Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
BEFORE YOU GET HERE
The best thing that you can do to prepare yourself is to study up on grammer and teaching techniques. If you are not familiar with the basic concepts of english grammer I recomend taking an online tefl course with the modest cost of $300. I recomend an online TEFL course as opposed to the month-long in-person one because the month long courses are a waste of time and money. It will take you at least 2 months of teaching here in order to break even with the $1000+ that you would spend on the course.
BUSINESS ENGLISH IS BORING
Through an institute you will be teaching students who work for large companies like Verizon or Tide Bleach. The students´classes are therefore paid for by their employers.
Business English is really boring. You have to teach vocabulary words that have to do with their jobs, the economy, how to write emails. Students are sometimes technical writers who have you proofread work they’ve done which explains to another technical writer in the united states how to navigate their compay´s Intranet.
Business students generally prefer conversation-based classes. They will be satisfied with their classes soley for the fact that you are a Native english speaker and can hold an interesting conversation. Business english classes are usually 1:1.
YOU WONT GET RICH WITH AN INSTITUTE
You should expect to make anywhere between 18 and 25 pesos per hour if you are employed by an institute(1 usd = about 3 pesos). For Argentinian standards this is a decent hourly wage, but keep in mind that with each hour that you spend teaching and getting paid, you should plan on spending an additional hour for lesson planning and traveling between classes. These things you dont get paid for. The majority of teachers choose to work for no more than 30 hours per week. It can be done though- a friend of mine teaches for 60 hours.
If you are planning on staying here for 6 months and show that you can speak English proficiently, institutes will probably hire you. There is clearly an under-supply of English Teachers here in Buenos Aires. If you know where to apply to the institutes listed below, you should have no trouble in finding a job.
If you have the materials and experience to do it, private teaching is a much better option than working for an institute. You can carge anywhere between 25 and 40 pesos per hour and problably won´t be doomed to teaching only business english. You can also choose which types of students you would like to teach by being wise about how and where you choose to market yourself.
Get outside of Belgrano, Palarmo, Downtown and San Telmo. There are tons of people in this city who are passionate about learning english who live outside these sorts of neighborhoods that are gentrified. Engage yourself in the porteño lifestyle by getting to know the people in your neighborhood. Your students tend to be the same people who you have also met as friends. Simple paper ads on telephone poles can help you find students and internet marketing is also an option.
Though you do not need to know Castillano in order to teach english, but there is no reason why you should not devote as much of your free time to learning it if you do not areadly know it. You are in Buenos Aires for godsakes, get to know the language and you will feel even more at home.
YOU HAD BETTER BE IN LOVE WITH THIS PLACE
Despite the simplicity of finding work, I do not recomend teaching english unless you are planning to stay at least in Buenos Aires for awhile. You are wasting your time and your students´time if you treat english teaching as a pastime acitivity to partake in between cities.
English teachers should excell at week-long drinking spells and scraping by during daylight in order to work. If you are an idiot who has the tendency to walk into street without looking both ways, you will get killed. You have to sit for lengthy hours in office buildings that are open and large and cubicle filled, quiet, vacumed hotel carpet, floor by floor elevator entryways.
WHERE (NOT) TO APPLY
English Training System: firstname.lastname@example.org
LV Studios: email@example.com
Professional Language Service: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warick Consultancy: email@example.com
American Forum: firstname.lastname@example.org
Language Affairs: email@example.com
Thursday, May 15, 2008
people in the street are short-nerved, in more of a hurry, more on the subways where each morning we pack on into eachothers´armpits, pressed into the intimate limits of physical confinement.
river of footsteps at floodstage off the subway throgh the clicking gates up the stairs and in an instant to the roar of city
small sidewalk overworked bus squeel car horn
warm exhaust, intersections filled at stalemant
lack of patience. people who walk and weave within their own agendas, broken sidewalk, rubble, magazine stand with porno all over the place
cafe cups to-go on trays as waiters run them through a block or accross the street.
