Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I'm working very hard at recording all the unique moments of this adventure in my memory. I'm endeavoring to suck the glory and the joy out of every second of my life here. When I talk with the other ETAs we make the distinction between "real life" and our lives in Indonesia. We use this distinction with a smile because we know that this is real life. It can just feel so surreal at times. I find myself mentally pausing at points throughout the day to savour what I'm doing at that moment. I often smile or giggle at the ludicrous and ridiculous things I catch myself doing or the bizarre situations I find myself in during my mental role call. This is made all the more hilarious for me because everyone surrounding me is business as usual and recognizes no cause for uncontrollable laughter. Truth be told: I revel in the hilarity.
This is my second week of teaching English as a second language! Most of my "what the heck am I doing? this is absurd" moments occur in the classroom. I have pantomimed everything from scuba diving to witches to zombies to growing up to talking louder and beyond. I have repeated the same sentence word by word with different intonations and eyes pleading for the dawning of comprehension on the faces in front of me countless times. I have grown accustomed to students professing their love to me and taking my picture while I attempt to teach them the English color words. And yet, while I often question the realness of my "job", I unquestionably enjoy it. I am honestly surprised by how much I like to teach. I have 8 different classes of 36 students. 98% of my students are male. I am teaching in a classroom a total of 20 hours each week. I also run English clubs for both the teachers and the students and join in other school extra curricular activities. The English level here is mixed, but on the whole very low. These past two weeks I have been teaching self-introductions and color description. Even if my students frequently have no idea what I am talking about, I am impressed by their enthusiasm and energy. I think the next eight months will be rewarding for the students, the school, and myself.
Stay tuned for some photos of my students and excellent quotes from the first two weeks. I'm sorry that my last few posts have been wordy and philosophical. I promise photos and fun soon!

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