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Friday, July 06, 2007

Random post

By Dr. O.L.E.

It's Friday, eleven in the morning, and here I am hanging out at Mall San Pedro. What brought me here can ultimately be traced back to incompetence. I'm teaching a class in a nearby business and I failed utterly in calculating exam dates and stuff so now, barely two weeks before course's end, we've still two exams and a novel to go. This has to be the area of teaching I'm having the most trouble with: the long-term planning. I can do the week-to-week stuff with at least a minimum of competence. The long-term stuff, on the other hand ... anyway, I'm here in San Pedro to give my students their novels and some idea of what they will be examined about.

I'm teaching 24 hours a week currently and I'm at a loss to figure out how people do 30+ hours. I'm reeling from the impact the huge amount of work brought on by even the relatively limited hours I'm doing. I enjoy the teaching, but I'm realizing more and more as time goes by that I'm no natural at this, nor am I a particularly good teacher. I can do it, as mentioned, with some level of competence, but it's a far cry from my own desire for excellence in the things I do. Thank God I'm not teaching in public schools, at least. I could handle that for, oh, an hour or two. Maybe.

I mentioned earlier that today is Friday, but today is not just any old Friday, no siree. It's TRANSFORMERS FRIDAY!!!!, and now that I'm already at Mall San Pedro I intend to catch the first show. I grew up in the 80s and, as such, I have no choice in this matter. It is simply something I must do in the same sense of "I must breathe". I can't imagine the movie to be anything else than a popcorn movie, but I'm hoping for entertainment on the same level as, say, the Transporter movies, which are hands down two of the coolest action movies released over the past years. He dodges bullets! Can Optimus Prime dodge bullets? Maybe not, but he can probably take a clip in the chest and keep on dancing.

I spent the staggering amount of 10 000 colones on an umbrella the other day. It's a lot of money, but anyone in Costa Rica these days know the value of an umbrella. My umbrella weighs more than I do, and is more a portable 60-person party tent than an umbrella, to be honest. But it rocks, and was well worth the money. And, of course, if you translate 10k colones to dollars or kroner it's a pitiful amount, but that's what I get paid for, oh, two full days of teaching or something.

A major snag I've recently encountered in my little Costa Rica enterprise is this: I can't go to Spanish lessons without my English breaking down! It never occured to me that it might be a problem but now, when I think about it, it's rather obvious that learning a fourth language while teaching my second language (I can repeat that thirty times and still smile) might not work out so well. In short, learning Spanish looks like it can be a mite more difficult than I had imagined coming here. I'll try a couple of other things, because learning Spanish is one of my most important goals for staying here, so we'll see how it works out.

Two things I've learned while travelling: Skype rocks. And online banking rocks. Skype allows me to contact anyone, anywhere. Online banking allows me to fill my Skype account anywhere, and it gives me full control of my money. Also important is the fact that I can seperate the bulk of my money from the account that is connected to my Visa card, which will be very helpful in case I get mugged. It's just a matter of time, I guess. I've travelled quite a bit the past three years and gone mostly unscathed, so my number should be coming up one of these days.

Next week I'm going on vacation, and thank the good spirits for that. I seriously need a break. Looks like I'm going to Panama (to put another country on my list, not for any serious desire to see the country ;). Gonna be sooooooo good getting out of San Jose for a while. While I do enjoy living in this city (and there is a lot of good stuff here) and mostly enjoy my job, teaching ESL is rather stressful for me. And San Jose isn't exactly the most tranquil spot on the planet, if you catch my drift.

Anyway, I've killed an hour writing now so I'm gonna go do some other stuff before I hit the movies. A truly random entry from the Arfully Clueless Norwegian.