For three short, but blissfully fulfilling years of my life, I had a cush job. I was showered with presents on a regular basis. I had foreign men fawning all over me. I ate the finest cuisine and attended soirees held in my honor. It was a life of excitement, romance and danger.
Foreign diplomat, you ask?
Nope, I was an ESL teacher in Chicago.
Not what you were expecting, was it?
This was pretty much the best job of my life.
I received tons of gifts for every holiday and at the end of each semester. These were actually students who loved coming to class. And they appreciated my hard work! Sometimes I even received gifts just because: a bunch of flowers here, a plate of tamales there. These students were like the most attentive boyfriend in the world!
You may call me shallow and materialistic, but answer me this: Who among you could resist being showered with gifts? Who out there wouldn't have her heart melted at the gift of an enormous Tweety Bird stuffed animal? A Tweety who was wearing rollerblades and holding a rose? (It was Valentine's Day, after all.)
Foreign Men Fawning All Over Me:
There was Joel, a hot 19 year old who regularly tried to get my attention in class so he could flirt. One day, when I asked for a volunteer to use the word "plenty" in a sentence, Joel said, "Teacher, I have plenty love for you!"
And what red-blooded woman out there doesn't appreciate romantic marriage proposals from handsome, Hispanic men?
Okay, yeah, Marcus may have offered me $3,000 to marry him so he could get his green card, but that doesn't mean his love for me was any less genuine or passionate.
Most of my students were Hispanic or Polish and they were all very generous. When they learned what a
pig, glutton, hefty eater gourmand I was, many of my students brought me plates of delicious food. I was afloat in pierogi and tamales, mole and posole.
And when we had our end of the year parties? I was plied with horchata, tostadas, guacamole and three milk cake. I just drooled on my keyboard at the memories.
Danger and intrigue
You don't think teaching ESL is dangerous? Well, let me relate a story, then. My first semester, I taught an advanced ESL class and the final consisted of giving an oral presentation. One student, a dance teacher at his local community center, asked if he could have the children in his class come and perform. I was delighted at the opportunity to learn more about his culture.
The children came to class, adorable in their authentic Mexican garb, and they danced their hearts out.
While swinging machetes around their heads.
Yeah, I got in big trouble when the Dean heard about that one.
Adorable kids in authentic Mexican garb, sans machetes
For more posts about ideal jobs, stop by the Spin Cycle at Gretchen's Second Blooming.