For the past several years I’ve been working in the EFL industry, first as a teacher and then later as a manager and part-owner of a school. While it has been rewarding seeing the progress of my students and the results of various curriculum changes, it has also left me unfulfilled in other ways. From a business standpoint, teaching English to children in a place where the fertility rate is about 1.2 doesn’t make much sense. More importantly, TEFL isn’t don’t much for me personally anymore. I haven’t been learning as many new things as I had from previous work and while my Chinese and Taiwanese improved through living in Taiwan, my other thinking skills deteriorated. Sadly, I’ve mostly forgotten how to speak Japanese and I don’t remember any math I learned after the age of 15. It’s just not worth letting my brain continue to rot while I earn under 30k/year. I’m out.
So, what does a 32 year-old guy do when faced with no real career or money making abilities? I’m going to learn how to program. I did a bit of tools/sysadmin work way back in the day before graduating and had some aptitude for it at the time. While I bring my 6-years of living in Taiwan to a close, I’m going to start learning some ruby, and Ruby on Rails. I’m drawn to rails mostly by the fast-moving community behind it, but the ruby language itself is also appealing to me. It reminds me of Perl. Hard things are doable and easy things can be done quickly.