Thursday, July 02, 2009

Work-related news

I'm doing pretty well this year on this blog: last year I only posted once, so as of this post, I've already doubled last year's total! Since I decided to divide this post in two, here's to three times the number (once I post the other)! Here's the work-related news:

The new English Teaching Course (Curso en Enseñanza de Inglés) was approved, so this will be the first of hopefully many summers when it will be offered. We are very excited about this development, because it is a major step towards offering a bachelor's degree in English, and because it is the first thing we are doing that is officially and separately approved by the state board of education. We were under the impression that the diploma course we offered was unofficial and therefore not that useful to our students, but discovered recently that no university diploma courses are ever separately approved here. They are considered valid because the university that gives them has that authority, not because the board of education approves them individually. At least, that's the latest version from our contact with the board of education; who knows what they'll say next. Either way, we're trying to get the word out about all this and so far we're having some interest. Not as much as we'd like, mind you, but some. Because of the fun program we had last summer in our diploma program and word-of-mouth and some promotion we've done, we have close to ten students already pre-registered for the diploma course, which is probably a record, since we're still over a week away from official registration day (Sunday, July 12). But for the teaching course, we still only have one pre-registered (and several serious interests). We would have done more promotion, but because we did quite a bit of promotion last year and had less than 20 students in the summer program, the administration is limiting our promotion this year (and the spending that goes with it). However, we already have some people who are signing up now that say they found out about the program from last year's promotion, so it wasn't a total loss.

Right now we're scrambling to get the things done that we need to for the summer, as well as some other important non-summer-related stuff. I'm working on lesson plans for the new classes I'll be teaching. The summer is divided into two modules with four classes each, and I'll be teaching two classes each module: Grammar 1 and History and Roots of English for the first module and Grammar 2 and Linguistics for the second. I'm also working on a translation of the history of the school for a woman who's publishing a book in the US on it, making some final changes to the policy book for the newly-created technical training school (mostly created to be able to offer the teaching course, though there will be other courses offered later, probably in music and PE), and translating the student missionary forms for that department here (which is pretty much made up of my boss at the moment, though she does work some with the chaplain's office). We are also having problems with the book distributors, because we need our books for the summer ASAP but there are details we have to work out and they haven't answered our last email. So we'll see how that goes. Busy, busy, busy!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Steps forward, backward, and sideways

We had to rework the certification in order for it to be acceptable (which led to working till 2 or all night several times), but it is currently under review with the state board of education. We're hoping it gets their approval and that way this summer will be the first summer we offer something that is officially recognized.

In other news, my in-laws returned to Peru early in February, but my mother-in-law fell quite ill almost upon arrival, so my wife was very anxious to go and be with her. We decided that a visit of about two weeks was in order, since as long as she was going, she might as well spend some time. We finally arranged for her to leave, but without realizing that Mexicans can no longer enter Peru without a visa, which now applies to my wife as a naturalized Mexican, even though she is originally from there. So we looked up information about getting the visa, and the website said that it would take 72 hours to process the visa. She was supposed to leave on Sunday, so with an appointment for Monday, she wouldn't receive her visa until Thursday (between 2 and 3 PM, the site said), so we changed her Mexico City-Lima ticket to Friday (and moved the return flight to a week later), since the only flight with the airline we chose leaves at 2:50 PM, which would not be enough time to get to the airport from the embassy. She still flew to Mexico City on Sunday, naturally, where she is now, but, surprisingly, they were able to give her the visa today. Now she doesn't want to be stuck in Mexico City for the rest of this week, so we're going to change the ticket once again, to tomorrow. Fortunately, her uncle and aunt agreed to help us with this ticket change ($130USD), so at least the expense isn't something we have to worry about for this part of it. It looks like her mom is doing a bit better, but a) my wife wants to make sure everything is really okay and to be there if she has a relapse and b) we already bought the tickets, which, though I think they can be canceled, would cost us to do so. So it looks like I'll be all by my lonesome for the next 2-3 weeks. I've got plenty of work to keep me busy, though.

I already talked to the university about the fact that we're planning to leave this summer. The only thing keeping me from being sure of it is that I don't yet have a job lined up in the US. The ideal would be in Monterey, CA, where I want to study, but I'm also looking into just having a job for now and worrying about the studies a little later.

And I might as well mention, though it isn't really my news, that one of my brothers is getting married in early August, so I'll have to be there for that!