Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Changes and Pivotal Moments

I may have hinted before that there's been some troubles at the school, and w/ the employer and w/ the public school that my private school is held within. In fact, there's been doubt for quite a while about how my school will cope w/ the falling student numbers (no more enrollment since my school's contract is almost up).

But last week, I was still rather surprised (but not totally surprised) when I was told that there's no job for me next year at the school.

So that kind of annoyed me.

'cuz it's pretty f'ing late in the game to drop that sort of info.

I was told that there are no other guaranteed openings in the other 2 Beijing schools (which immediately struck me as suspicious). But I was told that I'd be first in line to get one, as if continuing the same contract. (Pragmatism advised I should get that in writing, but I didn't).

I was assured they felt terrible about it, and that it had nothing to do w/ my teaching, blah blah.

"But you know that my visa expires in a week. If you're not renewing it, I need to get out of China. I was told when hired on, that the company would take care of all visa issues."

Whereupon I was told that it was no problem, I just had to pop down to Hong Kong and get a tourist visa. No, they wouldn't consider paying for it.

The end.

I realized I didn't care so much about the job, but was rather incensed that I might have to leave the country on super short notice to revamp my visa. I considered the options. "Well sure, actually I'd be happy to move to Xi'an and work at the school there. What an opportunity! And don't forget to renew my visa. Thanks!"

But then I spoke w/ my principal and my last year's principal who said it was bullshit that there were no jobs at the other school. They spoke w/ the employer, and the next day I got a phone call, saying wow there actually is a position available (at the suburban school I was at last year) and could I please bring in my passport and a couple pix so they can do my visa.


So. Priority #1: taken care of. The situation: possibly working bk in Fengtai district at the old school, commuting maybe 3 hrs/day. Not likely.

More likely: work education jobs part time, possibly subbing, and use this as my opportunity to stop teaching. A decision I made 6 years ago. Because I never was sure I should be a teacher. And don't want to be a mediocre one. And working alongside a great staff this year of teachers who should be teachers, i certainly noted that whenever they talked about LT teaching plans I thought to myself: Well, that's not gonna be me.

I consulted the iching, (which i do now and again) and it said

Keeping Still

Keeping one's back still,
uncaught is one's self.
Walking in the courtyard,
not paying attention to the people.
Without fault.

Not doing something, being unmovable. One does not allow oneself to be influenced by others. This is not a mistake.

Which I think means... meditate. Take my time. Don't listen to what anyone says. BTW, i heartily recommend you check out the iching if you have questions and you wonder what the universe would suggest.

For now... i hope to get my visa bk soon. Then (most likely) tell the school i found something else to do.

July: take mandarin classes.
Aug: did I mention that me and Q are going to Eastern Europe?

Sept: maybe do some part time teaching/tutoring. And start writing. Like writing everyday. A bit scary, but I'll try to do this freelance writer business. See what I can dig up, and see what magazines/newspapers/websites might be interested in using, paying exorbitantly high prices per word.

Yup. Plans are of course flexible. But that's it for now... Wish me luck.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Q goes to Shenzhen

Q had a business trip in Shenzhen, China's "special economic zone". To oversee production of a promotional bag which uses a design of one of her gallery's artists.
5 days, they said.
But complications turned 5 into 8days. Which was a hassle.
Making bags which use some eco-friendly materials.
But (not surprisingly) the process and facilities which make said bags:
ecologically horrific.
Then she finally arrived bk in Beijing. We went for a dinner which was heavily punctuated with phone calls and messages from people in Beijing and Shenzhen.
10 hours later she was back on a plane to Shenzhen.
For 1 day. Which turned into 2.5.
Tossing all the stuff on the bag she was assigned to oversee.
Using a new design.
Sheesh, no wonder people don't like travelling for business.
This (and other recent conversations)
makes me dwell on the multitude of people who do work which is kind of useless.
Teaching hopefully shows you a bit of progress and utility.

Anyhow, hopefully she's bk soon, since...
today's our 2 yr anniversary!
And we oughta do dinner or something, eh?