Thanksgiving / US Return Roundup

First of all, happy Thanksgiving! Of course it is the US holiday that I’m referring to, but as far as I am concerned, this is a nice holiday that has a meaning which is not necessarily connected to one particular country or a certain set of religious beliefs. Please do read about the great Thanksgiving I had abroad last year.

TEFL Logue Update
Firstly and most importantly, I want to reassure my faithful readers that TEFL Logue posts will keep a-comin’. They may keep coming a little less frequently, but they will keep coming. There have been some unfortunate spam issues in the last few days, and I have done my best to scan through it, as unpleasant as that is, but I may have bulk-deleted other comments too. So if you have commented and your comment has not appeared – I apologize. Around the first week of November, the TEFL Logue moved to its beautiful new format, and at least two comments from TEFLtastic did not get published. Sorry Alex – I promise it wasn’t an attempt to silence you!

In other TEFL updates, know that the second ESL Carnival submission deadline is coming up for Larry Ferlazzo’s blog – November 30. Send him a link to your recently published post (the only requirement is that it is something useful for English language teaching / learning) and he will include it in the ESL Carnival post, sending traffic to your blog and sending you to other cool blogs.

Katie Update And More On the Great MA / DELTA Debate

I have returned to the US and am doing as well as can be expected. I am making sure to self-medicate with a lot of coffee and so far that is going well. All kidding aside, it is always a transition to come back, but it is great to see, talk to, and drink coffee with friends and relatives I haven’t met with for some time. I managed to meet up with a friend I met during my CELTA. She has since completed an MA in Elementary Education. I would never put a friend on the spot to come down on one side of the MA/DELTA debate, but she herself brought up the point that, while an MA is necessary for her job: she thinks there are lots of good things about the CELTA / DELTA route.

Public Service Announcement On Transport

In case you were wondering, the Sarajevo – Sudbahnhof, Vienna bus does not go to Sudbahnhof, despite what’s written on the ticket. The airport train does not run 24 hours, regardless of what the public transport employee tells you as he directs you to buy a ticket. At the station for the airport train, there are escalators up but not down, so do take care coming down the stairs if you are carrying a wheely suitcase, a big backpack held together with a shoelace, and one small backpack containing your laptop, especially if it is 1am and you are getting just a little stressed about not ever reaching that airport train. It is possible to trip and save yourself by grabbing onto the railing, but still send your wheely suitcase careening down the (empty, thankfully) stairs.

Between midnight and 5am, Sudbahnhof is well-lit and not absolutely freezing, but everything is closed, and let’s face it, it is mostly freaks who spend the night at the train station. There is a vending machine that sells coffee for 1.20€. However, if you started out with 10€, and spent 2.40€ on a ticket to the airport train, and are saving 6€ for the airport bus, this is cutting it very close. Especially if you think you might need to use the restroom again, because you do have to pay. Rest assured, however, that the restroom attendant likely hails from an ex-Yugoslav country and is as helpful as a restroom attendant should be without crossing any lines.

Some Concluding Points, Or Lessons Learned

  • You do get more bang for your buck as far as coffee goes in the US, compared to Europe.
  • As expected, it is once again disconcerting to hear so many conversations in English going on around you.
  • Supermarkets can be overwhelming, and it can be panic-attack-inducing to keep thinking “Was I supposed to weigh and sticker my own fruit?
  • If your father has a lot of stuff to carry and has a sense of humor, it will work out okay to get him a leather man purse because an episode of Seinfeld was about this (and it was a European carry all, not a man purse!). Be aware that, according to him, it might draw stares in public though.

  • And Finally, Trivia Question: Who Said It?

    “I mentioned that one of the reasons that I got it right…was because I lived overseas…It gives me some judgment and perspective around what other people think about America and how they might react or respond when we make some of the decisions that we do.” Sounds like a clever way for an EFL teacher to explain their experience abroad as an asset, doesn’t it? Well, only if you want to be mocked by a political opponent.