Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gotta Love the Inefficiency

I finally got paid this morning, after two weeks of delay and being told for the last few days that the money would show up in my account. I wasn't sure how long it would take, but when I checked my bank account this morning, there was the money. Too much money, actually. It seems that I was paid double, instead of the standard monthly stipend. So first I wasn't paid at all, and now I've been paid too much. It's hard to complain about extra money in the bank, but I still went to my director to make sure everything was normal.

My director told me to check with the human resources office, and they told me that I was paid for September and October, even though I only worked a week in September. They told me it was normal, however, so I'll gladly take the money. Now I can pay my rent and hopefully expect the rest of my stipends to arrive on time.

I'd received a package from my parents yesterday, which was waiting for me at the post office. I went down to the post office in the afternoon to pick it up, and was baffled when they told me that I could only pick it up between 11-12 on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday because customs had to look through it. Even though there is $0 value on the box (for things like floss, scissors, and a pair of pants) I'll probably still have to pay some money to get it out of the post office. Any way to make a little money is exploited.

So I'll go back to the post office tomorrow and hopefully be able to recover my package. But I wouldn't be surprised if I don't get it.

This is the last week of my first semester, and I'm amazed that it's already ending. Granted, they're only 7 week courses, and I missed the first week, it still went by extremely fast. In one of my classes today we had a pizza party, and though I'd planned to review for the final, they whined and begged not to. Normally back home students would love a review session so that they know exactly what to study, but the students here never want to review. It's their choice, and if they'd rather study everything from the semester, it's their own choice.

I still went over the important things to study, but let them out an hour early because they were clearly not going to work today. A bunch of the girls wanted to take a picture with me and then the class clapped. It was nice, but I do wish I could continue teaching this group. After weeks of getting to know them and having them follow my rules, they're finally a pretty respectable class. Now I'll have to start all over with two new sections, and I'll have to start from scratch again.

My other class will have a pizza party tomorrow night, and I think they're planning on bringing in cuy (guinea pig) for me to try, as well as wine and canelaso, which is a strong drink made from aguardiente, a liquor. For some reason the night class is always more relaxed and fun. That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy the afternoon class, but sometimes I have no energy and am not fully into that section, but the night group is usually an uplift. The students are a bit older and come after work, just wanting to learn a little bit of English and joke around.

I don't know if I'll have any of these students next semester, but hopefully the new ones will be as fun and enthusiastic about learning.

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