Monday, April 02, 2007


As anyone who has checked in the last month, I've not written.

Am I going to keep this blog or not? That's the question. I don't know.

See, I started this blog to have a safe place to say what I needed to, without anyone knowing who I was. Teachers are not safe. I actually do have a regular blog, one with my picture, and one which any student who really wanted to, could find. I avoid speaking of school over there.

So, this blog.

At first, it was wonderful. A whole bunch of teachers were just like me, needing a place to talk or rant or recount the day.

Now, my life's become crazy busy. As I mentioned a month ago, a friend's cancer, my sister's new baby (I'm now an Aunt!), the extra class I'm teaching this year (so no prep period), and my Fulbright application have taken all my time and energy.

Oh yeah, about the Fulbright? I got my exchange packet 10 days ago.

I applied to the UK.

My exchange is in Hungary.

I'm not going.

My administration won't approve it because my exchange partner can't teach the same English classes I teach. Of course, it's more detailed than that, but basically, she majored in Theology and American Studies, and they want a degree in English, minimum.

So poo.

I will apply again next year, and make sure this time NOT to mark that little box "yes" that asks, "Would you be willing to consider other countries than the ones you have indicated?"

She's going to be let down too. I feel rotten, but I also question the Fulbright administrators. There is a lot of hoo ha about how they work so hard to make a good match, and yet nothing about this woman and I seem to be a good match.

She teaches at a very orthodox Catholic boarding school and I don't even go to church. Some of what she teaches is religion (not something I'd be able to do... I can just see it now..."well, what do you think? You know, the bible was written by men, and men make mistakes right? Don't think your religion is more important than someone else's..."

Yeah, wouldn't go over too well.

Plus, she has a husband and three kids, which means I'd have to give up my apartment, find them a place that would be willing to rent to them for only a year, and then find another apartment for myself when I return (since I don't need a place big enough for a family of five). I'd also have to help with the rent, since she makes significantly less than I do, and with the Fulbright, we'd both be collecting our salaries from our respective schools, not the host school.

Rent in my town? I checked yesterday. 3-bedroom apartments are between $2200 and $3000. So, I don't know, if even with my help, they could afford it here.

All of her extra-curricular activities have to do with her church and religion, and even today, although Easter vacation has officially started for them, the teachers are together for a "spiritual retreat."

No. I'm not going.

But still. It feels crummy to know I'm going to let her down.


OKP said...

I hope you continue the blog; I lurk more often than I comment, but I do read (and it's always enjoyable).

I'm really sorry about the Fulbright -- all that paperwork and hoping! It doesn't seem as if Fulbright made efforts to match you well, either in your living situation or teaching situation. From my perspective, you're not letting her down -- the program let you both down. Hungary wouldn't really be such a bad place to be if that were the only adjustment, but the overall situation just makes it impossible: money, housing, teaching focus, all of it. Nothing's perfect, but such a great adventure shouldn't start out with so many obstacles!

I hope that you try again, and that it works out.

On a school note, may I ask if the money's worth teaching 120%? I've considered it, but it never shook out in my head as something that would be worth it in the long run.

Lastly, congrats on Auntness!

I hope you're still here when I stop back again.

Onyx said...

Please continue to write. It helps me to know that I'm not alone in my frustrations as teacher.

This is a safe place to vent and rant and be real!

I'm so sorry about the Fulbright, that sucks!

X said...

Whoa. That was some craptastic matching on Fulbright's part. How disappointing that you did all that work and were offered such a strange exchange. It sounds like the decision not to accept is a smart one.

Proverbs16three said...

Please don't give up the blog!!! I'm a new teacher who really enjoys reading it.

Onyx said...

Come back! We miss you!

Glenn Kenyon said...

Ms D said...

That is awful. I am waiting to hear if i get onto Fulbright for a US exchange. Fingers crossed!!