Last week was a whirlwind. I went from having absolutely nothing to do to spending the entire week without barely a moment to sit down a breath. How did that happen?

My teaching schedule is mainly concentrated to very early morning hours and late evening hours. Since most of the school’s clients are business men and women, our peak hours are when they are not at work. I have been very fortunate this past week and have gotten nearly double the hours I was expecting to receive my first week. Based on the experience of a friend and what I heard during training, I was expecting only two lessons per day. Instead, I average four lessons per day all last week. It seems like my Americanness has finally paid off- I am getting so many hours in order to learn faster and therefore be trained for the higher levels. The school wants to “take advantage” of my native English.

Each day I have about 4.5 hours of actual teaching time, but I have been getting to the school early and staying late to ask questions, fill out paperwork and make sure I have remembered everything on the very detailed to-do list for each student. In addition to teaching hours, I spend at least one hour preparing for each two lessons. Add three hours of prep to 4.5 hours of teaching and my part time job just turned full time.

Last week was a constant rush of teaching, coming home, throwing together some food, preparing, going to yoga, more preparing, getting ready for work, more teaching, more preparing and then bedtime. The worst aspect of my job is that the next day’s schedule isn’t available until 8pm. Most evenings I teach until 9:45pm. I get my schedule for the next morning as I leave the school and inevitably, I have a class the next morning at 6:45am. My new routine is to eat a late dinner while frantically preparing for the next morning’s class. I am convinced that there is a better scheduling system, but no one is in a rush to develop it.

This is all good. I’m busy, I feel productive, I have a routine. In the midst of these, I am still searching for another job. Preferably one that provides weekly-or even monthly- schedules (what a novelty!) and one that is full time. My current hourly wage barely buys a cup of coffee, paying my rent is a long way off from that.

However, I am thankful. I am thankful that finally I have some sort of employment. It is far from ideal in every aspect. Currently, the only ideal thing about this job is the location, but I am convinced that any day now they will transfer me to the school an hour away from here. My game plan for that day is to play the pathetic American girl role and tell them that I simply can’t travel that far.

It’s a job, nothing more and certainly nothing less. I’ve already seen that this school offers little opportunities for promotion and performance or seniority isn’t rewarded with bonus or pay increase. I haven’t had the chance to speak to many other professors, but it surprises me that they would choose to stay in such a stagnant position.

I have to keep telling myself, “at least you have a job.” Though I am really hoping that another surfaces sooner rather than later.