Monthly Archives: January 2005

My New Article on Teaching English in Ecuador

An article I wrote about teaching English in Ecuador was published in the January/February issue of Transitions Abroad Magazine. And the piece has just been posted on their Web site, as well. Here’s how it begins:

“I spent a year teaching English in Ecuador. It was an incredibly rewarding experience. People often ask me how they, too, might land a gig teaching there. Here’s what you need to know.

First and foremost, Ecuador’s a great place to live. Ecuadorians are very welcoming and warm, and they’re particularly passionate about their futbol and salsa dancing. In addition, the natural beauty of the country is astounding: Ecuador, which is the size of Colorado and straddles the equator (hence its name), is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. I went on a whale-watching expedition off the largely unspoiled coast; I camped and hiked in the central, mountainous sierra, which is rife with active volcanoes and rugged peaks; and I hiked through a part of the country’s Amazon jungle.

Interesting geography and friendly people aside, costs in Ecuador are among the lowest in South America. If you arrive with some money saved up from home, it will go a long way. Then there are the benefits of learning Spanish–or perfecting your command of the language if you already speak it. Most Ecuadorians talk with a slow and clear accent, so the country’s a popular destination for Spanish learners.

Finally, teaching English is just plain fun — you’ll meet a lot of new people, learn about the local culture, and contribute something meaningful to the lives of your students.

Sound good? Okay, here’s how to do it…”

What High School Kids…

really need to be told when they graduate:

“In the graduation-speech approach, you decide where you want to be in twenty years, and then ask: what should I do now to get there? I propose instead that you don’t commit to anything in the future, but just look at the options available now, and choose those that will give you the most promising range of options afterward.

It’s not so important what you work on, so long as you’re not wasting your time. Work on things that interest you and increase your options, and worry later about which you’ll take.”

Personal Productivity Run Amok

I have no idea why, but the Web is teeming with personal productivity stuff these days. In addition to the ubiquitous 43 Folders, here’s a sampling of what I’ve come across just in the last 5 mintues:

Ta-da Lists (Web-based to-do lists)

“Getting Back To Work: A Personal Productivity Toolkit”

“Get Back to Work” (an online success/failure monitor?)

“How to Get More Done in Less Time”

Who’s got time to do any real work when reading this crap is so time-consuming?