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a few words about Linguamir
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 6:29 am    Post subject: a few words about Linguamir Reply with quote

Privyet People:

Long time no chat. Mr. Green

Over the past couple of months, I've received several enquiries regarding Linguamir in Samara.

I have not replied to these enquiries for 2 simple reasons:

First - I left Linguamir in January, and do not have any current information to share. As I'm now rather busy with a new job in Thailand, it's just too time-consuming for me at the moment to try to keep in touch with former colleagues and bosses.

Secondly - I've always believed that it's best to get information from people who are currently working at any given school, mainly because general conditions and terms of employment at EFL schools can vary widely depending on 'when' you happen to be there.

When I left Linguamir in January, for example, overall business had slowed down considerably (due in large part to increased competition from other Samara-area language schools).

The result was that Linguamir was closing down its own classrooms, and instead, sending its teachers out to rented public school classrooms because the rent was cheaper --- i.e. --- I lost my private classroom, which I had worked so hard to maintain and decorate over the 3 years I had spent there. This was the main reason for my departure from Linguamir, just in case anybody's wondering.

Having said that, I'd also say that my overall experience during my 3 years in Samara (and with Linguamir in particular) was VERY positive. The manager of Linguamir is a really nice guy and a fine gentleman; the students were fantastic, and pay was decent at the time I was there (not less than $500 per month). On several occasions, pay was a week or 2 late, but we always got what was owed to us, including end-of-contract bonus and/or airfare reimbursement.

Since I left, I've heard that salary offers have dipped below $500. If that's true, I'd personally say 'no' to such an offer --- and that goes for ANY school in Russia today offering less than $500 per month NET (with FREE accomodation included in the contract).

Certainly, to each his own. If you cook all your meals at home and learn to live like a 'Russian' ... you can indeed survive on less than $500 per month, although the emphasis here would be on the word 'survive'.

Finally - my sincere apologies to those individuals to whom I have not replied personally. As stated above, your best bet is to try to contact someone who is currently working at the school you're considering. Second-hand and/or out-of-date opinions about any school should not be the basis for making your decision, imho.

Kind regards,

keNt
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to hear from you Kent.

Yeah, I agree that we should set a baseline recommendation of no less than $500 to people who come here asking about wages - and that should include accommodation. Well, each to his own of course, just a suggestion.

Btw did you post this in the JIJ? It would be good there I think.

Where are you in Thailand?
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 7:35 am    Post subject: Bangkok Reply with quote

Dobry Dyen waxwing:

No - I haven't posted this on the JIJ. There's not much in the way of useful content in this post anyway, so I figure it's not really worth posting there.

I'm in Bangkok, btw. Thanks for asking. Razz

Well --- it's hotter than you-know-what here --- and generally more stressful than I had hoped for. If you know of any good schools in Russia (?!?!with a private classroom waiting?!?!) who may be interested in an old Russkie vet like myself, let me know.

I think I'm back in the employment market. Shocked Russia really grows on ya! Mr. Green

Warm wishes,
keNt
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Communist Smurf



Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kent,

I was a little curious why you had suddenly left anyway. If you want to come back, then just come back. Look, you've blown it already and you just might miss out on Russia's 2-weeks of summer. If you keep this up now, by the time you make it back it'll be winter again already. You want to do back-to-back Russian winters? What were you thinking?

You've already spent 3 years in Russia and you've been gone what? 4 months? And now you say that you miss being here. I think that's indication you were meant for Russia.

Maybe you'd be interested in teaching some place besides Samara?

CS
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 8:50 am    Post subject: hi smurf Reply with quote

Hi Smurf !

Next time, I think I'll try Moscow. I really enjoyed my short holidays there.

Samara was a great experience, but 'small town' Russia can get weary day-in-day-out, especially after 3 years in the same 'small town'.

