At last I’ve heard from the SIT people about the English Language Fellowship position. I was expecting to go to Indonesia, if I was chosen at all. Well, I can kiss Indo goodbye. Why? They’ve given me a job in . . . wait for it . . .
Yes, I’ve been invited to accept a position at a teacher training university in Meknes, Morocco. There, according to the SIT website, I will “help train prospective teachers at the CPR (Regional Pedagogical Center) in Meknes, and, assist local inspectors of English with in-service training during periods without classes at the CPR. Possible classes include: language learning theories, methods and approaches, intro to psycholinguistics, intro to socio-linguistics, teaching listening, reading, writing, and speaking, teaching vocabulary, classroom management, testing, research methodology and action research. The Fellow may also offer an extra-curricular culture club.” Whew. I think I’ll be able to keep busy! So, I won’t actually be teaching English, but I’ll be helping to train other people to do so. It’s a great step up, professionally, since there are many very fine openings around the world for teacher trainers, and having a year or two experience doing that certainly won’t hurt my chances in the future.
There is one potentially big problem, though. According to the SIT website, I have to attend a 3-day briefing in Washington, D.C. in August. I haven’t heard back from them about the dates of that briefing. I did find out that last year it was held Aug. 11-13. If that time frame is used this year, I’ll still be teaching in Andong (until the 12th.) My only hope is to convince my supervisor to let me out of my contract early. He can sometimes be very inflexible, so I have to keep my fingers crossed and my groveling skills sharpened! I’ll call SIT Monday night, Korean time, (that’s Monday morning, EST) and find out when the briefing actually will be held. Hopefully, it’s after Aug. 12th.
If I can’t get out of the contract early, I have two options, I suppose. One is to break my contract and flee Korea on a “midnight run.” Doing so would mean I would forfeit anywhere from $4000-$8000 in severance pay and pension refunds and my honor. I don’t want to do that. The other option is to stay here and find another job. I’ve been applying to various positions and one very possible opening is with an English academy in Seoul, which teaches elementary students after their regular class hours in public school. The job pays a potentially HUGE amount of money, upwards of over $4000 a month, in return for working a very tough schedule. For that price, though, I think I could tough it out for a while! Anyway, the company is having a job fair in Seoul on Aug. 6th, which I will attend. I’ve also asked my director to give me another one-year contract in Andong, should any of the new teachers back out. There are also a few other positions here that I’m pursuing, so I’m sure I’ll land somewhere.
So, this weekend I’ll try to get some packing done, but it’s difficult, not knowing exactly where I’ll be going. I suppose I’ll pack for Morocco, and if I end up staying in Korea, well, nothing lost. And, I have to start cleaning my apartment. Yikes, not enough time left. In the meantime, here are some tantalizing photos from Vang Vieng in Laos. More later.