Friday, November 20, 2009

Day to Day

I realized that I haven't really touched on the biggest part of my day, my job!  So, for something which at this point has become rudimentary and uninteresting to me, but is probably of interest to those not doing it 5 days a week, here is a general outline of my job.  
Students or "Who Needs English in an Enormous Country Where Very Few People Speak the Language?"
The students are great, they are mostly high school or uni students with a few older businessmen and housewives thrown into the mix.  Some are very rich and don't have jobs or school so they just hang out at the centre all day.  The way it works here is we have a language centre with a very big lounge area with free coffee and tables and couches and a big tv.  Then, there are a few classrooms.  The normal class is max 4 students and the teacher and you have a folder with the lesson plan.  the students hypothetically should know all the info before the lesson due to workbook and solo computer practice.  The lesson is more like a test/interview where they run through a few drills to test their knowledge of the material.  If the students really don't know some key elements of the material from the unit, they must repeat that unit.  The other kind of class is called a complementary class with 8 students max.  This is more like a regular class but again very little teaching, mostly review and monitoring of student errors.  Then our other duty is called social club, where we do fun/educational activities with large groups of students such as jack o'lantern making or bollywood dance or, on the more educational end of the spectrum, a pronunciation workshop.  
My Boss or "Who Owns My Soul in Indonesia?"
The boss is good (very laid back and has the interests of her centre's employees at heart)  for example we recently had a policy shift whereby teachers now have only 3 paid sick days, the rest are from our vacation or they become unpaid.  She said that she will do her best not to deduct any sick days beyond the three and that if we can get another teacher to cover for us, she will overlook the whole thing and assume it is a shift trade.  
The School aka "The Centre (dun dun duunnnnn)"
Location is good too.  Even though we are basically stuck at work from 1:00 to 9:00, we only work 6 of those hours.  Because its in a mall, we can just go hang in the mall during our free time, or use the net in the teacher's room.  Btw, the Indonesian concept of a mall is quite different from the Western concept, so don't get too turned off.  That being said, it does nonetheless contain some of the horrid traits of a mall (temple to consumerism etc) but it is much more open concept, in that there are many outdoor areas you can sit around in or for example, just below the centre is a snack bar which is basically a giant open terrace on the second floor.  Just saying its better than a language school in the middle of nowhere where you'd be stuck in basically a school all day with nowhere to go. 
-the thing about accomodations is that the decision is basically yours.  I opted for the slightly more expensive option because there was no sign of roaches.  All the apt.s I saw were two bedroom, cheapest was $2600 for the year, mine is $4300 for the year. Down side is, there is some kinda funk in the apt. which I don't know how to get rid of.  If you saw the other apartments I saw, you probably would have chosen mine too.  The building has an awesome pool, like frickin incredibly elaborate (no deep end though because most Indonesians don't know how to swim) and a wight room which I have made good use of.  Bottom line, because I've gotten glimpses of how the regular Indonesian lives, I really can't make any legitimate complaint about my apt.  A bank worker here gets $150US while I get $1330 so... basically I feel like a complete piece of human filth if I complain about most things.


  1. I find it odd how island people don't know how to swim.

    That being said, let me know if you want me to fedEx over you some cans of febreze or something. A box of baking soda works wonders on fridge odours but I don't know about apartments. You can try leaving a few plates of the stuff in strategic areas...

  2. Thanks for the offer bro, but I discovered these things that are specially designed to absorb odour. They are these little pouches inside a small box with holes and the active ingredient is carbon. You just open the plastic and change it after 6 months. I already have baking soda in the fridge, that was actually one of the first things I bought.

  3. 9 day later follow-up (because it's all about the follow-up): how's the smell now? The carbon thingy's work?