Monday, September 10, 2007

New Chapter

After three jobs and moving four times, I have finally moved into a more permanent, more comfortable situation here. I will be teaching English a local uniersity for the next two semesters. The job comes with a large apartment on campus, internet, health insurance, a real work visa, and free Chinese classes with all the Japanese and Korean foreign students here.

So far it is nice to run around the dark track in the evening with students, see the extended families of faculty that all live together on campus, and generally feel like I am at a real academic institution instead of a business. Like most Chinese Universities there is a curfew of 11:00 and the guarded gates close. Luckily I can come and go as I please.

Right now the freshmen are doing their obligatory military training on campus. All day and into the evening I can here chants and marching from groups of extra young looking freshmen sporting camouflage and the signature red handkerchief around the neck, all sneaking peaks at their cell phones.

This is the second week of classes and I am teaching 16 hours a week. Twice a week I travel an hour through the countryside to another a branch campus right on the coast. There is a little bubble of about 10,000 students there! When class lets out it is a bit overwhelming to be the only blond in a river of Chinese college students returning to their dormitories. My “American Culture and Society” class has 65 students! I have given two rather uninspiring lessons to them and will have to get creative quick!

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