1/2 year done, 1/2 to go

I’m not saying I hate my job, but I am saying I have no respect for it. I find I am just as easy to fool as always. I tend to take people at their word and that can lead to problems. I trusted my boss and he is just another lying piece of scum. I get paid on time and everything financial is fine so I guess I should be happy. He tells me I’m in charge of marking but that’s not true. We must pass everyone because the parents are paying big bucks to get their moronic offspring accepted into a University in the U.K. What a scam!

There is student who knows next to no English but he can’t come to my class because he annoys me too much and he’s too stupid to breath. This kid cut his nails in class on the first day. Then I have another bozo that thinks belching loudly is very acceptable. Those two deserve to fail. That’s it, and that’s what they deserve.

That leaves 4 students. One of them did a good piece of work and then did a garbage thesis. One of them did a decent proposal and then a garbage thesis. One of them did an acceptable (and passing) grade on their work, and the 4th did good work. However, even though it’s my class to mark as I see fit, I really can’t. I need to lie and pass everyone because this is “good for business”. I understand business and maybe it’s the culture that’s got me baffled. In my little world I think if you fail people who deserve to fail, your school gets a reputation as a serious school and not a joke. One of my students who I respect tends to agree with me. However, the powers that be want everyone passed. Fine, who cares? I don’t anymore. I can pass them and they can go to England and I’m sure at least 2 of them won’t last the year (if they even make it through immigration). This one-child policy has created a group of spoiled brats whose parents think the sun rises and sets on them. I never thought my kids were brilliant when they weren’t. I thought they were brilliant when they were. Money (and these people have money) doesn’t give your children brains. I have no respect for this place and although the money is good, I’ll be glad come December 31 and it’s over.

My classes are finished but I must sit here (at home) until June 28 when I leave for my 3-week vacation. I’m going alone (plane fares are silly) and when you live far from home, that’s where you go. When I come back they want me to teach IELTS (they don’t have any students yet) and they have 3 students but no deposits for the same course I teach now for next semester. Welcome to China, the land of the well prepared. They want me to find materials online to use but yesterday they told me I could recommend books. I don’t mind doing that but I have no experience teaching IELTS (it’s the English Proficiency Test for the U.K and Canada, similar to TOEFL). Therefore I worry about the books I may choose. I don’t want to waste anyone’s money, even if it’s not my money. When I get back in July, supposedly there will be a class. Right not zero students so who knows how many come the end of July.

Life in Changsha is boring. We really have no friends as we don’t live on campus (which I love). It’s a special program that is not part of the school but associated with the school. I know no other teachers and we just haven’t seemed to connect with anyone. I feel bad for Shujie and I feel bad for myself. However, it’s just for 6 more months.

I don’t know why I always expect things to be better. I don’t know why I usually believe others. I think because it’s easier to believe than have to think about whether or not to believe someone.

The tentative plan (if I haven’t mentioned it) is that come 2016 Shujie and I will move to Baoding and open our own school. At least this way I’ll know in advance I’m working for idiots. My ideal is to find businesses that want a teacher to come in for a few weeks and give an English course. It’s a daytime job and that suits me. Shujie sees us taking students (middle school and higher) and I wouldn’t teach each class more than twice a week. They would have a Chinese teacher on the other days. This would mean working evenings. For some reason that bothers me. When I’m in Toronto she’ll be checking this out more closely. According to Shujie who has a friend who runs the business-licensing department in Baoding, there are only 4 English “academies” in the city. That’s good. We shall see what we shall see. She tells we will get a car and buy an apartment. That’s great but where does the money come from? You don’t know? That makes two of us.

But it’s a plan. Someone told me it’s good to have a plan. I will survive this (it could be worse). Shujie will survive this and she has her son’s wedding and apartment renovation to worry about. She talks to him every day. She talks to him more in one day than I speak to my family in a year. There must be a middle ground. As most of us know, it all works out in the end.

My friend Steven is going in the hospital tomorrow for a 12-hour operation. He’ll be a guest of the hospital for about 2 weeks and then has a long recovery at home. I’m told it’s a special operation for select colon cancer patients who pass many tests to make sure no one is wasting their time. Naturally I hope the best for him but I know the reality is that Cheryl (his wife) has the hard part. I’ve been there so I know a little on this topic. I’m glad I’ll be able to visit in a few weeks and I’m sure with the support and love they have from family and friends, and their generally positive attitude, this will be like a walk in the park. A hard walk, but I am the eternal optimist and my love (and Shujie’s) goes out to them.

So that’s it for now. I just found out that someone who sent me a new draft of their thesis last is to have it marked, again. So much for deadlines. I remark them but the grades don’t change more than 1 or 2 marks. On the positive side, I’ve become addicted to Dairy Queen Blizzards (banana and strawberry flavor). Mmmmn, Mmmmm, good.

This will be a long boring month but I look forward to seeing my Mom and my sister and their assorted families. I look forward to seeing my few friends. I look forward to seeing Steven. Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill is gone.

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