Forida ave. pedestrian mall shopping center that stretches the length of downtown. wide enough for lanes of cars but full with the motion of footwork. is a non-stop line of quilts spread where people sell maté goards, purses, plastic bracelets, small figurines ect.... stuff mass produced.
on either side stretch trendy storfronts: mcdonalds, cd stores, clothing, jelrwy, frappachino, banks ect..
begging mother with infant child in her arms: sprawled out, bloated, limp.
another child alone leaning against a magazine stand with bright white speckles over his skin,
A couple who has crashed dozens of wine bottles into a pile of sharp-glass scraps. The have turned their storage trunk sideways as an elevator for her to stand on 3 feet above the ground. .
The boyfriend takes off his hat and turns it upside down, explains to the crowd that he and her are poor and they rely on performace in order to get by, that they live in a hotel and without the money night by night, they would be sleeping on the street.
The girl jumps. she lands in the middle of the pile of glass, specks fly outwards into the street and at our feet. she cringes, looks like the is going to scream. people throw money, others are not interested and continue on their way.
The couple continues to do tricks like this into the glass, things progressivly painfull.
a police officer in a bright orange vest leaning against a wall
A trained eye, appearance of order when all that it is is a refined kind of pattern recognition, choosing from the multitudes.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
For the past 2 weeks, people have staged massive protests throughout the country´s rural areas. Citizens have acted in response to newly elected president Christina Kirschner's economic decision to raise the export tax on Argentinian meat and grains. Christina would like to keep commodity prices affordable for Argentinians. In order to do this she has chosen to raise the taxes for those farmers and ranchers who choose to export their commodities. By doing this, she has made it impossible for Argentina´s small-scale farmers and ranchers to make a viable living by doing what they do.
At this moment there is a huge movement to end the nationalization of these sorts of these industries. Over the last 2 weeks, farmers and ranchers have held massive protests through out the country. They have effectivly set up road blockades in order to stop trucks that are bringing goods into Buenos Aires. Their production has nearly slowed to a stand-still. Producers are dumping their meat and grains out in a refusal to sell them until Christina reverses her decision.
The protest has been widely sucessful, as sortages of meats and dairy products are apparent through out the country. In Buenos Aires, nearly all of the meat-shops have had to close because of their lack of supply. Wherever you can get meat, it is not worth buying it because it is so expensive.
Residents of Buenos Aires have largly taken the side of the farmers and ranchers. They are not only in support of them, people have a ferocious contempt for Christina´s failed policies. On Tuesday night the sentiments of the masses culminated into a near-riot through out the city. In a flurry, Christina put together a sub-par speech in which she claimed that she was governing for "all of Argentina". She confirmed her stance that she will NEVER give in to "extortion".
Christina´s speech only served to inferiorate people more. By 12:00 am the entire city was erupt with rhythmically sounding car-horns, old women who were leaning out their windows banging on pots and pans and entire crowds of people that slowly grew as they congergated in the center of the city, Plaza de Mayo.
I filmed the video below during the early hours of Tuesday evening, before Christina gave her speech. I watched protest grow as a constant stream of people arrived into the plaza, all banging pots and pans. At the same time, a group of youth from a rural part of the Buenos Aires province also arrived and swarmed themselves into the crowd. As stated, I left before the plaza ¨blew up¨with angry citizens. What follows is a clip of the protests as they were just begining.
The farmers and ranchers have drawn support from a wide range of social classes, both urban and rural. The pricipal demonstrators in Tuesday´s protest were largly business-suit men and women who arrived after finishing work downtown. A friend described to me the emblematic sight that he saw of a businessman without a pot-top and pan to bang who instead chose to bang his leather brief-case against the riot-fence in Plaza de Mayo in order to make noise. Also within the crowd were young students, neo-nazi sympathizers, entire families, infentile children, and citizen-journalists like me, who captured the events with shaky hand-held cameras.
