Day 23 - Day in the Office

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
Smog Level: 0 Mountains

I was told today that the Chinese Gov has cut funding for learning English public schools. Agatha said that it was because they want to deter citizens from leaving the country. When people go abroad, they tend to want to stay abroad. I guess their solution is to make it more difficult for people to go abroad.. though I don’t see how this will stop anyone - except lower income families. Upper class people are still going to do what they want, even if it means paying for English tutoring on the side. So… the result seems like it would be more of the same, except they’d isolate lower income people just a little bit more from the English internet.
That's Not Me
Since I’m a part time teacher, my starting time alternates between 7:55 am and 1:55 pm. Today is one of those 7:55 days, so it’s bright and early this time. I figure I’ll have to conform to the 7:55 time everyday, unless I want to needlessly suffer (along with my job performance) on alternate days. Time to commit to an “adult” sleep schedule. Bah!

I sit in on a couple classes, taking note of what I can. Since I still haven't taught, I’m not sure what to pay attention to after at this point. I take notes of the English definitions they give. They need to be simple, yet clear enough that the students understand. I also try to get an idea of classroom management. No matter how much I watch this, though, I know it’ll be a “fish out of water” situation when I finally get up there.

Random Campus Ornament
At lunch, I eat with a couple fellow Carden teachers, including Josh and another teacher, Tad. The way our offices are set up, there are 10 of us in one office, and 8-10 in another. I know the ones in my office, but hardly see the ones in the other office. Tad and Josh are in the other office. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again: it seems like all the teachers are pretty cool and, at the very least, interesting.

After lunch, I decide to hang around campus and fend off the afternoon nap by staying in the teachers lounge. Chinese teachers dot the couches around the edges, meaning there isn’t much to distract me, being so poor at conversational Mandarin. I get one of those ¥5 lattes (ná tǐe [nah-tee-eh]) and settle in to check out the internet speed. It’s not bad! By the skin of my teeth, I am able to finalize and toss up 3 posts just in time. I was starting to get a little worried that I’d miss a day!

I kind of like the free-for-all idea of China. It’s like, you can do what you want, within reason, and no one minds. Feel like horking on the side of the street? Go for it. Wanna pick that booger? Sure thing, chief. This isn’t a designated crossing spot and there are cars moving at a slow pace, yet you want to cross? Hey, take your life into your own hands, Son.

Given that I’ve propped up by caffeine since 6:40am, I crash around 9am. Normally, I would staying up until my usual time and end up shorting myself sleep, again. Not this time, my friend. Not this time. Early to bed it is.

Words of the day:
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Up - shàng [shong]
Down - xìa [she-ah]
Left - zǔo [zoo-oh]
Right - yòu [yo]
Fire - hǔo [hoo-oh]

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