It is November 4th and it's 87 degrees outside. Teaching has begun in earnest just in time for me to go on vacation. To Paris, where I believe it's about 40 degrees cooler. But it's not the cold I'm looking forward to.
Imagine a magical land, where people don't stare openly at you constantly, or, every day, ask if you've become Muslim yet. A land where you can eat pork products, and it's not a big deal. A place with regular trash collection. Toilets that you can sit on. A city with hot water and internal heating. Parks. Green spaces inside a city. The possibility of outdoor exercise. Low risk of contracting dysentery.
Yup, looking forward to it; I'll be there in just a few short days, and then I'll be back once again. By now, I've pretty much established my work schedule-
Sunday-Monday is my weekend.
Tuesday, 3-5 pm, beginners English class at the nearby Dar Shebab; 5:30-7:00 pm, class of undetermined level at the far Dar Shebab
Wednesday, 2-4 pm, high school English extra classes at a french institute (co-teaching with a Moroccan college student)
Thursday, 3-5 pm, intermediate English class at the nearby Dar Shebab; 5-6 pm, another intermediate class
Friday, 4-6 pm, high school English extra classes at the french institute (co-teaching)
Saturday, 10-11, beginner class; 11-12, intermediate class at nearby DS; 3-4:30 beg. class, 4:30-6:00 advanced class at far DS
Excepting Saturday, my mornings are free. This is awesome. It means I can wake up when I want to, prepare for classes, and relax. Nearly all of the classes at the DS I co-teach with Krista, which helps ease the pressure and make class preparation easier. I have a total of 15.5 hours a week at the front of a class. Which is exactly what Peace Corps Morocco recommends. And it's enough. It's tough, and it's draining to deal with the boss's crap, but it's going well so far. After three months (sometime in mid-January), I'll be resetting this schedule with the aim of subtracting some hours of teaching and adding some hours of other development work (no doubt initially with something simple like a health club, environment club, and/or exercise club at one of the DSes). So things are pretty good.
With the one unfortunate fact that I don't really know English. I don't know the grammar. I don't know the types of conditional sentences, and, according to my students, I don't pronounce things correctly. It may or may not help if Peace Corps were to supply us with lesson plans and a curriculum, or a textbook, but they don't. We do have countless resources thanks to the incredible library we have in Rabat, but sometimes even that won't cover certain questions from the students.
For example, 2 days ago, one of my older 'youths' (he's 46) came up to me after class to ask my help and advice. The problem is that he was fired from his position as a postman some 11-odd years ago, accused of stealing 200,000 dirhams, and sent to jail. He says this was all a fabrication and he didn't steal anything. Surprisingly, I couldn't come up with a solution. I'm not sure what about me yells "international lawyer" (maybe the flip flops?). What am I to do? I suggested he write to the national online newspaper in Morocco, got on my bike, and rode to the other dar shebab. Kids threw rocks at me on the way there. I wonder if there are a lot of rock-throwing kids in Paris?
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, nor any other governmental or non-governmental organization.
Nor is anything written here necessarily drawn from my own views, opinions, and observations. Please consider all postings and pictures complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality. For legal purposes, please additionally regard the author as utterly imaginary.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, governmental or non-governmental organizations.
Nor is anything written here necessarily my own views, opinions, or observations. Please consider all pictures and texts here to be complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality, this one or any other. For legal purposes, please additionally consider the author to be utterly imaginary.