Here I am, sitting in Coffee Lodge during the last full week of school, procrastinating (naturally) and attempting to mark writing assessments. It seems like just last month I started my job, but it’s already been 5 months since my last assessment-marking marathon. I can hardly believe that this time next week I’ll have said goodbye to my students and handed out the report cards, and all I’ll have left to do is write my June report and clean out my desk!
I’ve learned so much this year, and I’ve grown to love my students even more. I’m so proud of the work they do. In fact, we’ve even started a class blog as a sort of memorabilia, and as a way for me to show off how awesome they all are. We’re going to enter it into a province-wide contest, but the real motivator for everyone is to have something they’ve written in their second language published for others to read. Most have kept their real (or Canadian) names, while others are posting under pseudonyms, and we’ve even found some creative ways of posting class pictures without divulging certain identities. We even have a fan: a creative writing teacher and author from Australia, who has thrilled my students with questions and encouragement under their posts. I encourage you to check it out, and comment, too!
As of July 1, I am free and clear of my current teaching obligations, sad though I may be to leave. What comes next? Well, Brazil is the plan, as you know. However I am STILL waiting for a package with my visa application documents to arrive from Brazil! This is probably the most frustrating waiting period of my life: I need the documents to apply for the trainee visa, and I need the trainee visa to get further instructions from the internship organization and to book my flight.
Meanwhile, Canada Post is on strike. I informed IICA of this a few days before the strike began, asking them to send out a new package via courier, and was assured this would be done. A week and a half later, I received another email asking if I’d received the package yet – nope. Emailed them back, reminding them they should have sent out two packages already. Received a reply basically implying the second package never went out, and they’d send a new one the next business day (this was Friday, so it wouldn’t go out until Monday), and it would take 7 business days to arrive. Well, that was 8 business days ago and counting, and still no package! So I’ve lost an entire month in visa processing time and potential for airfare advance purchase sales.
I was so excited to finish school and then take off for my awesome Brazilian vacation, but now I have no idea when I’ll leave! And I have to admit, I’m beginning to doubt this IICA thing is even going to happen. It’s scary, because I really don’t know what I will do if it falls through. I’ve saved up money for a short (1-2 month) vacation, and although I haven’t officially quit my job, I turned down summer school. Also it would be really embarrassing to tell EVERYONE that I’m only going on vacation now, not moving there. And I probably couldn’t handle living with my parents for another year, although it’s generally been good, since my sister and I are currently sharing a room.
Basically this is the first year ever that I’m not particularly excited for school to end and summer to begin. And it should have been the most exciting time. It’s such a shame! It just proves the whole “best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” line true once again.
So I’ll just keep going forward with my short-term arrangements until I know what’s up. Right now these include Sunday and Wednesday soccer, running when I feel like, visiting friends and family in Toronto, and maybe picking up the yoga again. I can get 8 hours of sleep and try to eat better (thus improving my chances of a respectable appearance in the dreaded Brazilian bikini), and research places I want to visit on a shortened itinerary. I can study Portuguese, which I haven’t even glanced at in weeks! Alright, there are lots of things to do to keep myself busy, even if they don’t include hang-gliding over the bay of Rio de Janeiro onto Copacabana beach. And I guess you can look forward to hearing a bit more from me here, as I won’t have any excuse not to post more regularly. J