Saturday, October 14, 2006

So Busy (part 1)

For an unemployed person, I'm incredibly busy these days. I've been wanting to post for several days now but have been completely swamped with various tasks. I posted a short while ago about the freelance work I sometimes do for my former company. I also said that part of it is sporadic but I suddenly have found myself getting more of the report correction work.

Apparently, my former company is moving ahead into the technological age (though they're still about a decade or more behind everyone else). They've decided that they're going to start filming classroom lessons. The fellow who replaced me has film experience and has been put in charge of setting it all up. This leaves him with little time to do the job he was hired for with the storyboarding and whatever else you do when filming piddly little videos for small companies that barely eek out a profit. So, I've been marking the reports while he plays Spielberg. He's even going to head off to China in 2 weeks to film there so this work isn't going to stop any time soon.

The picture above is one day's delivery. I get sent a bag with 25-40 reports by courier and send them back C.O.D. as quickly as possible (usually the evening of the day I receive them). Each report has two lessons with two parts each. The first part is a list of 10 short answers to a listening exercise. The second part is a longer, and sometimes very poorly-written, essay-style section. The whole point of these correspondence lessons is to give the students practice with all the basics - listening, reading, writing, and then speaking on the telephone to test how well they grasped the concepts they studied in the textbook. I don't do the telephone calls for these though as they require access to the company's internal database and they're so overly squeamish about security that they won't hook me up remotely. My replacement is still doing the calls that go along with the reports.

The work usually takes between 2-4 hours depending on how many reports I'm sent and I get paid by the piece (250 yen each). It's actually not a bad deal though not exceptionally lucrative. It probably pays no worse than teaching private lessons when I average out the time it takes but is a far more relaxed experience. Doing these on top of my private teaching and another large project that I'll post about next time (when I have the time) is eating up all of my free time.

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