Hey cats and kittens! I don't have internet hooked up in my apartment yet, but I thought I'd drive my 2013 Toyota Corolla (what a pussy wagon!) down here to the Starbucks and give ya a little American Update.
So the job is okay, a pretty typical TEFL job. A bit longer hours than I like, but smaller classes and a curriculum that is not overly demanding. (Yesterday, we had an hour-long test, and then spent the rest of the day watching THE PROFESSIONAL on YouTube with my students.)
My colleagues are the usual colorful rag-tag bunch of outcasts. (Including, to my surprise, a guy I used to work with in Russia ten years ago, English Teacher G.) This is a pretty out-of-the-way location, so people probably wouldn't end up here unless they really needed a job.
Basically, everybody has a very similar story to mine.
"I was working / trying to work in ______ but then I didn't have _________."
There are the usual stories about "aging out" of jobs in the Middle East and China, as well as qualification or FBI / police check problems with visas / jobs in China or Korea, but the big surprise to me is that even people with fucking master's degrees were having trouble the last couple of years.
A couple of stories were related to having master's degrees or teaching certificates done on-line. As mentioned, that is now COMPLETELY NOT ACCEPTED in the Middle East.
One girl with a master's in Education said that employers kept telling her she needed a CELTA / DELTA in addition to her master's in Education.
One guy with a master's in Applied Linguistics said that he now couldn't get TEFL jobs, because they wanted master's in TEFL / English / Education, wheras Applied Linguistics used to be considered a gold standard of TEFL employability.
One guy, with a Master in TEFL, said that he was just glad to have a job that paid a decent wage, as he'd been laid off from one University TEFL job in America and offered a wage that was barely liveable at another.
I went to the college here, inquiring about Master's degrees in Education, stating the issues I'd had with my qualifications recently, and that I couldn't really take on-line courses for reasons mentioned above, and the advisor said she had heard this story from several people recently.
So the survivors and the fugitives and the refugees gather here, in small-town Southern America, and peer cautiously at a future that seems to be bearing down on us all like an express train.
The manager of the company I work for took us to the Ben-i-Hana last Thursday for some team building and we made merry and they assured us that the program we work for would continue for at least another year, and everyone breathed a quiet sigh of relief. The company was picking up the bill, so we all ordered the most expensive stuff on the menu and gorged ourselves on steak, shrimp, and sushi, and took home doggy bags as well.
NEXT WEEK: Gross shit about whores with Crazy Bob in the Ukraine. Promise!