This is a blog about my experiences teaching English in a country called Georgia. I strive to be interesting and informative. I devote a lot of attention to social issues, and a lot of attention to food, so if you are interested in either of those topics as they apply to Georgia, you’re in the right place.
My name is Neal Zupancic. My last name is the Americanized version of Zupančič, which the fifth most common surname in Slovenia, and most likely what my ancestors were called prior to their departure from the Old World. I was born and raised in New York City, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it from my accent, which has been described to me as “generic,” whatever that means.
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Hunter College in New York. My concentrations were Political Theory and American Law. I have also studied computer science, drama, linguistics, anthropology, linguistic anthropology, women’s studies, theatre, and philosophy, among other things. I recently completed a 100 hour online TEFL certificate course with i-to-i, which I highly recommend if you’re interested in teaching English abroad.
I am currently teaching English to students in grades one through six at Public School #51 in the center of Tbilisi. I also give private English lessons using the New English File series, which is by far the best EFL product on the market. Having studied Spanish, Hebrew, and Slovene, and achieved no fluency in any of these, I well understand the difficulties of learning a foreign language. My study of Georgian is coming along slowly. Painfully so.
“panoptical” is my wordpress user id, taken from my first WordPress blog, which contained various philosophical musings and hasn’t been updated very much in the last few years. I also use “panoptical” when discussing academic or philosophical subjects on the internet. The name comes from Bentham’s “panopticon” which I read about in Foucault during a gender studies class that I took in college. Foucault has since influenced my thinking a great deal.
For more information about Georgia-the-country, I highly recommend my brand new “Really Useful Information” page. Of course, your mileage may vary.
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Thanks for reading!