Since Tuesday evening, protests have continued, but on a smaller-scale and under the front of groups with more paticular causes, such as "La Liberation del Sur", which held a protest in the plaza on Thursday afternoon which attracted two to three thousand people. Outside of the city, in Provinces such as Jujuy, Entre Rios, Cordoba, picketers continue to blockade roadways in order to prevent the shipment of meat and grains. On Thursday afternoon, Cristina appeared to be more symapthetic to the cause of the demonstrators. Also, meetings between Cristina´s government and union members also began again.
Protests in Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires. Tuesday, March 26 2008-Still interested in what is happening in Argentina? Here are some links of professional reports from newspapers and magazines:
-(ok i am currently working on the blog, will post these in a few hours)
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Is there any chemists or physicists who are reading this? I think that these sorts of dignified people might have a better idea why such a thing would work.
Here is a step-by-step visual explaination in case you don´t know how to read:
STEP 1) Drink beer freely and hopefully happily. Stop drinking when you do not want any more beer. If your beer is empty, stop reading this article, it is irrelevent for you. If you there is beer left in your bottle, continue on to step 2.
STEP 2) Find a small spoon. These can usually be found in your kitchen drawer. Any spoon will work as long as its handle fits through the mouth of your beer bottle.
STEP 3) Place spoon upside-down in beer. Place beer in a refregerator. Close the refrigerator door.
STEP 4) Wait for a very long while. Think nothing of the beer that is sitting with a spoon in it inside your refrigerator. After 1, 2, 3 or even 4 days, stop waiting. Open the refregerator door and find your beer.
STEP 5) OH MY GOD! There is a beer with a spoon in it in the refregerator! it is cold! It is Bubbly! I am going to drink the whole thing right now!
STEP 6) If you still have not finished the beer, continue steps 1 through 5 repeatidly until you do.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Things that you want to say to others that you have done if you are visiting Buenos Aires for a very short period of time
-San Telmo on a Sunday. The San Telmo market is a huge market through one of the streets most historic neighborhoods. There are hand-crafted arts and there is tons of street music. If you happen to be in Buenos Aires on a Sunday, you HAVE TO do this.
-Recoletta Cemetary. this is a cemetary that is filled with the graves of really rich people who´s familys built huge house-like structures and statues for their deceased relatives. Also where the body of Eva Peron is burried. if you are in Buenos Aires for more than 2 or 3 days, this is also a must do. (this is better to do on a saturday or sunday since there is also a market here on these days)
-Plaza de Mayo. This is a plaza that is located in the middle of downtown Buenos Aires. This is the most important spot in regards to the political history of Buenos Aires. The Pink House, Argentinia´s national capital building, is located here. In the 1960s Eva Peron gave her speeches from the balcony to screaming crowds who were standing in Plaza de Mayo, it is where people protested during the ¨dirty war¨ (Argentina´s genocide), it is where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people met after the stock market crash of 2002. Check out Plaza de Mayo and do some reading about it beforehand. I would recomend checking out "My Buenos Aires Travel Guide", written by Sandra Gutrejde Suarez (included in my links section). She has an excellent blog post which describes the geography and history of Plaza de Mayo.
-the obelysk. At the intersection of 9 de julio (apparantly the widest street in the world) and Calleo there is a huge phalic obelysk that commemerates the first raising of the Argentinian flag. Its not that neat but you probably want to say that you saw it.
-Linea A of the subway system. Ride it somewhere. The subway line was made in the early 1900s and they still use the original cars that are all wooden and antique looking with swinging lamps and stuff. really cool. not alot of toursts ride the subway.
-the touristy and colorful part of la boca. this is a must. It is what Buenos Aires is most famous for (in a pop-cultural sort of way)
-Teatro Colon (Columbus Theatre). This is one of the best teatres in the world. There are shows all of the time and you can take a tour of it if you want to.
-MALBA (museaum of Latin American art). This museum has the best collecion of Latin American contemporary art in the world.
