Wednesday, August 08, 2012

End of the Cycle...

It’s the end of the third cycle.  There are no weeks here at KIS… they follow a system of a six day cycle.  It’s horribly confusing at first, but it actually makes a lot of sense.  I’m not even going to attempt and explain it, but suffice to say that the schedule of classes shifts every week as per the 6 day cycle.  If there is a holiday, that day’s classes will be held the next day and so on.

I’ll say this.  Teaching is really hard work.  I like the engaging aspect of it.  I love sharing all the esoteric junk in my head with the students and tie in all my various experiences to seemingly silly ideas.  It’s the repetition and test paper prep that I’m beginning to dislike.  Repetition, because there are always students who miss a class because they are ill or had to go for football, who want a catch up one-on-one class.  I have a new found admiration for teachers.  Kids can be infuriating, you have to talk when all you want to do is shut-up and close your eyes. 

Sometimes I forget that my students are 15, 16, and 17 and expect too much from them, but at least I was not expecting someone to say “Lenin” when I asked who started the First Gulf War or give “Air tax” as an answer for government taxes.  I’ve taken it upon myself to make my class more than just economics.  Yesterday, we talked about the atom bomb, the Korean War, definition of a second, CIA and the paintings of Jackson Pollock, 9/11, the economics of politics and why e2πi = 1.

So at final count I have 88 students in the 11th grade for economics and 17 students as my advisees or in my tutorial group.  The kids range from the bright and studious, to the suck ups, to the smart and lazy and the downright delinquents.  Basically every classroom you’ve ever experienced in the world, it’s just strange being on the other side of the fence and imagining which one I was. 

I’m also the new co-advisor for the National Honor Society, but, as the name suggests, these kids are so good that I usually don’t have to lift a finger.  I was disappointed that there is no school newspaper or a debating club at KIS, so I’ve started a debate and speech club… let’s see how it goes.

Apart from the school work, which eats up a lot of my time, I’m still enjoying hiking and poker on the weekends, and table tennis in the evenings with the other staff members.
Kodi is a beautiful place, and teaching is great, especially for a self-advertising braggart like me who loves a captive audience… but there is still something missing.  A panging loneliness in the quiet and gloom of an old mountain cottage… even if there is a roaring fire to warm me.  Can’t put my finger on it...

And oh yeah, I saw my first herd of bison, about fifteen strong, last week a little ways from my house...