I have a new student, a doctor with intermediate level English who's studying for the TOEFL. While it's nice to have a student I can actually talk to... it's a whole new kind of challenging. We're not using a text book and we're practicing a very specific type of speaking skill... formulating one's thoughts on a subject for 15 seconds, then delivering a concise and well organized response for between 45 and 60 seconds. Because that's what the TOEFL tests. Gah!
So for a two hour class I need to prepare a good couple dozen topics and then be prepared to help him perfect whichever tense or structure he chooses to use. NOT EASY!
But when I walked out of class today there was a decidedly exotic sight was waiting in the lobby. There was an American woman sitting there talking to my manager about working at the school. I introduced myself and we chatted about the pros and cons of working in Rayong. Although she was a bit older -couldn't have been much more than 50 - we clicked fairly instantly. I cannot even tell you how nice it was to have someone pleasant* to chat with. I didn't have to 'grade my language' or slow down. I didn't have to mime anything. Lovely!
I'm really really really REALLY looking forward to being back in a country where I can do that with everyone. Folks - you are not going to be able to shut me up for WEEKS.
*I'm a bit on the outs with the guys in the office. It's all very Jr. High and not worth discussing here.