The above is just the fellow expats and myself awkwardly posing for a first day photo, getting uncomfortably close too quickly for one socially awkward guy, such as myself.
But a quick shout out to these guys, they are all pretty ‘chill’
If you didn’t already know, I am currently doing a TESOL course in Prague. This post is just to let everyone know what the course is like.
So let me start off by describing the course in one word; INTENSE. I am up at quarter to 6 everyday (mainly because that’s when my roommate gets up for work), constantly working on assignments, staying behind after my day finishes to do lesson plans for the next day. As you can tell, I don’t have much free time. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying myself and socialising with the wonderful people that I do the course with.
Now, I know the taboo word of intense is scary to some people, but don’t be put off by it. The course is intense in a good way. The knowledge that is being accumulated is all being done within one month. So yeah, it would be silly if the course wasn’t intense, and I wouldn’t understand if my brain wasn’t constantly on overload, struggling to cope with anything other than word stresses and the IPA (seriously, don’t get me started on the IPA). Plus, the people you are surrounded by are, or have been, in the same position as you so there is plenty of help around for when you are on the brink of meltdown over the memorization of the IPA (seriously, it’s pretty much the spawn of Satan). So all you have to do is ask one of your fellow course mates and they will help you out. Going to do that right now, before I get myself in a state about this silly IPA chart (I promise that’s the last time I’ll mention them).
As you know, this course is about learning how to teach English as a foreign language. Therefore, I do teach. And let me say this, it is the most rewarding part of the course. I thought I’d hate it. I mean standing up in front of a class full of adults scared the living hell out of me. All these people looking to me to impart my knowledge upon them. What happens if I do something wrong? Am I sweating? Jesus, is that right? Well all those questions, and more, did rush through my head in my first lesson. But now, I look forward to teaching my classes. the people are great and I love the nervous energy I get before each lesson. And when people finally understand the verb phrases you’ve been trying to explain, you get an amazing sense of achievement! For all that pressure you obtain within the duration of the week, the results of teaching outweigh the negatives.
Now, when I am feeling like I’m about to explode, all I do is take a night off and go out with my friends in Prague. Let me tell you this, going out in Prague is ridiculously cheap. Beer is less than £1 per pint (around a $1 for you American’s reading this) meaning it is cheaper than water quite a bit of the time. So it is safe to say that I have a very liquid diet. Also, I have not had a bad beer yet! Truly astounding. But that’s enough about going out and the drinking culture of Prague, I could discuss that for hours (of course over a pint).
Back to work life! One of the things I enjoy most about where I work, and I know this is going to make me sound like an old man, is the daily commute.
I know I know, you’re all thinking ‘why is Alex so into the metro?’ Well, to some people going on the metro is a completely natural thing, but I had never once been on the metro in England. So to me this is a new exotic experience and it makes me feel like I am progressing into adulthood. I know mum, it’s a scary thought thinking that I am being allowed to grow up! But my most cherished part of my daily commute is coming off that metro and being greeted by a part of old town.
This is the restaurant I am greeted by each morning. It’s main attraction is its benches outside. You sit, you swing, you get stared at by everyone, time flies by. Obviously, the swinging benches are a bonus in comparison to the exceptional service. It might be a bit more pricey (which is still next to no money), but having the ability to put me in a good mood… they can just take my money (and they have)! So, you’re all asking ‘how do I get to this amazing swinging bench restaurant?’ Well, you have to take the green line on the metro to Mustek. From here all you have to do is leave the metro station and it’s the building right in front of you. If you follow those easy instructions you’ll be rocking back and forth to your hearts content enjoying a nice beer wondering why you hadn’t come sooner.
Well I’m in my final week of the course so I apologise if I don’t respond to your messages, I am going to be incredibly busy working my arse off to get my qualification. However, I hope you have enjoyed this post, and to anyone who is thinking about doing the course: just do it. Don’t second guess it. It turns out to be one of the most enriching experiences.