Three months seems like a long time. A quarter of a year seems like an even longer time, though they are the same.
But neither is that long. Not really. In the grand scheme of things (even in the grand scheme of just my life), it isn’t that long.
It feels like forever. It feels like a day.
I still cannot believe that I live in Cairo. Not just in the sense of, ‘Oh I can’t believe I’m here!’ I mean that my brain still hasn’t become accustomed to Catherine you live in Cairo, Egypt. This is your home. A part of me is still processing this as a huge lark, some adventure that has an end date in mind. Some part of me is just going through the motions of a daily life. And another part of me is consistently going HOLY CRAP YOU LIVE IN CAIRO WHAAAATTTTTTTTTTTT. That part of me is exhausting to be around all the time, so I suppose the others are there to balance it all out. Regardless, I still do not feel like this city is my city. Perhaps I never will, but hopefully it will be more a part of me as time progresses. This city is hard to figure out. It can easily embrace you one day and shove you out of a moving vehicle the next. Cruel mistress, this city. You love it anyway. You hate it anyway. On a day-to-day basis, you try to find a spot between those two emotions and create a life.
And what life I am creating now? This past week I’ve been at the ‘orientation’ for my new job. It is…intense. Not the orientation, but just realizing what I’ve gotten myself into. Let’s be clear: all the teacher training I have ever had is a one month certification course in teaching English as a foreign language to adults. My new job is teaching English, math, science and social science to 6th graders. Huge discrepancy, I’d say. Not that I am worried I can’t do it in the basic sense: teaching the material. Pretty sure I can do that. But it is everything else that comes with being a teacher that I am worried about. Teaching methodology. Classroom management. Dealing with parents. Dealing with creating exams, curriculum, lesson plans, grading, field trips – all the things outside of the basic idea of I make students understand certain bits of information. I have 3 weeks until I start my job officially. I am spending that time (merry Christmas to me) giving myself a crash course in what it means to be a teacher and how to do it. People get BAs and Masters degrees in this. I’m doing it with neither, so the amount I can hope to prepare is minimal compared to everything they’ve done. But I’ll learn on the job.
I’ll have to. I’ve signed the contract: no matter what, I’m in Cairo until June. Here’s to at least three-quarters of a year in Cairo!