I haven’t been running!

Seriously, by the time I’ve been waking up its been too hot, and I’ve actually been very busy. But it’s ok, I needed time to heal. I definitely won’t hit 100 miles this month, but I’m not concerned.

A few things are happening, first the mundane:

I came up with an idea to try and fix my laptop, find out what the other motherboard configurations were and see if I can’t find a regularly available one. Hopefully, I get good news tomorrow. I also have a job interview for some summer work in Brighton, UK set up for tomorrow, let’s see how that goes.

Now onto the non-mundane:

I have been holding off on saying this here, for a few reasons. First, I was waiting until all my students who may be reading or following this blog were done with their exams. Second, because I wanted to be 100% finished with previous business. Also, because I wanted to make sure I had the time and the perspective to say what I wanted to properly.

Next school year I will not be returning to Somma Vesuviana, NA Italy. I have accepted a position in Bari, which is where I have always wanted to be. It’s the same money, same basic responsibility, only with more freedom to teach as I want. No need to follow a book. Although, I will have some Cambridge Exam prep responsibilities.

I’ve met some wonderful people in the Somma area, but I’ve met some horrible people too. In many ways those horrible people are worse (less violent, but worse) than many of the very worst people I ever met in the US, or elsewhere. That is one determining factor. As great as the good people are generally the bad people are the ones you have to try and trust  with things like you living space. Yes, I’m talking about my landlady.

Transportation in Somma requires you to own a car, or have access to a car to drive. You simply cannot have a life using the Circumvesuviana. First, it barely works, and when it does you are trapped by the fact you must catch the 8pm train home, and nothing worthwhile even starts by eight, forget finishing!

My employers offered me a position in a bigger city with a little more to do, but the same restrictions on travel if you don’t own a car if you want to go to the beach, or go out in Napoli at night, things like that. Although, at least having some more choices in restaurants and stores would have been a bit better.

Speaking of which, restaurants. I don’t care how good a pizza is (which I still think New Haven is better, but I realized there isn’t much else for folks to hang their hat on here, so I give them the pizza) I can only eat so much of it. I want some Mexican food, I want some Lebanese food, I want some Chinese food (that isn’t a greasy, disgusting mess), I want some sushi that doesn’t cost an arm, leg, and the toes on the remaining foot! Variety is the spice of life, and he who controls the site controls the Galaxy.

I feel bad for some of the people I leave behind though. I’m also not leaving all behind, some folks will come visit, I will hopefully be able to come back to visit some folks, it’s only a couple hours from here. I feel bad for the staff of the school. They had a terrible year with retention. Teacher retention is a huge challenge because the area is so difficult. I suggested to my boss today that he consider encouraging teachers to live in Napoli and commute to work, because it actually is much more entertaining and relaxing  living in Napoli. I still want to help even if I’m not returning.

I want to help, not just because most of the staff are just the sweetest people on earth, but because the students are hurt by high turnover. When students have 3, 4, 5 teachers per semester that’s very damaging to thier growth  in the language. For all kinds of reasons. The first part of having a great school is having comfortable students. No matter what some of them may have said,  done, or thought about me, learning English, or anything else, I am a teacher. I want them to learn well! Comfortable students are the students who will learn the best. Hopefully, and I will officially contact my, now former, employer again and email properly the ideas I had to address some concerns. 

But I am taking my first opportunity to go to the place I planned on being and seeing if I can start the life I really want there. So I say thank you British School Group, thank you staff, and other teachers, thank you Somma Vesuviana, Paese Vesuviana, friends, family. But most of all, thanks to my students young and old, pleasant and difficult, for being students and showing me that, yes, I want to do this.

First your music for the day:

And now a brief video describing how I will be spending as much time as possible starting in September when I move to Bari, or maybe Trani:

Have fun, keep running, and remember; if Gil can run then so can you!


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