Teacher Journal: Will
Taught in Shanghai, China
So this week was national week/autumn festival in China.
We began the vacation week by going to a friend's house to watch the fireworks over Century Park. It was easily the most impressive fireworks display I have ever seen in my life, and nearly one of the most memorable experiences I may have in China. We watched the fireworks for hours while listening to some smooth downtempo euro-breakbeats on Steve's speakers. It was definitely a laid back atmosphere.
We then proceeded to go out and be social literally every night thereafter.
We found this place called Barbarossa in People's Square in Puxi, which immediately became the official hang out spot for us on any Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday evening. I befriended one of the DJs there, this guy named Rafee, he isn't Chinese and he also happens to be the Entertainment Manager for the entire establishment! Rafee is giving me a few mix CDs, and he also wanted me to design a couple flyers for him for a few club nights, in exchange for some VIP treatment in the place, networking at its finest. Like I've recently learned, "It isn't about who you know, but who KNOWS you."
Since we got paid, we bought a great deal of things for the room, in order to make it feel more "home-like" for us. So I bought two wall scrolls which sit in our living room at the moment, and other bells and whistles. We also acquired a significant number of DVDs for the room, so our movie selection is almost infinite.
I can feel myself growing up day by day here. I am coming more into this teaching thing, and adjusting to the general way of life here quite well. I am beginning to see a routine formulating which is a very promising sight.
My classes have been quite stimulating for my teaching improvement, yet at times I feel that I can be a little hard on myself. It is my first time teaching, and if students don't entirely understand the unit in one lesson, it does not mean that i didn't teach them correctly. Despite the countless times i reassure myself of this, I fall into slight depression when I teach a lesson and only 70% of the class retained it; I can be a perfectionist at times...someone hit me.
The thoughts I have pondered in the last week or so have varied in importance day by day. Each night I catch myself gazing out of my window at the lights of Pudong in complete awe that I am on the opposite side of the world from all that I know and am familiar with. My parents have been so supportive of my endeavors; my mind is consistently at ease due to their unconditional foundational support. I am conflicted in my thoughts, on one end I feel secured in this position as a teacher. I am thankful that I came here with LanguageCorps and not on my own; I don't think I would have made it this far in China without them, thanks.
In contrast, I also feel alone...very alone. I continue to drown myself in thoughts of home, it's not "home sickness" but more a yearning for wanting to just be apart of the crowd. I am sick of being a blatant spectacle in every situation; sticking out like a sore thumb can get annoying at times, especially when you just want to run to the store to get something to drink or eat. Walking down the street and getting the countless stares and herds of people trying to practice their English, its cute...but sometimes you want your alone time. So I find myself at times feeling alone, alone in that indescribable kind of way. Wow overdramatic, but that's my description.
So I plan to fix this issue by being more active in the various activities of Shanghai. Be it a sports team, social life or another side job that is fun, there will be a remedy to this issue.
We have a vacation in mid January until March; it seems the team is going on a trip to Moscow and Thailand... we are currently planning the details.