Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This week I am being oriented on how to be a US teacher (never mind the fact that I have been teaching in the US based international system for 9 years). And while most of it is simple review and feels like time well wasted (although it never is because I am reminded of stuff I forgot and so on), I am learning new things about living in the US. In most international postings, the schools take care of finding you a place to live, helping you move in and all the general set up of bank accounts, alien registration cards, driver's licenses, car insurance and so on. I assume (yes, I know what happens when you assume) that this is mostly due to cultural differences in dealing with business transactions and the obvious language barrier. But here in the US of A, you need to do a lot of that stuff on your own. I am currently laden down with heaps of paperwork and forms to fill out and offices to visit to get more forms filled out so that I can get cards to verify car, health and all kinds of other documentation and insurances. It seems daunting but the people at this orientation have been helpful guides. It's funny that this time around, I speak the language of my new host country and yet, I do not. The language of business, forms and so on is not English... and I am sure in Korea, it is not Korean... and in China it is not Chinese... and the list goes on. Instead, it is simply legalese which is no language and yet and language unto itself. And that is my thoughts on that!!