in other words some balance coming into my life
14.03.2013 -27 °C
Well, it now March 11th. I finally feel that some of the glitches that I first encountered have been resolved. As for the adjustment phase, well, in all honestly there are some days I think what am I doing here. There is a lot to be said about having a job that is from 8:30-4:30 a day and that is it – no other unpaid work obligations. Here, I work a 36 hour work week over a period of 6 days and have one day off. However that has just recently changed as one student needs to be accommodated because her regular school schedule has changed. So the only time that I could meet with her was on Friday – my day off (for 1.5 hours). Right now this is not a huge issue, but once my better half comes over I definitely want one whole day off. Lesson planning which is unpaid takes up a huge amount of my time but now that I am getting to know my students it is becoming easier but I know I still need to cut down on the amount of time I am spending doing this. It has been difficult to get into a routine because up until now, I really haven’t had any consistency in my teaching schedule. First I was filling in for someone who was on vacation for 2 weeks, then I was filling in for someone else for another week or two so each of these classes was brand new for me. About 3 weeks ago I got my schedule for the next 3 months (although the times I meet with the students has changed about 4 times now). Now I have the opportunity to get to know my students and plan lessons around their needs. Most classes use English Language books and we try to supplement additional materials into the lessons to make the learning more interesting and relative to the topic they are covering. For example, doing Powerpoint presentations, including games, crossword puzzles etc. which we research and find on our own.
There were also other day-to-day things that were also part of the transition process. First we moved. I have included some pictures of where we are living. It is only a couple of minutes away from the school. There are 4 bedrooms and three bathrooms. The bedrooms are huge. I have my own ensuite and the other two teachers have a shared washroom. All the rooms are big in the house and we have a second floor which opens up onto a huge upper deck/balcony. We have talked about getting some plants but at the same time we all know we are very busy with our work so whether or not that happens is another issue. I know that I would like to get a lounge chair to soak in the sun a few times a week.
When we first arrived in the house I was the first to use the washing machine. I didn’t know it at the time but the hose for the water was not yet connected, so we had a kitchen flood. My computer was a huge issue as I needed it to take into the classes as there are workbook audios which I use in the classroom. That didn’t get sorted out until the end of February. I couldn’t connect to the Internet on my computer but I could on my Ipad, and as a result everything was taking twice as long to do. Anyways,that big stress has been taken off my shoulders. My cargo of clothing finally arrived. Remember I shipped it to Vietnam from Bangkok as it was going to cost me $600 to take it on the plane. However, the carton of clothes went to Hanoi and the customs officials wanted to know why I didn’t have an address here so we provided them with a copy of my flight ticket from Canada which showed that I came from Toronto Canada and landed in Bangkok. During the middle part of February my tooth became infected where I had my root canal done in Canada. I suppose as some point the temporary crown broke a way or came totally off. So I went to a dentist here and had to have a crown put on which seems to be working just fine.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve bought material, had clothes made, am eating some great food and some different foods, experienced TET (Chinese New Year) have gone to DaNang, Hoi An, My Lai, beach, Hue , experienced my birthday here and was taken out for dinner on International Women’s Day by one of my students. Here International Women’s Day is a big deal. Now that things are more balanced I have finally had the time to do my walking exercise video that I brought from home. I still have not learned much Vietnamese in spite of listening to an audio while I was away in Hue and so far no plans to do any biking (I also brought my bike helmet over from Canada). However, I just learned that one of my students does biking as a form of exercise so I may see if I can co-ordinate something with her.