I got back to Jinan last night. How could it be that I’d left the place in such disarray? Some of the clutter is mine, but it seems like someone was here, and not to tidy up and I’d like. I’d welcome a few elves wiping the dust off kitchen items and the like. The situation got worse as I unpacked. Half my luggage consists of toiletries, foodstuffs I can’t get here or can’t get at a good price. For example, I made sure I brought a Brita water purifier as even bottled water is questionable. A water purifier here costs over $50.
I’m excited to start a new semester, but today it was tough to get things done. Our books aren’t in yet and we don’t have teachers’ copies either. Both texts are new so I’m not sure of the topics. I can plan a few days of general activities, but they are just filler and hard to get excited about. So while I’d like to have gotten off to an energized start I spent the day unable to really progress. In such times it’s so easy to succumb to the siren song of Facebook than to do real work.
Another little obstacle is that our support staff are officially on vacation till Monday. So while they’re in the air conditioned office, they aren’t going to take on any work. That just wouldn’t happen in the West. It seems like people here see no advantage, personal or professional, to going an extra mile, making a call to request a computer be looked at or a room assignment changed.
I’d hoped to get my beloved First Year students again, but alas, that’s not meant to be. I do have some students who’re rumored to be “bad.” I want to start with a clean slate and hope to awaken some dormant interest in English or American culture.
A couple of the English teachers have had visa problems so they’re not here yet. One should arrive Monday night and the other . . . we don’t know when. I hope tomorrow to have some surfeit of energy to take on planning for the week despite not knowing whether we’ll have books, etc.