I Moved To Oaxaca

Friday, October 17, 2003

As promised, more on this month's sucky work schedule. Greg and I got our contracts this week. It's for three months at a time, and they want me to work full-time and G-man part-time. Full-time to Berlitz means a minimum of 22 lessons a week. Sounds worse than it is: each class is made up of 2, 45-minute lessons (Saturday classes are 4 lessons long). So that basically works out to one 3-hour class on Saturday and teaching three groups three classes each during the week. But that's the minimum, and it's up to the school to determine your maximum. We read through the contract and asked some of the other teachers, as well as Manuel; there is no pre-defined maximum. They can keep giving you groups until your head explodes. And since part of the contract stipulates that the teacher agrees to be available to the school from 7am to 9pm Monday through Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturday, they can really stick it to you if they want. And even without the contract they already have:

M, W - 12pm - 3pm; 4:30 - 6:00p; 8:00p - 9:00 (gives me an hour for lunch after the first block, and an hour and a half for dinner -- we have to be at school at least 15 minutes before class starts, and it takes me 15-20 minutes to walk home and another 15-20 to walk back)
T, Th - 9am - 10:30; 12pm - 3pm; 6:00pm - 7:30; 8:00p - 9:00 (usually do e-mail during the first gap, and eat lunch between 3pm and 6pm)
F - 4:30p - 6:00
Sa - 11am - 2pm

So that will be changing, as I am not about to sign a full-time contract. No fucking way! Having sold a Bay Area home I am quite content (as is Greg) to work part-time for three months, no problem. (Part-time work is at least 14 lessons a week, up to I suppose a max of 22.)

I was going to go back to the doctor today, as my throat is still sore and inflamed -- it feels like I got punched, or hit by a paintball pellet at close range. And I'm still coughing a lot. But that'll now have to wait until Saturday (if the doctor's in) or sometime next week. Hopefully Friday, as I'm hoping that when I drop the part-time bomb I won't have to teach the Friday class again this month.

Finally ... our good friend Timothy White is visiting Oaxaca until the first week in November. He took off to the mountains today to study some Zapotec medicine and healing ways; he should be back in a week to stay with us some more. It is such a pleasure to have him here! Not only because he's a cool and very nice guy, as well as being an old friend, but because it's so good to see an old friend. He went out to Teotitlan yesterday and brought back some good stories and a big bottle of cedar-flavored mezcal (better than you'd think), definitely home-brewed, with a jury-rigged, plastic-wrapped cork and a Star Trek prop green tint. Good for the digestion, the cuandera told him. Not that the chicken mole tamale I had for dinner needed any help, but it sure didn't hurt. I slept like a rock.


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