It has arrived, that dreaded, celebrated time of year for parents, teachers, and students: Back to school. It’s also a very different experience this time, mostly for one particular reason: I don’t mind teaching here.
You heard it right, I feel like I made the right decision to come here and work with B. Her education philosophy is so much better than anything else I have experienced in China, and by implementing it in all of the classes, after one full week of teaching well behaved kids who know useful English phrases, who enjoy the classes and learn in a natural way….it’s been wonderful.
Aside from teaching, life here is quite relaxing. It’s finally starting to get a tiny bit cooler, which gives me more motivation to get out and see more of what Guangdong has to offer. On my Saturday off a few weeks ago I went to an amazing Chinese garden. One of my very favorite things to do is visit ancient places in Asia and appreciate traditional architecture and landscape design. That was one of the happiest Saturdays in recent years and I’m looking forward to going back soon.
I live in a beautiful wealthy compound, in a house with several housemates. The whole compound is like a modern tropical garden. When I look out the window at the other fake-stucco houses, I could be in Florida. It’s the most beautiful and comfortable place I’ve ever lived in China. It’s a China that I didn’t know existed.
My day is also backwards, we start work 2:30 every day, and there are three classes in the evenings starting at 6:00. When I’m not teaching, I’m writing lesson plans, preparing materials or making craft projects. If I have to stay in the English teaching profession, this may be as good as it gets. I may stay here for longer than anticipated.
As for my family life, it is in some ways hard to be apart from KL, but we are able to have almost nightly video chats, where I read books to her and get to enjoy her mischievous or genuinely happy smiles.
Still no news about when we will be together as a family again. As much as I was disappointed and sad to leave, I now see that it has been good for me. I’m losing weight, I have time to work on a number of projects that I have been putting off, and I have time to examine what I actually really want in life, and how to go and get it, instead of just trying everything in my power to be able to very basic things.
It’s a little scary but also very empowering. Sometimes we get get stuck in a situation or place, and we forget that the world is big and there are other options and places and people. My relocation was forced, but now I see it could be one of the best things for me. Let’s see what the future brings.