Universitas Hasanuddin

Where I taught for ELF – The teacher housing here in the third world far surpassed Korea. Go figure.


Ah, Patan

In Kathmandu.

Finding a Good EFL Job

There are so many dodgy EFL jobs out there and good programs like JET or Fulbright’s English Teaching Assistant can’t possibly hire everyone so how do you separate the good from the bad from the ugly?

  1. Try to get personal references, i.e. only work where someone you know has – recently that is. I did ask Korean friends about KNUE and by reputation — an outdated reputation evidently, they said it was a good school. Since then these friends have profusely apologized.
  2. Check out the school on Wikipedia and on blogs. I interviewed with a school in China a few years back and had a strange feeling about it. For some reason, the interviewer asked me whether I was bothered by Christians. On Wikipedia, I found a daily debate raging over whether the school was a bastion of missionaries.
  3. If the person who’s interviewing you sounds flaky or say doesn’t know simple things about the program like what book is used – end the interview. You don’t need to take the first job you hear about. There are plenty of opportunities in this business.
  4. Ask to see photos of the housing if it’s provided. If they won’t give you any, don’t bother the housing must be horrid. Also bear in mind that the photos they show you could be of a model that bears no resemblance to where you’ll live.
  5. Nowadays there are plenty of jobs that pay airfare and visa costs so don’t take a job that doesn’t cover that. You should not have to pay to get a job in this field.
  6. Any other ideas? Comments welcome.


I got to go to a matinée of Carmen at the Chicago Lyric Opera House. First off, I love the art deco building. What a great theater!

I had never seen George Bizet’s final opera, Carmen, though it’s music is so widely known, well, the tunes are the French lyrics aren’t. It was a simple plot covering simple emotions, but the music raises compensates for that. As one expects of a Lyric Opera performance, the singing, staging and costumes were excellent. I liked the traditional production so much more than when the director et al feels the need to get “creative” and put a classic play into some new-fangled setting. Also, since I’m new to opera I’d like to see how a piece was done before watching someone besides the creator’s “take.”

The music still echos in my head. Now I really wish I could have gone to the discounted Hercules on Monday, but I was still in NOLA.


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