It’s safe to say that I have just survived the most ridiculous two days in my ESL career so far.
So, a couple things you need to know about SIDAS Language School: our boss is pretty straightforward about what he expects from us, and he’s pretty up front about the challenges of the job. Before even being able to apply for SIDAS, I was sent a long, detailed email emphasizing exactly how… unluxurious traveling while working for SIDAS can be. Of course, I was never looking for an all-expenses-paid vacation, and when it comes to travel, I’m pretty flexible. Pretty much my only requirements for a decent place to stay are 1) a lack of bedbugs, and 2) hot running water. As far as I’m concerned, hot water can make up for just about anything.
That said, as flexible as I am, there’s only so much I can do effectively when I’m operating on a lack of information.
Cue my mission to Brno.
This wasn’t my first time visiting in Brno: last year, during a trip to Prague with a couple of Austrian friends, we stopped at the Starobrno brewery for delicious dumplings and also beer. However, seeing as we didn’t stay more than three hours in the city, I never found out much more about Brno than the fact that dumplings at Starobrno are delicious. We certainly learned nothing about the hostel situation, which turned out to be unfortunate, especially when my boss ended sending me to this place:
Luckily, co-teacher Jack had stayed in Brno for the weekend just a couple weeks ago, and I managed to get a hostel recommendation from him, which the Boss happily said he’d pay for, so long as it wasn’t more expensive than the Expres Atack.
That’s how I ended up at the John Galt Hostel, all ready to face another Active English Week…except that, when I finally got to the school on Monday morning, they told me they hadn’t scheduled an Active English Week. I ended up teaching a couple classes, chatting with the teachers over coffee and wondering what the hell was going on. When I finally got in touch with the boss to ask what the heck was going on, he finally told me that my week in Brno was supposed to be spent presenting sample lessons at five different schools throughout the week, and that he’d soon let me know which one I was supposed to be at tomorrow.
Oh. Okay. That’s good to know.
So I spent the evening checking out the church in the center of the city and wandering around the old square, waiting for more information about the school I’d be going to on Tuesday.
The information didn’t come. Waking up at 6 to check my email just in case and shoot off another note to the office, I hit the snooze button for some well-deserved travel-recovery. I’d just about finished the hostel breakfast, when finally the reply came from the office:
“Hope you found the school okay today”
Of course I didn’t. I wasn’t told which school. Cue frantic phone calling, a race to the trams, and showing up to be greeted by some very startled teachers.
I guess this week is going to be fun.