Something a little different for my readers…
A: So Sally, tell us about a typical day in your life?
B: I usually wake up at about 8 and I’ll either exercise at home or go the gym, about 15 minutes away. Sometimes I have a lesson or two in the morning, but I usually have time to eat lunch and hopefully get a 19 minute nap. I also use the mornings to cook dinner because I get home late. Starting in the late afternoon I have lessons until the evening, about 3 or 4 days a week I get home at 9:15pm.
A: So what are these lessons you are talking about?
B: I give private English lessons. I have a range of students and abilities – from nine years old until about fifty-five years old. Some students want speaking, some students need grammar, some students want to practice presentations. Many of my students are in high school or university and they need extra help, so we practice whatever topic they are working on in school so they can pass their tests. Two days a week I work in a tutoring center where the lessons are found and scheduled for me (it’s usually the same students every week) and the other three or four days it’s students I’ve found through word of mouth.
A: Do you like your job?
B: I do, I enjoy seeing the progress my students make, and we usually have fun and talk about interesting things while learning at the same time. My complaints are that the money is unreliable, my schedule can be very unpredictable, and sometimes my brain just doesn’t want to think of a creative lesson. I’ve had some students for a couple of years and it can be challenging to come up with an interesting lesson. While I really enjoy my job, I am open to new things. I am interesting in college counseling/college admissions so we’ll see if that goes somewhere.
A: What are some of the hard questions you have been asked?
B: Ugh so many but I can’t think of any right now. They are usually about vocabulary – Turkish has fewer words than English so it’s hard for students to understand the differences in meanings in English words. A couple I can remember are the difference between trust and believe, and persuade and convince.
A: What’s it like to be married to a person from a different culture?
B: Obviously it can have its difficulties but it also has its good parts. For us, language differences can be tough, especially in social occasions. Spending time with family or friends can be…well…very boring sometimes. Our upbringing was also different. I grew up with a father who washed dishes, prepared our school lunches, and even cooked when needed, but if a man did that in Cengiz’s culture, he would probably be taken to the mental institution. You have to remember your way isn’t the only way, and you have to realize what is normal for you might be strange for your partner. Both sides have to give a little. Good parts? I get all of my holidays! I don’t have to share Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter etc. And obviously there are many other good things, but I don’t want to get mushy here.
A: What is hard to get used to?
B: Last minute guests! Guests are allowed to stop by anytime, and when they come, they must be treated like royalty. Sometimes, I just don’t want to be nice to people (all day long I am nice to people), and we are supposed to serve snacks but if we keep a stash in the house, we eat them before anyone comes. Obviously there are the big city things that are hard to get used to, like crazy traffic jams, a lot of people – especially on the weekends – and city prices.
Ok this is getting long and boring. I thought I’d be more creative but I’m sleepy and I’m using Cengiz’s computer which is a Turkish keyboard and the ”f” key hardly works. I’ll try to put more thought into my next questions and answers. I hope everyone is well!