Time. 6 months. Halfway through. At first I thought I’d never make it but now it’s slipping by. All in a rush, rush, rush. It couldn’t go fast enough but now it’s way too fast.
Rain. Wrapping myself up in a cheap-arse raincoat I bought for a couple of bucks from the local Circle-K. Makes me feel like a fat, green penguin. I keep it in the seat of my motorbike and use it daily. I lost my phone to the rain. Slipped it in the pocket of my jacket on the way home from Muay Thai. Rookie mistake.
Waves. I fly to Bali every other month for a fix. Short skirts, beer, waves, a breath of relief from the stares and the questions. I relax in the green of the waves. Wrecked arms, a satiated heart. A flight back home in the nighttime.
Time. 8 months. Hating it. Can’t get back to the water soon enough. Every spare second I’m planning lessons or teaching. Too. Much. Work. Stressed. Computers breaking. Covering shifts. No fucking paper in the printer. Photocopier dead.
Time. 9 -10 months. Executing well-made plans. Time off. A flight. A pile of resumés. A map. A list of schools. A moto. Work clothes. Interviewed on second day. Now I’ll just go surfing.
Time. 10 months. Happy. Sad. Moto sold (my baaaaaaby). Throwing things. Giving things away. Packing. Planning. Documents. Time flying. Time standing still. Told contract finishes a week earlier than I expected, yusss. Counting down the days; this many days, this many work days, a holiday, return, this many days, this many work days. Done.
Time. 11 months. A holiday. 11 days of water, salt, and waves. 16 more days. 10 more work days.
My contract finishes here in a little under two weeks. I sold my moto a few weeks ago and I’ve been Go-jeking around. I’m not sad or excited; I’m in preparation mode.
Work offered to renew my contract here in Bangers for good money but it’s just too far away from the water. I spend all my money on flights to the waves. And, my surfing plateaus when I’m only surfing once a month; I spend the first two days in the water finding my sea-legs. I’m sad to leave my co-workers though, and this weird city with very few Westerners.
I’ve been offered another contract (for terrible money) in a city with waves. It’s in a super touristy area which is kinda gross but I’m just going to try to surf every day for the year and make the most of it.
I’ve enjoyed teaching at the school I’m at so much. It’s been such a great learning curve. I love having my own classroom and my own students, and although access to resources and a printer has been difficult (oh my god the drama with printing here!) I’ve pulled together some great lessons, learned a lot about classroom management, and even learned I can get through a lesson when I don’t have the resources or lesson plan I’d been counting on (thanks again, printer!). I’m really scared I’m going to regret leaving this school.
Initially I was a bit worried about teaching kids because kids are not my thing. The first couple of weeks I thought, ‘ohhhhh shit,’ but now it’s OK. I don’t think that’s my teaching skills; I think I have especially good classes (all my shitty students left). Maybe, if I were given different classes I would crap my pants? One of my co-workers is having a nightmare of a time; she has large, unruly classes, she hates kids, but she also does no lesson planning, and wants to be liked. I have fairly well-planned classes, I’m kind of strict, but ultimately, I don’t care enough to get genuinely angry about anything. I wouldn’t say that I love working with kids but I don’t absolutely hate it (I don’t dread it). Basically, I treat the kids like small humans I respect but don’t care that much about.
I also really love that I’ve been left completely on my own. There’s no-one breathing down my neck. I’m an extremely independent person and I thrive being left on my own, but it’s only been now (that I’m about to leave) that I’ve even noticed it. I’m hoping most schools are like that.
I’m excited and scared and sad to leave. I thought it would be for another year, but I have the freedom to leave, and I found a job that’s (somewhat) closer to the surf, and so I’m fucking doing it. I have just three more weeks to go!
I’ve had a sore throat for the past couple of days and when I woke up this morning I had no voice.On the weekends I teach three classes a day. Unfortunately, today was my turn to do ‘open classes,’ meaning my student’s parents came along to observe. It was pretty silly because we had to go to this tiny, tiny ‘demo’ classroom and do half an hour there, and then go upstairs to the normal classroom for the rest of the lesson. I didn’t really give a rat’s arse, I was all prepped, so I just ignored the parents and the manager, but by the end of the day I was completely exhausted, and honestly, my voice was ridiculous.
I was surprised the manager was OK with me giving lessons in front of the parents sounding like that. I’ve never heard anything like it before, it was ludicrous. Anyway, by the end of the day I was pretty buggered and I was hanging out for it to be over, and no parents showed up for my last class. I was like, ‘yussssss’ thinking I’d just be able to go straight upstairs with the students. But the manager was like, ‘no, no’ and got all my students to PHONE THEIR PARENTS! What?
I had no voice, I sounded like a squeaky-freak, the kids looked terrified of me (wtf is she saying??), and the manager calls parents to come in and watch. The good news was, I got to sit there and not talk for half an hour while we waited for the poor parents to come back to the school. The bad news was, somehow it threw my timing out and I almost sent the students home half an hour early. I had them lined up at the door ready to go and everything, and then I was like, ooooopsie! Still have half an hour left!