I promised a follow-up post to what I wrote last week. This is not that follow-up, which I’ll try to get done soon.
I was on my way to Andrey’s class this morning. I walk to Primorskaya metro station, go two stops to Govinksy Dvor, then change lines and travel south to Moskovskaya. From there, I take a bus to Pushkin. Once I’ve arrived, I walk through the Catherine Park to the building when the class is held. It takes about an hour forty, usually.
This morning I got as far as Moskovskaya, and decided to give up. I could hardly keep my eyes open. I’ve had a few too many long days lately; they can be 9am to 10pm, as I mentioned in my last post. I’ve had a few of those recently, and I’m tired. Really tired.
That’s a problem.
As someone who’s just switched careers to teaching English, I’m at the bottom of the pay scale. I have a five year plan to reach some specific personal objectives. To get this done, I need to spend a couple of years teaching in the Middle East, where the money is very, very good, and save like crazy. To get a well-paying job there, I need to get good experience here in Russia. That’s happening. Apart from my run-of-the-mill ordinary classes, I’m delivering training to a couple of big Russian companies – big companies, companies who have been in the news recently. One has just started; the other has just renewed their contract because they enjoy my classes. These are all high-calibre, very intelligent, and very demanding professionals. They demand the very best service. I was tired in one class last week, and it was noticed. That’s not acceptable.
So. Wednesday is my only real day off, and since I’ve arrived in Russia I’ve been using it to go to Andrey’s classes in Pushkin. That’s fun and interesting, and I’m learning a lot of things that I really want to learn – but I don’t get to switch off and relax. Sadly, that’s going to have to change. I really enjoy and value Andrey’s classes, but I have to put my job as my number one priority – and right now, that means I have to prioritise getting downtime over systema.
I emailed Andrey earlier on, and told him I needed to take a break for a month. His reply – he’s always very brief in his emails – was to contact him in late May; it may be that classes will be repeated in the autumn. I’m not sure, but other comments recently suggest tht his classes may not be running across the summer; I’ll need to check that.
Anyway, watch this space.
Image credits: Money Tunnel by user Keith Ramsey on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.