The long-awaited reply came back from the British Council today regarding the allocation of teaching assistant posts in Spain for the coming year. The deadline’s been extended – so we won’t be hearing the results for another week. Not only that, but it’s been split into parts, so we’ll only have the full picture after three weeks. And somewhere in that mess I need to organise the rest of my year abroad around eight ghost months that still may or may not be happening, and the later I leave it, the more expensive that will get. Frustration doesn’t cover it. It’s been pretty galling hearing from the other applicants on the French and German side getting both their placements and their regions in one go, and hearing nothing from Spain – and now this – but I guess I should have seen that coming. It is Spain we’re talking about, after all. Since when did any self-respecting Spaniard adhere to the laws of time? I’ll hear when I hear and I guess that’s just it. It’s not like I don’t have other things to think about. Oral exams, for one. Prioritise, man!
So this is just a first post to touch base, really. I’d counted on christening it with a confirmation from the BC, but obviously that will just have to wait for the time being. All I know for now is that I’m in with at least a ghost of a chance because I had the common sense (or total lack of it, depending on your point of view) to tick the ‘small town’ and ‘rural’ boxes on the application form instead of the horrendously oversubscribed ‘large town/city’ option. A bit of fishing around other BC assistants’ blogs has thrown up the same story time and time again, so it’s obviously nothing new. Every year over two-thirds of applicants choose to be sent to the cities and every year the BC sends out a desperate plea, asking everyone involved to consider a less urban post. The way the email was written made the ‘rural’ option sound even more of a dangerous move. If well over two thirds of the applicants asked to be put in cities, how many were left over for the small town option, let alone rural?
Amongst the reasons the BC gave for leaving the cities was the total immersion thing. Oh, don’t worry, BC – I’m game for that. Just how severe that immersion is remains to be seen. In all my blog-trawling I’ve only found one post about a rural BC assistant and her main issue was the total lack of people her own age in her post. That’s a very real risk and I accept it. But Spain is Spain and I’m not throwing myself into the mix to spend a year in pubs and clubs. Look at Durham; I mean, if it’s nightlife you’re after, you wouldn’t apply here… There’s so much more to Spain than the nightlife. Just you wait and see. Only, don’t wait on my account. I still haven’t finished waiting.
Apologies for the slightly bitter first post. I was a touch disappointed, that’s all. I’ll let you know when I hear anything further…