Post-camp life is hot and sticky, but like the song goes, “summertime, and the living is easy.” We have had nothing but hot sunny days and the temperature has been moving around between 25 and 35 degrees.
My first full week back was quite easy, I have only had one or two 45-minute lessons every day. More have been scheduled but there are a lot of cancellations. Almost all the students I saw last week are new to me, and I will be seeing most of them again this week. I spent 2 days in the Dzerzhinsky office – in fact after cancellations I only had 1 lesson there on Friday, at 13:30, but I was waiting around until 18:00 because as far as everyone knew the student would be coming, it was only after he didn’t show up that they tried calling him and discovered he was out of the city!
4 hours is a long time to wait for a cancelled lesson and I spent most of it in the Park House Mall. I had a milkshake, I wandered through the electronics shop, I sat outside KFC and took advantage of their unlimited refills policy. I even saw one of my new students from another office! I didn’t have any wifi and can only use it at the office if I can get onto their one available teachers’ computer.
Wednesday was also disappointing, I thought I was going to have a day off but then at 3pm on Tuesday I got an email with an updated schedule telling me I would have 3 lessons at the Sovietsky outpost. At least 2 of these were with familiar students.
Next week’s schedule looks a bit more intensive. Firstly, I have a City Camp every day, starting at 9am on Monday. I don’t know what it will involve, or what the theme is, or what I’ll be expected to do. If it is like the city camp I did in winter, then I won’t have to do much, maybe take half a dozen kids for an hour and go through some pre-prepared material.
I also have a special project with the interpreters group which appears to be called the Global Economic Forum. My role will be as Forum Chairman and President of the World Health Organisation and we will be discussing global disasters. The students will be both participants in the conference, and will practice translating the speeches and questions.
These will take place in the centre, but I still have lessons dotted throughout the week in other offices so it looks like I will be doing a lot of travelling next week. I may not have time to prepare for some of the lessons before I get there so I will need to work out when I am going to prepare and set aside some time for that when I can.
It seems I am the only native English speaker in the city at the moment – though Peter is still in Volzhsky of course, and has agreed to stay on on the understanding that from September he will be working in Volgograd with the rest of us. John flew away to China last night, he came round for some reminiscing while he passed time waiting for his early morning flight. By my calculations there will only be 3 native teachers left at the end of the summer (assuming I stay on) down from a peak of 7 in November last year. They have also lost or are losing Spanish and French teachers who could deliver English lessons, making 9 – so hopefully there is some recruiting going on behind the scenes otherwise Peter, Wesley and I will be extremely busy in September!
I’ve had no further contact about extending my contract, I’ve asked for information about when I can use my holidays and I’m still waiting to hear about that. I guess they are busy at the moment with all the camps, the people leaving, and possibly new people being recruited but I hope they get round to me soon because I only have 2 months left to use up my holiday!