-Museau de Belles Artes- not an incredible collection but it is huge and it is free and it is right beside the Recoleta Cemetary
-Tigre. a small town only a 1 hour train ride out of Buenos Aires. It is a marsh city and nobody has cars. They all drive boats to their houses. There are also boat taxis that drive up and down the ¨roads¨.
Most importantly, geek out at Argentinas Travel Guide (argentinastravel.com). It has alot of information about things that are off the beaten path. it is written by expats living in Argentina. This is the best resource for Argentinian travel.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
A man in a cowboy hat and hand-held video camera. He points it at his wife as they are walking towards the sunset.
The girl who reads intently, toes squirming in the ground.
An el-camino, hip-hop beats, people on skateboards popping allies beside.
A German Shepard that looks dead, splayed out in the middle of the road
The patch of lawn is filling fast with people´s quilts
Three birds in a single line as they fly across the lake
Mountains as they lose their light, look more sillouette
Clouds that flair above
Cars continue to make that turn and gun their engines uphill.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Roco, who met me at the Argentinian border to take me to Futelefu seemed nice at first, he laughed at me when i started frieking out at border control and wrote my name and country of origin and date of birth all in the wrong blanks, and he volentarilly filled it out correctly for me and even signed it for me!
When we got to futelefu he dropped off all of the other 5 or 6 passangers at their doorsteps, he knew where they lived, kissed each on the cheek as they left the van. I asked him to drop me off at the doorstep of the officina de trourismo and tried to strike up a little bit of conversation. He said nothing
and instead of the officina de tourismo he brought me to the doorsteps of a locotorio that had techno music blaring and this dude waiting for me who was wearing a gulligins island hat, a wife beater shirt and board shorts.
When i open the car door he was immediatly in my face, in english ¨are you looking to go rafting, i can give you a really good deal¨ ¨tomorrow?¨ ¨we have some of the best rafting in the world right here¨ ¨cmon man where are you from?¨. i finally had to tell him ¨dude i dont want a fucking raft trip!¨ and he left me alone about it.
We talked for a few minutes. his name was Blue, he was a raft guide from New Zealand and he told me about how he had been stranded in Futelefú for over a week with no money at all unless he sold raft trips to people which he had no luck at because the company he worked at did not auctually have any rafts. He did not find this out until the day that he auctually found people to take on the river. His boss had to tell them all this embarresing news.
Nonetheless selling nonexistant raft trips is the only way that Blue has a chance of making any money in this town. It is therefore the only way that he can get out of it.
He lives in a borrowed-broken tent in a cow pasture without a toilet so he has to shit in the cow pasture with his girlfriend who works at a bar and soley gets paid a 15 percent commision for each beer that she sells which on a good day amounts to just under 1 usd per hour. They spend every cent of her money on food rations which consist soley of 2 dried biscuts a day and butter.
It was after Blue told me his story that i looked into my wallet and realized that all i had was 10 argentinian pesos and that the only ATM in town took all of the major credit cards except for visa. I had a visa. The next-closest ATM was one-hundred miles away.
So i went to the cow pasture with Blue and set up my tent. Here Blue told me the rest of his story:
Previous to living in Patagonia, He and his girlfriend (Sophie) had been guiding raft trips in Mexico for 2 years. After they recieved job offers to guide for a company in Patagonia, they scraped their money together and bought a pair of airline tickets. They arrived in Southern Chile and found that somebody else had taken their guiding spots and there were no more jobs for them with the company.
They went traveling by bus in search for other jobs. in other parts of patagonia and eventually arrived in Esquel (southern artentina) about two weeks ago. While in the Esquel bus terminal they left behind a backpack which contained 1000 dollars (the only money that they had). They got a call a day later from somebody who said that he had the briefcase. After the stranger divulged this information he hung up the phone. The briefcase appeared in the bus station 2 days later with everything inside except for the money.
The two of them then scoured internet looking for job opportunities, found one for guiding in Futelefu. Without other options for the moment they picked up their stuff and and moved to Futelefú. They came to the town with no money on themselves. All that they had was 300 dollars in Sophie´s checking account. She had not bothered to take any of the money out and unfortionaly her check card was also a Visa.
