I rode the minibus home with a man who had just bought fresh fish from the market. They were still alive and kept flapping around in the plastic bag. At first, it scared the little old lady who was sitting in the seat by the aisle where he was standing. When he told her what was in there, she took the sack and began inspecting his purchases. When she was content that he had bought good, fresh fish, she gave her approval and returned the sack.

Of course they were fresh. They weren’t dead yet.

But that is not what I’m posting about tonight. I am really posting about why I am thinking about quitting my job teaching English. I don’t feel like putting it in narrative form tonight, so here it is in bullet points:

* We call every week before class to see if people are going to show up or not. Still, about every 6 weeks I show up and have 0 or 1 student. So, class is cancelled.

* The hotel where I teach is about a 20 minute bus ride from my house. I get up, go into town to the office where we keep the teaching stuff, get ready for my lesson, eat some quick lunch, go out to the hotel by bus (or usually by car with our friends here), teach for 2 hours, have a 2 hour break, and then teach for another hour. This sucks my day dry.

* My night class is made up of people who can’t even say “hello.” I finally got them up to the point that they were making sentences, having conversations, knew numbers to 1,000, knew shapes and colors, used prepositions correctly, could give directions, and other important things. Then, the management came down hard on all the people who work there and said: “YOU MUST GO TO CLASS!” So, 15 new people showed up at the class and we had to start over. Then, when I had finally gotten this crew up to a decent point, the management did it again. I am teaching them simple verbs and numbers AGAIN.

* The 2 hour break is annoying. I end up walking across the street to the Wal-Mart type place and buy stuff I don’t really need or eat Burger King or other food. I originally thought it would be a good time for me to do my language learning. Yeah, that never happens.

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But, here are the positive things to consider:

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* I don’t want to miss out on these relationships I’ve made. One friend in particular has become really close and we’ve had many serious conversations. If I leave I know we’ll rarely see each other because she lives far away from me and works all the time. This way I get to see her every week.

* It gives me something structured in my week.

* The money I earn pays for my pottery classes and my housekeeper.

So, what do you think? I’m accepting your thoughts. And then I’m going to go eat my dinner and watch some Law & Order my brother recorded for us. Nothing takes away your frustrations over an English class that got cancelled once again after you already went all the way out there and got dressed up in a hot outfit and made lesson plans for nothing like Law & Order.

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