I took the half-plunge

What is a half-plunge?  That’s when all you know is you want to get out of a place so you pick the best thing possible at the time and then if something else comes along before you are due to show up, you burn the nice people who offered you a job and go elsewhere.

As is rather obvious by this point, I hate the high school life.  The kids may speak English okay, but there are really no interesting conversations to be had.  I don’t live on campus, so there are no students to hang out with at times (and I do enjoy socializing with them).  I can’t have a movie night.  I can’t have a decent conversation (teaching reading and writing doesn’t lead to that), and the school itself is just another scam business in China.

This is an “International” high school which means the students take a special program that will enable them to pass their ACT (for you Americans, and for Canadians it’s like the SAT), and I have no doubt due to our dubious marking schemes most, if not all, of these students will pass and be winging their way to points west.  You may soon see them at a University near you.

It’s bad for business to fail students.  About 50% of the students shouldn’t be in this school.  Money, or favours, changed hands to get their kids in here.  Parents here are stupid and have no idea just how dumbass their kids are.  We have students who don’t care and have trouble writing their name in English.  Some have trouble spelling their English name.  Now I don’t get really dumb names like I had before.  The strangest is Aphrodite but she can’t spell her name.

These parents who know no English think some miracle from the heavens will rain down on their children and change them into English marvels.  I suppose they forgot they’re atheists.  They are dumb.  The owner of the school can sell them whatever snake oil he cares to because if you want to believe, you will believe.

I believe that at least 50% of these students will be back in China in less than a year.  They will not be prepared for American (or wherever) universities, and they don’t know English.  Some will do fine and I have no worries about them.  But to have a 50% failure rate (that’s my guess as no statistics are kept) is terrible.  But fret not for these children as their parents have contacts and they will end up with good jobs (like for the government) where they do nothing but get paid well.

I just had an email from a friend I made in Korea who moved to Winnipeg a few years ago and is now in Calgary.  His comment on Chinese students in Canada was:

Many of the language programs of Canadian universities are occupied by the Chinese students who are not interested in studying. Most of them waste their money and time just because their rich parents want them to study in Canada. Some of them buy a new BMW or Benz as soon as they arrive. One thing I can’t imagine is that how much money their parents have. One of the Chinese students in Winnipeg was killed in a car accident after a midnight party He was driving drunk.”

That sounds promising, doesn’t it?

I know a lot of this seems like a rehash of my last post, however where that one was just despair, this one involves some positive and proactive actions on our part.

The apartment here is nice and I doubt we will ever be given as nice an apartment as this one.  This city isn’t bad because I can get good junk food (Subway, Dunkin Donuts).  However, that’s not enough for me.  What’s the point of working for nothing if you hate your job?  If you’re earing $100,000 a year, you can hate your job.  For about $1100 a month, you should love your job.

After talking to a few schools here (and they are dumb in my opinion), I’ve decided to accept a job at a University in Zhuhai in Guangdong province.  It’s in the southern part of China and there is a tunnel to Hong Kong that is about a 30-minute drive.  The money is decent for a 12-hour week but there will probably be overtime hours included that should make this my best paying job so far.  The person I spoke to there (foreign teacher from England) said that in his 10 years in China these were the smartest and most enthusiastic students he’s ever run across.  That is positive.  The school is a little isolated but in a beautiful area with clean air.  Here is a picture:

zhuhai college

The apartment is a 2-bedroom which is good and there are only 3 foreign English teachers (there are 24,000 students so go figure).  I like living on campus.  We will buy a car, which expands the radius of where Shujie can look for work or something to do.  Ideally she’d love to return to Canada but I don’t want to live like a pauper.  I think I personally can enjoy this.  And if we’re lucky, Shujie will enjoy it too.  She does say she knows it’s beautiful.

So I have a job in my hand but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop looking.  I won’t be looking in China but my efforts will be geared towards the Middle East (Dubai sounds nice).  The money is the best and it’s something new.  I’ll just keep pounding away and if nothing happens then I have a nice job in a beautiful city.  If I get a job in a new country, then Shujie is happier because she gets to see something new, and I would love a new experience.  I applied in Afghanistan this morning but I haven’t heard anything back yet.

Saudi Arabia is another option.  There are lots of jobs there and perhaps I can scam one.  However, they keep you isolated and a woman’s life is garbage.  Shujie says she doesn’t care (boy, does she want out of China) but we shall see.  I think the Saudi’s pay the most (about $50K U.S. and no taxes on average).

So I will hold on to my bird in the hand, which isn’t so bad, and keep looking in the bushes.  Who knows, come September we might have a car and be living close to a beach (average temperature in December in Zhuhai is 19 degrees Celsius).   Or maybe we’ll be in Iraq, which would be quite interesting, or perhaps Saudi Arabia, which is probably the safest country in the world.

But I feel better.  I like knowing there is a light at the end of this tunnel.  I sent out about 20 resumes to Language schools in Toronto yesterday hoping for a summer job.  I doubt anything will happen but if I don’t try, then I know nothing will happen.

I can’t get sucked under by a bad spell, and that’s what I was doing.  I’ve now wised up (Janet Weiss), and the future looks much brighter.  I just thought I’d post this to let anyone who follows this know that the fight goes on and the future actually does look bright.

1 comment
  1. Tomas said:

    I had never seen a university like THAT, anywhere … Look more like a supermall … but what an area … I wonder if they have a rowing team, like in Boston … anywhere … life is short … make the best of any opportunities coming your way … it’ll get less as we get older, mate … thanks for the update … Jabez

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