This has been a most interesting week, and I’m not just referring to the outcome of the US election. Interestingly enough, our baby’s first birthday coincided with the election. We held a barbecue party earlier last Saturday.
We hired a party coordinator who provided a bouncing castle with a slide, that our young guests had so much fun with. He also brought along a cotton candy machine, a clown, a magician, a face paint artist, and DJ. The last two were free add-ons, which indicated we should have haggled some more with the price. But as first time parents who can’t remember the last children’s party we attended, we just wanted this party to be fun and memorable for the guests. We had a feeling we succeeded when we ran out of food and guests were raving about the tasty 4 kg. opera cake that we ordered from Islamabad’s remaining five-star hotel, the Serena Hotel, as James’ birthday cake. We didn’t mind splurging, this is only the second party we hosted in our four years in Pakistan.
My online classes are giving me more work. One class is about visual and media literacy, and I got behind the assignments to create lesson plans and storyboards on video production. The other class is about Web 2.0 tools and we had to open accounts on various sites like Classroom 2.0, Voicethread, and Wikispaces. Then I got carried away and volunteered to do a Web 2.0 presentation at school. So I got behind my assignments again while putting together the Powerpoint and handout materials. But I enjoy keeping myself busy this way, even if my wrists hurt from clicking and typing too much.
Brian has been busy as well. With the reduction of students and teaching staff he has to plan rehearsals around the next class schedules for his first school musical, “Santa Sings the Blues” this December. He lost half of his after-school all-girls choir and is down to 12 members as well. He remains confident that things will work out, and he’ll still have enough students who will travel to Muscat for the festival of choirs in March.
We still don’t know where we’ll end up teaching next year. We’ve been down this road before, making up lists of schools and cities/countries we want to go to. But the fact remains that it’s not easy finding a school that needs a high school choir teacher and computer teacher. Truth is, of the 30 schools that have so far advertised openings in music, only one fits this “criteria” and the music position is tentative. With the right schools — and there are two in our mind — it’s alright if only Brian is hired. Better for me to enjoy another year as a stay-at-home mom. But the question is, will these schools hire a teacher with two dependents?
So we’re slowly coming to the realization that we need to attend at least one job fair to get all these questions answered. This would be the ISS recruitment fair in Bangkok this January. Wish us luck!