Thursday, December 10, 2009


I can't believe how fast the time flies here. I've already been working for 6 weeks and yet it doesn't really feel like that long. I can't say I've really accomplished much but a few things of note have happened. Because we sort of randomly get students trickling in, most of the students that were here when I started have already left for Australia or back home. Both Korean managers quit and went home within my first month and the new guy is nice seems a little new to be running the show, thus the Filipinos in the office are the ones that really keep everything running.
I feel completely out of place here. Ya, everyone is nice enough but it is so obvious that I don't belong here and don't socially fit into any groups. The Koreans do the Korean thing, and the Filipino tutors all do their thing during the day here and then have additional jobs in the evening and on weekends. Since my time here feels a little like prison, I've started to work out again and have thus far managed to regain a little weight.
I'm not really an English teacher, or at least I've decided that it's not my calling in life. It's interesting but I'd much rather be teaching something else. In fact, my "conversation" classes are starting to become lectures on other topics which are way over these guys' heads. I'm having trouble staying focused on the task at hand. But then, nobody really tells me what to do even now. I'm not a student but in some ways I'm not a tutor either. There are tutor and staff meetings and I don't go to them. I'm not expected to and I don't even know when they are. I'm just this outside entity that exists.
The biggest dramatic issue though, has been the theft cases in the building. Students rooms (and mine, twice) were broken into and money and small valuables stolen. I didn't lose that much really, but I could've lost everything as I had my money belt just lying around in the open at the time... There was a lot of speculation going round with everyone convinced it was an inside job somehow. This all happened a couple of weeks ago and we finally realized that it was someone climbing up the back of the building (we live on the 4th floor) and getting in through the windows and thus bypassing the security that exists on our floor just for us. Since none of the windows have locks the only solution was to nail them all shut. This week the most trusted of the cleaning staff was fired as it turns out that he and another building cleaner (not part of our school) were involved in the thefts. No hard evidence but there you go.... So, for all the good I've been saying about the Philippines and all the care I've put into this trip and not having any theft problems at all (except that Moroccan incident), I was robbed twice here by my favourite people. I guess it's not a perfect paradise after all....


At 5:58 PM , Blogger Ju_B said...

hey Ammon,
looks like your blog is being spammed.. that's a pity! hope ur OK dude, sounds like there's a lot going on over there.. same here.. i'm looking forward to Xmas!! and 2010!
just wanted to say hi.. i still haven't returned to pulau ubin :(


At 1:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ammon,
Don't feel too bad, I was astonished at the casual approach to ownership that seemed to exist. I think that no matter where you are, no matter what class you are in, from bottom to top, there are always those who want to have what you have but without the work. I am sorry that they burst your bubble, you'll have to figure a way to secure things better I guess.
I am sitting here wondering, lived away from home many Christmases, how you are going to deal having to be away from the family again? I used to find myself listening to music and watching the TV specials, it somehow helped me.
So anyways, nothing new for me, I work and wish I had the courage to do what you have. But I was programmed to be a worker bee by my Dad, and a worker bee is what I am very good at.
Ammon, take care of yourself.
Big Bear Hugs
The Bear

At 11:48 AM , Blogger Jason Chapman said...

Hey Ammon,

It's Jason here. I was friends with Brandon during ESL teaching time back in Vancouver. Riding my motorcycle to Brazil in Sept. and want to say hi to him before I go. Do you any contact information for him?



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