The forgotten task

Last night, during dinner, Becca brought up the idea of moving to another country and starting her life all over again. Then she asked, “How would you like to move to Bangkok?” which was, in fact, not a random question about living in a random country, but part of her idea of moving to a country where she actually already has a friend. “I’d love to start over in a completely new place,” she continued, “but I don’t particularly want to learn Thai.”

And I wondered aloud, “What would I do in Bangkok?” I’m all for learning a new language, and the fastest way to learn is when it’s forced upon oneself, but even if I got a job in a multi-national company, it would be a struggle getting by with daily life for a while.

Then Becca said, “You have your ESL.”

I’ll admit now that up until that very second, I had completely forgotten that I’m fully qualified to teach English anywhere in the world and to anyone from working professionals right down to indigents. But when Becca made that suggestion, it all came rushing back to me: Boston, the TEFL class, the trainers, the students, everything that had made me want to become a teacher in the first place. And right there and then I brightened, because I realized that I’m really not chained to my desk and this house, but free to go anywhere I want that’s willing to hire me as a teacher.

The events that transpired after that discussion flung all thought of teaching out of my mind, until I got a call this evening from the Human Resources office of a certain school, asking if I’m still interested in a position as an English teacher. I very politely but firmly said that I already have a job, and when asked if it were at another school, that I work in public relations now, to which the caller said, after a long pause, “Oh.” They must have been thinking, She couldn’t get a job in teaching and has been reduced to public relations?

It’s a bit odd, but not altogether surprising, that I haven’t thought of teaching in a long time, probably not since I started this current job. I used to think I knew what I wanted to do, but then something got thrown in the way of that and after that I thought no more of it. Most likely it’s because I happen to like my job and I haven’t been on it very long, but in the beginning I did think that I could teach part-time at a language center like BAE, if nothing else, just to get used to it. And then I got caught up in the momentum of the job and everything that comes with it, to the point where B had to remind me that ‘I have my ESL’.

And now I realize that I do still want to tap into that line of work, to be able to help people and make a difference in their lives. Maybe someday, years down the road and faced with the very real possibility of still being single, I really will do Bangkok. Or Cambodia. Or Ethiopia.

For now, I should start looking into night or weekend classes.

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