Saturday, June 6, 2015

2. Living Accommodation

The school that I teach at has an apartment building right next to the school for the foreign teachers (Chinese people also live in it--most of them are old teachers from the school). The building is 6 stories (no elevator) and I live on the 6th floor. 

While it kinda sucks living on campus and in an apartment that I did not get to pick out myself, there are many's free, the bills are extremely cheap (electricity and water are $50-100 for three months) and it's a 2 minute walk from my apartment to our office/the school. 

A view of our apartment from work

You can see Felix's wonderful window display from school

Some pics of campus--when the kids are gone it's nice to have the facilities-- to play bball or tennis or go jogging on the track

My apartment: 

Room 1--closet 

Room 2--family room 

Kitchen--really small. I only have one sink and one mirror in my apartment which kind of sucks

And my laundry machine hooks up to my sink when I want to/need to use it which sucks because I can't use my sink for an hour or so

And the worst part...the bathroom/shower--it's so tiny

And my bedroom 

you can see the only AC unit is in my bedroom so I spend most my time in here

Friday, June 5, 2015

China Coming to a Close

Living in a different country has given me a whole new and different perspective about life. The past 2.5 years have been a challenge--living in a different culture: in a place that has different values, beliefs, ideas, language, liberties, and standards of living. I have learned to be flexible, observant, understanding and independent. On a daily basis I meet a new challenge or situation where I need to problem solve or adapt.

There have definitely been so many great moments and once in a lifetime experiences--but at the same time there have been many lows--the lowest of lows. Some days are polluted (literally) with frustration and loneliness. Other days are full of annoyances or a longing for things that are far away in (what seems like) a distant land.

With only 10 days left there are SO many things that I am looking forward to once I set foot on American soil--but at the same time there are so many things that I will miss about life in China. So the countdown begins. What I love about life in China:

The number one thing has to be my job and my students. This is the main reason I decided to come back to the school and city that I work in now.

My schedule is amazing, my curriculum is pretty flexible, I have good resources (good enough--buying paper for $4 every few weeks is nothing to complain about) and I work with an awesome group of people. And, even though I get paid less than I would in America, I can live comfortably save 80% of my paycheck--much more than if I was living in America.

While there is so much focus on testing there have been some really awesome community building events or projects over the last 2 years:

The National High School Debate League of China came to our school for a competition

The student in the center and right are my students--they won most outstanding speaker

Last month the "sister" school from Connecticut visited with a group of students, so they joined our debate club and got a cool cross-cultural experience 

Halloween Party

Christmas Party

Talent show 

Student skits

Song performance 

Doug teaching the students how to make homemade pasta

MUSE at the talent show

A cappella at the talent show

Girls in traditional clothing for a dance performance 

Dance performance 

Faculty v. Student bball game

Senior 2 dance performance 

Charity fundraiser--A cappella 

March Madness 

Projects and Fairs

My American Studies Class: 

One day the projector didn't work--solution: play a running/tag game

Speed "friending" 

Group work (my 42 student class) 

Graduation for the Seniors this year...

Such an incredible group of students--they will all attend universities in the US, Canada or England
(3 are going to OSU! Go buckeyes) 

With so much down time, we spend a lot of time in our office, so working with such an entertaining and dedicated staff keeps things interesting