|With five new colleagues, late last night I got back to Jinan, my Chinese hometown. After a terrible semester at Xiang Jiang High School near Guangzhou, I’m returning to a college where I taught a few years ago. I’ve reached a point where I’m fearful of going to a new school as jobs are a complete crap shoot in Asia.
As a teacher, you never know based on the interviews whether you’re stepping into a program that lives up to its agreement of decent housing (I’ve never required anything fancy nor have other teachers I’ve worked with), academic integrity with sufficient resources, and a neighborhood that’s easy to access so that everyday errands like grocery shopping are possible with a reasonable travel time. Interviews can be deceptive for these English teaching positions and that’s how I landed in Guangzhou, China and Miho, Korea.
Our semester begins on Monday and I’m glad to have a few days to prepare for class, settle into China and get over jet lag. Today I’m giving a tour of the campus and neighborhood for the the other teachers. I’ll definitely get a good lunch since this corner of China offers the best cuisine of any that I’ve been to in Asia. I’ll move in slow motion as I’m sure by afternoon, I’ll be dead tired.