else in the school ... I don't even know what it looks like. I am in and out and I am never asked to do more than that. They want qualified teachers there opposed to joe blow who is here to travel more than teach ... so I am apparently worth the risk. If my students are doing well, my class is clean and all my marking is up to date ... I am a god in their eyes. Works for me.

And if this was not enough I have also decided to get into private tutoring ... who needs a social life? I am going to start this semester giving private English lessons to the children of a friend of mine in Taiwan. Two nights a week for about an hour I will work one on one with her kids to improve their English. I am not sure how this will go ... as it is my first time tutoring ... so I all I can do is hope for the best!

So basically ... I am a workaholic ... building my teaching resume ... slowly paying off debt ... and gaining a world of experience in education ... that I am positive will not apply to teaching outside of Asia!

Last but certainly not least, JP is a rockstar in his program ... top of his class. Besides all of his studies for second semester he has designed his own English program for teaching adults business English and is working with the executive vp of a big company tutoring him and his son. He is also looking into other business opportunities in and out of Taiwan and is always looking towards the future.

With second term underway we are also thinking/planning/trying to decide what we should do come July and August. We are torn between our home countries and our families we both miss so much. There are so many reasons supporting both Canada and South Africa trips. Do we each go home and meet back in Taiwan? Neither of us want to be apart or miss out on seeing the each others family. Do we split our time one month in each ... is there money to support all of the flights? Do we just stay in Taiwan to work and save money? Or do we travel to some far off place neither of us have been and have new adventures together? I feel selfish for choosing almost any of these options. My home over his? My family over his? My work over my family?My adventures over work?THE GUILT EATS AT ME. And I know the same things dig away at JP. We both knew that when we got together these kinds of decisions would need to be made but it still does not make them easy.


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