The bus drivers did not take credit cards and were not willing to transport them anywhere unless they paid first. Sophie and Blue were thus stranded in Futelefu with no money at all. Sophie therefore got her job at the bar.
I went to hang out at the bar that Sophie worked at. It was filled with 10 to 15 old and dirty men who were all drinking the same type of canned beer and watching Sophie with cat-clock-eyes as she moved around the bar in her skirt. She did not get off of her shift until 5 in the morning. She did not even bother to collect the money that she made for the night because it was so little (somewhere between 6 and 7 usd for 10 hours of work). She said that one of the guys puked all over the bar and she had to clean it up. Another kept grabbing her ass.
Roco (the bus driver who transports people from the Chillean border to Futelefu) also owns the raft company that Blue works for and the property that Blue and Sophie are living on and his wife owns the town´s locotorio. Roco is an asshole. He has offered no help to Blue or Sophie and according to Blue has only been trying to make money off of off them by charging them 10 usd a night to live in his cow pasture. He finally changed his mind and let them stay for less. Roco has made no offer to transport either of this to Esquel in order to get money from Sophie´s credit account.
It is apparantly true that Futelefu has some of the best rafting in the world and Blue told me that this is the main reason that they seeked employment there. They wanted to check out the river, do some recreational floating of their own. Blue and Sophie are still to float the river.
Roco was going to Esquel today for business purposes and therefore offered to bring us along if we all paid him money. I of course jumped on the opportunity, Blue and Sophie were going to go but they said that they were sick of giving Roco money. They said they are going to hitch a ride tomorrow, that as long as they get out of Futelofu they will be fine because Sophie has family members with money who can lend them money so they can fly back to mexico. I insisted that they left with me today but to no avail.
My original plan was to go to Esquel to get money and then return to Futelefu with Roco so that i could catch my next bus tomorrow, but as i was waiting for Roco to pull up with his van i got the shivers and loaded my backpack and decided to bag the whole rest of the plan and get as far away as Futelefu as i can and never come back. I hope that Blue and Sophie are going to be ok but there is really nothing that i can do for them if they dont want a ride away from that evil town.
-Blue and Sophie
Sunday, January 13, 2008
-Descending into Lago Jacob
-The pasta that we had for breakfast was warm and delicious
Ryan, Kacey and I were akoken by Chelsea who was screaming
¨Shit! Shit! Shit!¨because her and Nathan´s tent had been leaking all night long.
Nathan was nearly hipothermic. The tarp that we had put over our backpacks had blown off. Everything we owned was drenched.
We had to retreat to refuge in a a cabin that was full of 70-some grade school children. One of the women who worked there lit the fireplace and let us hang our clothes to dry.
Kacey immediatly immersed herself within the midst of screaming children. We took pictures as proof of her ¨students¨ in order to show her parents that she really did visit Argentina for the educaional opportunity.
Nathen was huddled, arms around his knees, shaking erraticly beside the fire with no warm clothes to wear.
Chelsea was wearing mall shoes.
Ryan had his mud-drenched sock hanging on a hot dog stick. He was holding it in a way that resembled a flag that had some sort of soft-felt pecular meaning, an invisable country that we claimed without intention of proving that it was real.
-Kacey and her ¨students¨
-Nathan nearly hypothermic and warming up with Mate
-One of Chelsea´s mall shoes that she went backpacking in
Thursday, December 27, 2007
They have conquered silence. They empower the mothers with toddlers who are dancing too.
Mothers with barbaric arm-fling pelvic twists then squating to the ground.
I am making perfection out of this instant. It is garnished with greatness. Family-farming. High culture happiness. A beer bottle polluted lagoon.
But I am alone right now. Drinking a beer and a guy approaches and asks if he can have a drink of it. I say yes because this sort of thing is normal and I dont want to be an asshole, but he and his friend want the whole entire thing. After a series of concessions that i make in the conversation I realize that I am a stupid foriegner and his friend walks off with my beer. I am a stupid foreigner. What else is important?
