Happy Halloween to all y’all in the states. I’ve been enjoying your costume pics on facebook this morning, my morning of Nov 1st, your evening of Oct 31. Halloween is not a thing in China, at least not on the university campus I reside currently, but I see enough masks and false personalities every day to make up for not having one. Also, someone please eat a Reese’s PBCup/York PPattie sammich for me.
I moved into a new apartment. I’ll probably only be living there for half the week. It’s not too far from campus, but I have early class a few days a week and I want to be as close to them as possible when I wake in the morning. The apartment is new and unused, and for the price, a great deal. I’m moving in with a colleague, Raphael. He’s the French teacher from Germany. His wife is the reason we found such a nice place, being Chinese, she has the legitimacy and connections to talk her way into the deal we have now. It’s an open space, two bedrooms with queen size beds, a bathroom with shower and hot water heater, a living room with a long corner couch, a kitchen with a duel top gas stove, and an office/spare room. It has hot water, electricity, heat, internet (now installed and super cheap and really fast) and all far more reliable than at the university. There is a problem with my VPN service functionality on that internet service, which is confounding because there is no problem with it here, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out. So now I have a QUIET place to lay low when I need it.
I started teaching a new class. I’m now teaching other teachers. I was surprised that on the first day they were just as shy as the students in my other classes. It seems that isn’t just a function of the young, it might be more cultural.
Assigning papers is easy, grading papers is hard, and as I’ve been assigned to teach “Oral English”, I’m going to just discontinue the writing of papers that have to be graded. Props to all my teachers who have graded piles and piles of papers, I don’t know how you stayed on task for so long. I’ve also been told to relax a little more, that expectations of me are much lower than my expectations of myself, and I need to do less work and enjoy myself a little more.
Learned some discouraging things about starting a business here. One really important thing about business here, if you can do it, someone else can copy it and do it for half the price, and put you out of business. Also, if you don’t have a Chinese partner, you will not get any business.
I started daydreaming about the future again, dreams of starting this business, where I’m going to live when I get home and with who, generally what I’m going to do once I get home, but by doing this it removes me from where I am and what I’m doing now. I really enjoy planning things and I enjoy dreaming up all the fun I will have when I get home, but I realize that it is taking away from my experience here and now, and I need to focus on what I’m doing here to really enjoy it and to get the most out of this experience.
I’ve been drawing a little bit recently, and moving words around, I might be feeling a small creative surge, and if continues I think it could bring me a lot of joy. A friend reminded me of novel writing November, so I’ll try to do a little writing each day and see what happens.
There are a lot of things I need to work on here, mainly within myself, to be present and get the most out of my experience here, but moving to a new country and teaching for the first time, it takes a lot out of you. I expect the next couple months to be just as challenging. I’m hoping by next semester I’ll have a lot more sorted out and I’ll have more free time for fun or maybe another job and earn some more monies. I get a nice long vacation between semesters, somewhere in the 6-8 weeks range, which starts somewhere around the new year (our new year not the Chinese new year). If anyone happens to be in China in this area in January or February, stop on by.