Tuesday. Exactly one week after arriving. 7 days. 168 hours… or around about that…
Every Monday and Tuesday, we have our weekend. This isn’t the norm by the way, but in this particular school it is. The English classes we give are in addition to the students’ primary or secondary education. So, most kids get their extra English classes on Saturdays and Sundays, when their own schools are closed. The week ahead, is when I start teaching. I’m so eager to get in front of the class now. The past week, the observing of the classes and getting to know the ropes, has been cool. But now I need to start the work. It’s been since…. JUNE since I’ve worked!
I’m feeling so much more settled now than I was a few days ago. My head is feeling ‘grounded’, which is quite nice. And I’m getting more familiar with the city. For those who don’t know the name, it’s Jinzhou – pronounced Gin (as in the alcohol) and Jo (as in the name). It’s quite small and I’m able to walk everywhere – when the wind isn’t too icy. If it is, then I just hail a cab, which costs next to nothing (8 RMB, which is 0,8 cents) and there’s never any waiting around. Brilliant! Everything, by the way, is cheap here – when you’re used to the Euro or dollar. I’ve be inclined to constantly convert how much I’ve been spending, back into Euros. I don’t know if this is good or bad. The result of doing this, would be to spend more – simply because I can…?!?!
This approach doesn’t have to have a bad affect. Not when you’re earning a salary in a Western country. But if you’re not, then it can be a very deceiving way of convincing yourself you’re ‘rich’…when really you’re not… hhuuuummmm
I’ve already been told that we get paid extremely well, by Chinese standards. It’s 3 or 4 times more than average… As a foreign teacher, in this company, you get paid so much more than the Chinese staff (the teaching assistants as well as the office staff). This is something I think isn’t right, because they work their asses off, more so than us foreign teachers do. This, of course, can cause some resentment from the Chinese staff towards the Western staff. And I can totally understand why… But I haven’t picked up any negative vibes towards the ‘underworked’ and ‘overpaid’ Westerner staff, coming from the ‘overworked’ and ‘underpaid’ Chinese staff.
Instead of blaming us or expressing anger for this ‘injustice’, they’re more interested and eager to welcome foreigners. As well, they get to practise their English, they get to learn about different countries and it raises some excitement in the office. So, all in all, they’re happy to have us and we’re happy to be here… How nice!
I'll be earning a salary that will enable me to dine-out everyday (even 2x a day) and get a cab whenever I want. Having a job that ASWELL houses me in an apartmentblock where only the 'higher class' lives, is starting to sound like this job will permit me to live like a king... or queen should I say. Wouw!
Isn't that crazy! I'd almost feel guilty for having so much goodness in my life, with so many great people looking out for me and with all the perks I could ever dream of. Why would I feel guilty though? I know... It's because I still have to prove that I worthy of all of 'this' and of this big leap forward.
When I look around and see and hear of how other Westerner English teachers make it big in China (and I DON'T mean this ONLY in relation to the standards of living or the earnings or the perks of the job), it proves that the 'status' they (or 'we') automatically own - just for coming here and teaching English - is something that can lead to bigger things. Hummm... I guess I see such potential and big opportunties everywhere and I want to grab them before they vanish, but I'm not too sure I'm worthy of all of it, just yet. I know though, that the only way I'll feel worthy for receiving everything so effortlessly, is by putting everything I can into being an asset to this particular school, at this particular point of my journey. It's all about giving back to them - through my teaching services - the world of opportunties that they have given to me.
So, the next step I must take, is the one that puts me IN FRONT OF THE CLASS... I can't wait...
From here on in, I can only move on up.. Let's see how it goes!