Only sometimes this is the way.
¨30 años y sigue las impunidada¨ ¨Basta de experimentar en animales¨ ¨cenasa=muerte¨ ¨no a la heterosexualidad obligitoria¨ ¨trabajo estudio y cambio sociadad¨ ¨aparicion con vida de Julio Lopez¨ ¨No pasaran¨ ¨Veganismo eticacion el planeta¨ ¨estado asesino¨ ¨y Julio Lopez donde esta?¨ ¨Periodico el espejo¨ ¨fuera sionistas de Palestina y el Libana¨ ¨A 30 años los pices seguen escribienda¨ ¨Juventud Argentina¨ ¨Viva la rebellion popular¨ ¨Aparicion con vida de Julio Lopez¨ ¨30,000 razones para seguir luchando¨ ¨Patriz si, Coloniz no¨ ¨Armenia vive¨ ¨Prensa tortilleba¨ ¨las calles son nuestras¨ ¨Basta de Sakeo y muerte de pueblo¨ ¨Basta la impunidad. Carce3l ya a los genocidas¨ ¨Tomemos el conirol sobre nuestras vidas¨ ¨por la revolucion y la socialima¨ ¨Prohibido fijar carteles¨ ¨de los 30,000 razones justica popular¨ ¨basta de salojos huracan¨ ¨masculinidad es dominacion¨ ¨sus ganacias son nuestras enfermidades, Basta de contaminacion capitalismo¨
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
-Hace un disface de Santa Clause. Para ese busca en la calle ropa roja y blanko. Dejate crecer una barba que sea blanka y muy larga. Vestite y lava las ventanas de los autos que esten espirando en simaforas rojos. Es muy importante que digas ¨ho ho ho! Feliz Navidad!¨ repetedamente.
-Podes conducir auna unicycleta si te sientas 2 metres arriba del piso y hace malabares 3 mechetes, mientras usas solemente un pie para conducir la unicycleta.
-Preguntale a un amigo para centavos.
-Si tenes una computadora y algo para imprimir, es muy facil preperar una carte del gobierno que diga que tenes una disibilidad. Con una truchada como eso, podes entrar a una collectivo gratis, sin preguntas del conductor.
-Robo a otra persona, pero solemente exigile las vientecinco centavos que necessisitas. No robes una polocia, ni un hombre muy grande, ni un niño.
Monday, December 10, 2007
There is time left in the day,
enough that the sun continues to burn the crowd
trays of beer that they carry above their heads
through the people
who are holding flags and waving them
under the sound of fireworks
without the their light that is outspoken by the stronger light of day.
Loudspeakers, moving movie screens with changing images of attendees who are standing in the crowd. Everything is taking place directly outside the nation´s capital building
on a stage somewhere with some man screaming
who is too submerged with people for me to see who he is.
The function is for Christina Kirschner, who assumed the presidency yesterday. She is now Argentina´s first female president.
Right now this is unimportant to me,
it is a function for Christina turned tribute
for the Justisalista party, Eva Peron, Democracy.
While I am standing here I am not speaking, I know nobody here,
I am sending invitations to friends with insistant text messages
But there is no way to invite
into an instant that
blooms towards some
while others pass it by
until it is fixed within compartments,
a treasure box:
torn open bedroom when a string of light
strikes through curtains, objects
and their abandoned actions of disarray.
I am making assumptions right now.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
land breakers that send my
sights into motion. A decision I make
when I feel life in your hands
is boundless but stagnant in sudden flight, imagination,
foot stomping on the floor of a bar.
I meet people and am trying to bridge that gap.
Right now I have broken past
that weekly orchestration that I am used to now:
Drummers who lead a march
through Defensa Avenue, accross the entirity
of the San Telmo market.
The gathering of drummers is a ritualistic dancing past,
a solidification of something that already is,
a presence that is more perminant than the surfaces of stationed vendors
since the drummers are moving at the pace
of the mulling crowd.