Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kazakhs connection 2

The memory of how did I get involved in this itself is noteworthy for me.

I was just keeping terms with my extended bout of uninspiredness from the same daily routines & stuffs, when a friend tagged me in an elaborated Facebook post about the apparent urgent vacancy for a Biotech Instructor at PPpN. Not all details were provided at that time, just some description that emphasise on the handsome enumerance offered. Well that bait works. That was the beginning of how this whole thing catches my attention. Applicants were required to submit CV & show up for some 'interview'.

Well tbh I was fairly hesitant in the 1st place. The camp will run for 3 friggin weeks & I was contemplating about my other commitments as well. Plus the students are the chosen groups from the Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev Intellectual School for talented youths, so yeah that was a lil' bit intimidating..or was it thrilling & exciting? *Dr.Evil's expression* :P
Because nevertheless I gave it a go. I applied, called up to PPpN the next day, interviewed, accepted & then set to start teaching in 72hrs++..friggin 72hrs! It was Friday, and the camp start on Sunday!

So in the following 72hrs I was on fire like the human torch on steroids. While I was still trying to learn the working culture there, I was scrambling all over the place preparing the lessons and myself. The communication hierarchy was barely there for me to get any useful help, I didn't have assigned superiors or mentors that I need to report to or ask things, there weren't any documentations about previous editions to refer to since this was acually its first edition- so as an Instructor it's all on me to determine the course of Biotechnology syllibus for whole 3 weeks. The nature of work is equivalent to University lecturer. I was given a lab & could request just anything that I deemed necessary for teaching aids. With a bunch of brainy Kazakhstan students as respondents. SWEET. The bar was hight. I swear to god I had not worked that hard for something quite a long time.

But I'd never doubt my own ability & potential. I was raring to dive into this new experience. I wondered how cathartic this would be to my soul. I believed I am the right person to take up this challenge. I am fairly eloquent in spoken English & I always have this unconventional yet engaging way to articulate my knowledge to students. I've taught Biology to local students for years & they liked me so I have the confidence. Pep talk monologue.

At that time the only better news was I'll have Safida, a colleague of mine to share the weight. You see, every Instructor will have one teaching assistant, to well- assist. Safida joined this camp as TA but she had previous experience as Science Instructor for local students in PPpN. That's a leverage. We were never close tbh, but we've known each other in several work-related encounters so that will save the awkward ice breaking finding chemistry part.

And in a last minute desperate attempt to get some foresight on the students' knowledge level, I managed to get help from an old friend Muadz Adzim. He just got back from his studies in Russia, and was willing to help me with googling up some helpful content. Kazak used to be under Russian annex, so basically they share somewhat almost similar education system & language. I've tried googling it up with all my  googling skills but ended up in vain.
With Muadz's help in translating and googling, I managed to secure a very useful syllibus outline about Biology for Kazakhs secondary school. Thanks brother.

But it was tad late for the newly acquired outline to be of any help anyways, since we only found it around Sunday midnight & the students will be arriving at Monday 8.30am.

So here it goes!

-to be continued

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