Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Or - the alternate title: WHAT DOES MOMMY DO ALL NIGHT?
I have ANOTHER new job! (Did I ever mention money was tight?) A better, and holier way of expressing this is that God has been providential, and just when I was going to despair, I was invited to make some money by staying up all night teaching Korean students via webcam!
OK, not all night, though it seems like it, rather. I begin at 2 and teach until 4. The time actually flies by, and I enjoy it a lot. Initially, I thought I would just get up, teach, and go back to bed, but as it turns out, I am too awake....I suppose I should have known I'd have to thoroughly wake up in order to teach! I'd thought that I'd drop my adult phone-English classes, then for the extra hour of sleep, but since I'm awake anyway, I just take a "blog break" from 4-5. Well, "blog/laundry/lunch-packing/breakfast-making, house-sorting" break. Or should "break" be in quotes? Then I go on to teach adults until time to get the kids up.
So. What's it like? The lessons are twenty-minutes in length and I can see all the students on the screen. In one school district there is one camera on the whole class, so I can see them move around - and I actually have them move from one to another and ask/answer questions. In the other school district they all have their own computer and webcam, so I can interact with them more individually. The students are in 5-8th grades. They are adorable. This is an after-school program, so they are the motivated and well-behaved ones, for the most part. The only really curious thing to me is that they all have "American" names. For the most part - John, Susan, Daisy, Lucy, Tommy, Billy, etc. However, in nearly every class there is a student or two with names like "Money" or in one case "Wheresthemoney". I have no ability to really address this issue from so far away so I have to call on them using those names, like I don't know how stupid it is. Weirder yet is that the kids are well-behaved, serious, not obnoxious, and just answer docily to the name. Today, odder yet, I had a child called "Hitler" in two classes! What the heck? "Hitler, your turn. What grade are you in?" It is crazy.
The weird downside to this job is the webcam aspect. I do like seeing the students - but they see ME. That means that I not only have to get UP at 1:30 am! I have to put something decent on - at least on top. So at present I am still sitting here in my nightgown and blazer. :) And makeup. I don't always even wear makeup in "real" life. But when you are having to look at YOURSELF (yes, I see ME on the screen, too.....), it sparks renewed "effort". And HAIR! I have to try and make my hair look decent! I think that it is for this I am paid; I'd volunteer the teaching part, but the hair and makeup part..... In the middle of the night..... Not at all my idea of fun.
OK..... If any of you certified teachers anywhere in the US would like to join this interesting enterprise, let me know and I'll give you the contact info. The possible teaching hours are actually midnight until 4, Eastern time. You lucky folks in the western time zones could do this without the mental and physical no-sleep stress those of us out here in the east experience.