It’s been a hectic July, two weeks of non-stop activity after two months of not working. Sufficient savings made it tolerable, unlike many foreigners I know who bailed when their money ran out. I’m not going to comment on their spending and saving habits; one of them is a friend who was here on an artist’s visa. They (Non-Binary) were only making enough to get by, not get ahead, and was forced to leave. There are many similar stories.
My school has finally started online classes. It sucks because they take more preparation than regular classes do. This is made worse by the fact that you can’t control kids when they’re at home: blowing into or hitting the microphone, placing it too near the speakers and causing feedback into everyone’s headphones (and NONE of them willing to listen and move it away, or they’re just rude). Only also makes it hard to improvise and impossible to use my pre-made materials (my own or purchased).
I will really be glad when regular in-school classes start again. In part 2, I’ll talk about that coming light at the end of the tunnel.
Last Thursday, July 15, it finally came: It’s been twenty years now since I left Canada. What I thought would be a one year experience turned out to be a complete change and permanent upheaval. Maybe September 2001 should have been a hint. (*) Life is what happens when you were making other plans, so goes the axiom. It also provided the opportunity to cut all ties with “family”, something I’ve never regretted for my personal growth alone.
(* Sidebar: On September 11, I was out window shopping at 9PM and passed by an electronics store. At first I thought it was a movie or TV show, every TV in the place set to one channel. Then I realized it was the news on every station, South Korean TV or foreign. I hurried home to where my then roommate, an american who was ex-army, was freaking out.)
I also learnt on the day that July 15 marked Linda Ronstadt’s 75th birthday, born in 1946. She was one of the great modern singers (until Progressive Supranuclear Palsy stole her voice), and a progressive activist, regularly speaking out on a variety of issues: human rights, immigration, US foreign policy, idiot presidents (her choice of words, not mine). She was successful in multiple genres (country, rock, pop, Latin, etc.) and produced many artists. She is the only woman solo recording artist with eight platinum albums in a row. She has always been one of my heroines.
I just started “teaching” in my local kindergarten again two weeks ago. It was a joy. Online after-school ESL teaching for kids sounds like the opposite.
Also, I will go take a listen to the Linda Ronstadt tracks I have collected. I don’t have musical heroes, I don’t think I even understand the idea, but I do love her voice.