As for Bangkok - it's not really totally horrible, but there's a heck of a lot of transportation-time between clients ... which I'm not real happy about. i.e., 6 hours of teaching turns into a 12-hour day pretty quickly when you add up the hours you spend on the back of a motorbike or on the metro or just waiting for the next class to begin.

That said, I've never been one to throw in the towel when things get a little rough. So ... I'm not throwing in the towel just yet, but I'm starting to think in that direction.

Besides, my flat here has ants. Twisted Evil

Let's stay in touch, Smurf.

Best wishes,

kENt

PS: Russian winter? Heck, I eat that -32C stuff for breakfast. Mr. Green
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<pointless chatter mode>
Well I had exactly one class today, a guy so rich he has three different drivers, we decided to watch a film about Alaska. I don't think he understood a word but he liked the bears. This weekend I will watch a colleague compete in a singing competition in the glorious Park Pobyedi (they have like about a mile of cafes and a little theme park, including an old jet which contains a hall of mirrors (wtf?). Couple of weeks ago I was on local TV (not for long, but that won't stop me telling everyone! Smile ).

It's currently 50-50 whether I'll be going back to a 'real' job starting in mid-June, or continuing here part time and learning more Russian. One thing's for sure, if I do leave, I'll be back. There's a richness to life here which will leave me feeling whatever the Russian equivalent of 'saudade' is (that's Portuguese for .. erm.. saudade).

Btw, in my long and colourless life I have been fortunate enough to visit Bangkok. Fascinating place, and of course, the country is better - I liked the forests around Chiang Mai for example - but working there would somehow not suit me. The sweat-bath effect might be something to do with it, yeah Smile

Znachit, kent, ti uzhe skuchayesh pa rassii? Ponimaiu. Wink

Oh, and btw Kent, in all seriousness, if you were looking for a September posting, PM me.. I might know something useful.
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joe-joe



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 100
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kent, just a suggestion should you want to return to A russian speaking environment that doesn't have such a severe climate. Try Azerbaijan. I'm working in Baku and it's sort of like tropical Russia
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2118
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 4:26 am    Post subject: spasibo! Reply with quote

Hello joe-joe:

mmmmm. tropical Russia?! Mr. Green Now there's an idea.

Do I have to wear a turban? Twisted Evil
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joe-joe



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 100
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello again Kent,

You don't have to wear a turban, unless you want to of course! Very Happy In fact I've not seen any here come to think of it; turbans were surprisingly more prevalent where I used to live in England Laughing
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Albulbul



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 11:21 am    Post subject: Exotic Reply with quote

We live in a strange world when Birmingham, England, is more oriental and exotic than Baku, Azerbaijan !
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Communist Smurf



Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it ironic that you lable England more exotic (read: multicultural) than Azerbaijan based on the presence of a monocultral sub-trait, such as wearing turbans.

Besides that, I have no idea why this should surprise anyone. Rolling Eyes How many Englishmen do you know sitting around Azerbaijan drinking tea?
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if you don't fancy Azerbaijan, in Sochi they have palm trees Smile ...

I'd guess there are quite a few such Englishmen, CS. Although admittedly it'd probably be beer in some appalling fake Irish pub with 'expat' prices.
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zaneth



Joined: 31 Mar 2004
Posts: 545
Location: Between Russia and Germany

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kent,

Somehow I like the idea of you being back in Russia. Somehow the world would just feel a little more right.
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Pyccak



Joined: 15 Sep 2003
Posts: 7
Location: Montreal

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 10:54 pm    Post subject: Re: spasibo! Reply with quote

Kent F. Kruhoeffer wrote:
Hello joe-joe:

mmmmm. tropical Russia?! Mr. Green Now there's an idea.

Do I have to wear a turban? Twisted Evil


Hey, hey try Vladivostok or Sahalin Island for tropical.
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waxwing



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
Posts: 719
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vladivostok tropical? I thought I read that the area to the south west of vladivostok (Ussuriland or something?) had some kind of tropical or sub-tropical thing going on, but Vladivostok itself?
Well never been there anyway. Crying or Very sad
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