See, I'm just not sure if I'm going to continue this blog, or continue updating the www.englishteacherx.com website.
The reasons are many. I started the website in late 2002 because it seemed to me there was a dearth of information about the generally drunk, boring, lonely, yet chaotic life of English teachers abroad on the Internet, and that most sites painted a falsely rosy picture of English teaching; but now, every moron in the world keeps a blog about their English teaching experiences. Myspace, Blogspot, Livejournal -- hundreds of thousands of pages of pointless ramblings. (No offense to any of my fine readers who may keep a blog.) Some of them are pretty funny, some are absolutely tedious, but there are so many you couldn't possibly have enough time to wade through them all to find the best stuff, and they are all united in being generally pointless.
I am no longer able, in good conscience, to add to the pointless ramblings. I don't feel like I have anything particularly important to add to what I have already written about, though I have plenty more "funny" stories -- but you get the idea, I think. I made my main points long ago.
Another reason I started the site was to, if not discourage people from going abroad to teach English, then at least to dispel the idea that it was anything remotely like a life-changing, noble, cultural experience.
But then, as I explained in a previous entry, not only did I inspire somebody to become a teacher, but he actually tracked me to Vodkaberg -- which I will now admit is the city of Samara, Russia. (Since it's already now so packed with foreigners that a few more could not possibly make a difference.)
Discussing it with him, I find that I am guilty of the very thing I wanted to avoid -- painting English teaching as a wacky, interesting, endlessly fun adventure. It boggles my mind that anybody could read one of my stories like WORST-CASE SCENARIO or THREE REASONS NOT TO TEACH ENGLISH and be inspired to get into teaching, but amazingly . .
See, I understand it though. Take a boring or unpleasant incident, and write a funny story about it, and people will think the incident was funny.
Not the case -- it's only the story that's funny. Write as many funny stories as you want about English teaching though, and it's still a generally stressful and low-paying job with bad hours.
(edit -- that evening)
The other thing is that I've begun to feel blogging -- like Myspace -- is just another example of the "Reality Show Effect" on all of us -- we're not content to just live our lives anymore, we all want to be in the public eye. What are blogs other than written versions of Big Brother or Real World? Why would I put a picture of Brintey Spear's crotch on my blog, or random pictures of the breasts of girls in nightclubs, if I wasn't falling victim to this desperation?
Having actually met somebody whose life I affected, now, makes me reconsider whether I want to be in that "public eye." Of all the heroes, or all the people in the world whose lives you could follow, why me? Why not Gandhi, or Albert Schweitzer? Because I'm there, and of course, because it's not too high a target to aim for.
I'm not exactly sure I'm going to stop absolutely -- I might decide I miss writing and go back to it, who knows. I'll take a couple of weeks to think about it, and I'll either post a final message or get back to writing full time.
Don't worry though -- I'm not suicidal, my life is fine. In fact, I'm about to become the Director of Studies for my school, if you can imagine that.
English Teacher X