What a great teacher I am. I don’t yell and I don’t get upset. However, I do tell them some hard truths at times and this past week was one of them. I have a student I consider to be a liar, lazy, and not worth any human effort. He doesn’t do assignments and he doesn’t try to help himself or even ask for help. I told him, and I quote, “I will fail you and I will laugh about it”. Will that get through? I doubt it; he’s been hiding from me since.
As I’ve mentioned, I have 6 students of which 4 are fine in that they are decent people who make an effort. Their English could be better but then again, I could speak more than 5 words of Chinese. One of the two remaining students is working out of the office where the head guy is helping him. The other one is working out of somewhere, maybe, I doubt it. I told Philip (the boss) that I wouldn’t fail anyone if he doesn’t want me to. He won’t come out and say, “please, don’t fail anyone”, but I know that’s what he wants. I’ll give those space-wasters a minimum score.
I gave the class a 1-week extension on their Thesis Proposal’s. Part of me didn’t want to do it, but I faced reality. They are terrible at time management, but I can see they are trying. I have 2 students who never studied English for their Undergraduate degrees. I figured that this is like a “training school” so it doesn’t really matter what grade I give them (as long as they pass). It’s best if I use the time to best prepare them for the year ahead.
I was thinking I’d like to go out for a drink with them. I’m not sure that would be kosher. They are all 22 or older but something tells me I shouldn’t. We like each other so I think it would be fun. I’m comfortable with them (I swear all the time in class). I’m thinking about it and I’ll think about it some more.
Shujie has been gone almost 2 weeks now. She’s back in Baoding hiring an interior decorator for the apartment she says is hers but it’s really her son’s and it’s where he will be living with his future bride. I hear they hired someone and they’re doing the plans now. Pretty much everything will go (Shujie has family who will take things) and Qi Ji (her son) wants a nice place for his mother (and me) to stay at when we are in Baoding. Not me! Unless I’m shown that his pig-like ways are gone (and I like the kid), there is no way I will ever spend another night there.
I miss my wife, but I do appreciate the quiet. I can cough without her bringing me some pill or other or acting like I’m dying. It’s a relief. I can manage and if I need to go out and get something I have our good friend Ouyang to drive me. It’s quite funny as she blabbers at me in Chinese and I reply in English. Sometimes we talk with our phones as there is a messaging app, “WeChat”, that has a translate function in it. She’s a sweetie. She took me with her son to Pizza Hut last Saturday. I cannot say strongly enough how lucky we were to end up in an apartment she owns. She is gold!
Other than that, life goes on with me doing nothing. I come home and have a small lunch. If I have a paper to review, I do it. I read a little. I have a nap. I probably should go out (it was 32C today), but it kills me to walk. It takes me 10 minutes to walk home from the bus stop after school and my classroom is on the 4th floor. Am I out of shape, or is it my heart? I really don’t know. It’s probably a combination of both. I’ve always hated walking but the pain has never been this bad. My legs hurt and I’m short of breath. It’s no fun. I did get a laugh today as I was chatting with one of my students. He knows it’s hard for me to get up the stairs and he sometimes sees me resting on the 3rd floor. I told him some girls are really nice because they stop and ask me if I’m okay. He wants me to introduce him (I don’t even know these ladies) but he figures my poor health is a “chick magnet”.
I think I’ll have to get out and do things when Shujie returns. Number one on my list is to visit the Mexican restaurant. Fajitas por favor. I’m sure there are other things to do. I could have another good hamburger (I found a place) but the fajitas top the list.
I’m watching “Downton Abbey” now. I’m streaming it on Amazon and I love it. I’m only 4 episodes in but I’m hooked. I guess this is what I missed by never watching “Upstairs, Downstairs”.
I want a new iPad. Mine works fine but I want one with 4G capability. I never cared before but now I can see a use for it. They’re not cheap so I think it will have to go on the back burner for longer than I want. I have to pay the dowry (man pays here) and contribute to the wedding, fly home to visit, and buy a year’s worth of drugs. Those seven months not working hurts. I don’t mind helping out with Qi Ji’s wedding, but I do mind. It’s the kind part of me versus the selfish part of me. I think the kind will win out. Damn it!
So that’s it. Not much doing here but I am happier than in Toronto. Doing nothing here is more enjoyable than doing nothing there. I enjoy chattering with the kids and I enjoy the company of our friend Ouyang. I wouldn’t mind a decent steak but that will have to wait. Elyse, get ready!
Until we meet again.