Dead Week


According to the school, the week between orientation and the start of classes is often called dead week.  Some people use this time to explore other areas, travel to the beach, etc.  I am using it to plan, clean, and wait for the cable company.

They should have been here Saturday when they installed for a neighbor who purchased after me.  However, the company had not given them my details and they did not have enough equipment to set up my house for cable and internet.  We called and they said they would be out on Monday for sure.

Today is Tuesday and they promised that they would be here some time after 11.  I am not holding my breath for it, but I am staying home just in case.

Cleaning.  Ugh, the cleaning.  I knew it would be a pain because of what others have said and really mine isn’t so bad–I am too lazy to mop so I just quickly sweep twice a day.  But the ironing, sweeping, and dish washing feels constant for me.  I am currently ignoring a pile of wrinkled clothes in the other room.  A rather strong concern is starting to creep up inside me when it comes to this: how will I balance all of the housework with my other work?  I could assign the sweeping or dishes to Sal, but I don’t think I trust him with the iron–not on my clothes at least.  As it is, I plan on waking up at 5:30 or 6 each day to do a little cleaning and set up for the school day.  Then I can come home, do more, plan and grade, cook, and write articles.  Sal fits in there somewhere.  I mean, he is why I am here, right?

However, things are overall going very well.  I am happy with my home, my neighborhood, my job, my relationship, and my friends.  I suppose I just wish I made enough money to hire a cleaner.  I’ll probably be looking to see how it fits into my budget in a few months.


11 responses »

  1. The first year of teaching is a blur and it’s an emotional roller coaster. Keep in mind that everyone goes through those highs and lows, and since you are in a new country, those highs may be higher and those lows may be lower. You have a lot on your plate. But it really does all work out. You learn to let some things go, how to prioritize, shortcuts, etc. The more time you spend in a place, you find that there are some things that aren’t as important as they were in another place or now that you have a full-time career.

    • Right now my big issue is figuring out how to address 7th grade standards from CA (what we use in English here) and still teach appropriately to essentially all ELL students. I’ll figure it out eventually, it will just take time.

  2. It is so hard to work full-time and still maintain a houses here! One piece of advice: lower the standards. It’s impossible to have a house at the same cleanliness level as the US without more effort exerted. I learned this fairly quickly, especially when we lived in the extreme heat. Of course, you can hire someone to clean, but be wary of hired help. We no longer hire anyone to clean for us. Too many missing items/valuables. I know other expats have dealt with this issue too.

    • The school has a list of recommended help. I would never go outside of that list–most of them actually work for the school in some capacity so they have incentive to not do anything bad or else they could lose their primary job.

      My standards are already pretty low, I just can’t stand grit on my feet from a dirty floor or to wear wrinkled clothes. These two things manage to stress me out.

  3. You do have a lot on your plate. I would assume over time you will find a routine you are comfortable with. But, I agree, cleaning is not always so important. Just get a pair of flip flops/slippers for the house.

    Hopef you find your groove soon! Glad you are back in business here on the blog!

    • You are my 400th comment! Woohoo!

      And I want to buy flip flops soon, but the problem is that my husband is always forgetting to wear his or socks in the house, so then he gets into bed or puts his feet on the couch and it is awful. I have just been wearing socks but it doesn’t matter how often I tell him, he keeps forgetting and gets things gross.

  4. It is hard to get used to not having everything as clean as you would have it in the US. A once a week good cleaning is enough over there. Here a couple times a day is not enough. I have been cleaning for hours this morning and by the time I go to bed tonite it will seem as though I had not mopped and swept the floor twice. UUUGGGhhh

    • I have to mop for the first time today because the cable people drilled holes and now the floor is slick with this really fine concrete powder. It is gross.

  5. If you find an extra $15-$20 in your budget each week, I know someone who will clean your house. She is very reliable and trust worthy. I miss her so much!

    • I’ll take her number just in case. Yesterday I was losing my mind trying to get everything for school and home taken care of. Then again, it was the first day of school, which tends to be nuts.

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