Forgetting

May. 17th, 2017 01:12 am
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I keep forgetting that Dreamwidth is a thing, so I don't post or comment because I've forgotten about it. I will catch up with people's journals this weekend, I promise!

here's what's going on with me )
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Potentially exciting news! I talked with a man named David (probably not his real name) in Seoul, South Korea about half an hour ago, and as long as I purchase a better web cam than the one that I have now, I have an online teaching job starting next week. I would be teaching English to Korean elementary school students. The contract is verbal, so I am not 100% sure that it's going to pan out, but I'm going to buy that webcam anyway and hope that I really do get to teach these kids. I'm going to be starting my TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages) coursework this week, and a few months down the road I'm hoping to take the English teaching gig on the road, somewhere interesting and exciting.

I know I'm planning WAY ahead, but I've been looking at job postings for ESL teaching and thinking about where I'd like to go. For the first time in ages I'm daydreaming again, imagining myself in a teaching job somewhere in the world, and going exploring around the country on my days off. Mostly, I'd like to go somewhere where Spanish is spoken so that I have a chance of making myself understood, but the Latin American countries don't pay as well as Asian countries do. My most frequently-visited thought is that I'd love to teach in Cusco, Peru, which is in the high Andes, and which is only 75 km. from Machu Picchu, which is one of my dream destinations. And Cusco is a *gorgeous* city.

I don't want to teach in mainland China, and that's that. Nor does Japan interest me very much. But Hong Kong looks interesting, and isn't on the mainland, or I could go to Ulaanbator in Mongolia, or somewhere in Vietnam near Halong Bay. Halong Bay and the steppe of Mongolia are also on my must-see list.

It is lovely to have goals and daydreams again. This is the sort of thing that keeps the black dogs of depression off my back. I feel anxious - what if I can't do this? - but mostly I'm excited and trying not to second-guess myself.

The Spanish lessons and readings I'm doing are coming along well. I really really want to put my Spanish to the test somewhere! Pity that there's not job openings in Puerto Rico, which I love unreservedly.

Decisions

Apr. 28th, 2017 04:04 pm
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So I've decided to go forward and take a series of online courses that will qualify me to teach English as a Second Language. I've been thinking about it for weeks, and I can't see any downside to it. It all sounds great, especially the part where I might get to travel to someone wonderful and teach English there. I'm starting to brush up on my Spanish (at this moment I could order a beer but not say much else), so that my hopes of working in a Latin American country could be more easily facilitated. I would really like to use Spanish on a daily basis, so going somewhere like Peru or Chile or somewhere in Central America would be ideal. I'm actually getting a bit excited at the possibilities of teaching abroad. South America would be my first choice.

My elder daughter taught English in Ecuador for a few months some years back and loved her immersion into Latin American life, especially the weddings to which her entire Andean village was invited, including her, and which lasted for days. She also loved being able to pick fresh fruit for her breakfast from her host family's yard. Imagine waking up to fresh mangoes! On the way to her classroom in the morning she would always be approached by friendly alpacas, which she hand fed with fruit and sugar, and which sometimes followed her to school. D. was 9,000 feet up in the Andes, and the scenery was unbelievable. I would love an experience like hers. Of course, she was 18 and highly adaptable and very healthy, whereas I'm 53, diabetic, with mental health issues, and more set in my ways, but I think I could find myself a safe place in a new environment.

When I say "safe place", what I mean is my bed. When life gets rough I have the world's comfiest bed, and just sitting on it for a few minutes calms me down. Obviously I can't take my bed with me if I travel, but I can take elements of it - my snuggly blanket or one of my teddy bears, and be reminded of the safety of my cosy bedroom. I'd need that if I were working overseas, and I'll even need it when I go to the UK this September. I'm sure if I were living for three months in a foreign country that I could establish for myself a safe place to which I could retreat when panic threatens.

It's been another beautiful day, sun shining, blue sky, not too warm, and I had a nice time having coffee with my mother, which is something we do every Friday afternoon.
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It's nearly 4 a.m. and I'm still wide awake. This undoubtedly is because I slept for a full twelve hours last night, and didn't wake up until nearly 1 p.m. I'm reading in bed, The Great Zoo of China, which is a repeat of Jurassic Park, only set in China, and with dragons instead of dinosaurs. The writing isn't great, dialogue rather stilted, but it's not a long book, so I'll finish it.

I've been watching "Big Love" on CraveTV - a TV show about a polygamist family in Utah - and there was a scene where women were lamenting being evicted from their homes on the FLDS compound with only five minutes to collect their things. I was astounded at how hard this hit me. I am not going into detail, but last October I was illegally evicted from where I was living in the Canadian Arctic with two hours to get out. This happened in the peak of polar bear season, which means peak tourist season; there were no hotel rooms and it was a really and truly horrible and dangerous situation which has left me traumatized and scared of my own shadow. I had no idea that the mere mention of eviction on a TV show would affect me as sharply as it did. Thank goodness I have a therapist.

I'm still thinking about the teaching ESL thing. I haven't made up my mind. It seems like a good idea. I can get certified online, and I can probably get financial aid for the cost of the course. But before I make any decision, I'll need to investigate the job market to see whether or not I'd be likely to get a job teaching English as a Second Language either locally or overseas. I'm 53, and many of the overseas options close at age 50, I am given to understand. I also don't live in a big city centre that attracts a lot of immigrants, and I'd be reluctant to move to another city, partially because I don't have the money to relocate. So I will have to research job opportunites and then make a decision. Also, it is a bit daunting, at my age, to be starting an entirely new venture. This is the part of my life where I always thought I'd be gliding towards retirement - my dad retired at 55, and my mum a couple of years after that - not starting anew. I am feeling timid, and will need to gather some courage to make a new life for myself.

Sleepy

Apr. 21st, 2017 06:09 pm
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It's only 6 p.m. but I'm just about ready for sleep. If I nap now there will be no sleep tonight, so I'm working hard on staying awake.

Yesterday I went over to a young friend's place. She has a 10-week old baby boy to whom I am an unofficial auntie, and I love that little boy so much. He is so cute and warm and sweet. M. started inviting me over when her little one was three days old; I was really struggling with depression around the time he was born and she thought snuggling her little baby might help me feel better. It did. I go over every week, and I enjoy both her company and cuddling Mr. Adorable. I think the thing that helps me most about it is that M. often goes out while I'm there to have a bit of a break from the baby, and I realize how much she must trust me to leave me with both her young boy and her apartment. That trust gives me a real boost of self-esteem.

Most Fridays I meet my mum for coffee at the local shopping mall; I did so today. I don't go over to her place much as my dad has become such difficult company and it's impossible to have a conversation with my mum when he's around. My dad's an amputee, and although he can do a fair bit for himself he much prefers being waited on, and he's utterly rude to those people who are helping him. Never a word of thanks. My mum likes the opportunity to get away from him, and I get that. It's always nice to meet up with her; I look forward to it.

I think I'm going to try to qualify to teach English as a Second Language. I'm not sure yet, but it does seem like a good idea. I think I am probably too old to teach overseas, but I could teach it locally to immigrants, or I could teach it online; I've noticed a lot of postings for online ESL teaching. It would allow me to support myself, and to feel more independent, plus I think I'd really like the work. I have a BA and an MA in English, so I have a good background for the job. At the same time I think I will brush up on my Spanish speaking - most of it has disappeared - and see if that helps me work with immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries. There are a lot of immigrants in Canada from Central and South America. Anyway, this is just something I'm thinking about, but the more I think about it the more I like the idea.

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