The difference between radio and teaching ESL

I work in radio all week and then I teach ESL (English as a Second Language) on Saturdays. Usually when I wake up on Saturday, I'm so tired, I'd rather sleep in than wake up early and then drive several miles to teach a four-hour class. But every time I enter the school, I start to relax and especially after I teach, I'm in a great mood, though I'm pretty wiped out.

I think I end up feeling like my Saturday was fulfilling because the students are really nice and friendly and I've rarely had any problems with them. The teachers I work with are also nice and professional, and the Big Boss of the program and the supervisors and other folks who work in the office are all friendly. It's definitely the most positive, professional situation I've taught in. Plus, I consistently get good evaluations, which makes me feel quite successful and effective in the program. It's just a good situation all around.

It greatly contrasts with the radio world because not only are my students and coworkers easy to get along with, but I'm actually helping people and building a bridge between this country and theirs. Meanwhile, radio is full of selfish people who are insecure because the industry is collapsing, and many local shows are being replaced with syndicated ones which usually feature people who didn't come up in radio but came from other entertainment venues or professions.

But even if radio wasn't disappearing, the folks would still be egotistical because they really think they're important. Some talent who've been on the air for years act like they're survivors. Sure, they've survived a tough industry, but it's not like they've been to war and back. And some of them don't do much work, just rely on producers to do the work for them. So they basically show up, turn on the microphone, then go home while pulling in big salaries.

I often want to say to media folks to get over themselves, but then I'd be considered out of line, and who knows what would happen. So I just file it away in my mind, and sometimes report to a few ESL teachers what I've seen during the week, and watch them shake their heads because they can't believe media people can be so ludicrous.

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