Monday, September 13, 2010

Clown For A Year...

So its been a mother of a last few weeks. Or pretty much our entire time here in Foshan has been quite a thing. From contract issues, passport and visa issues, internet issues, teaching issues... Some of those issues even lead to a few tissues :) Ok not really but it rhymes so I look clever. The biggest thing is still the passport as that is our key into Hong Kong on weekends to see our mates on a regular basis. The latest is (and has been for a few weeks) that this week is it!! So in stead of getting irritated were just staying positive and hope all gets worked out this week indeed.

I have also started teaching fulltime this month and that has been quite a challenge in itself as well. I have a total of 37 classes per week (around 33 different classes) at 6 different school from Monday-Friday. Most classes are around 20 odd students and some around 40. Most student ages are around 4/5 but I do have some 2/3 year old classes. Since it was my 29th birthday mid-August I often have a laugh at myself thinking that this mature (mostly), almost 30 year old very athletically built (self affirmation) married man is a fulltime freakin singer SLASH dancer (im a wiz at the hokey pokey) for chinese infants. I have coined a phrase (that I dont really like, but its true) that "the only difference between a great kindergarten teacher and a circus clown, is the clothes you wear".

After my first week of official teaching fulltime, my boss got 6 complaints about my teaching from the schools. Now it seems very funny but no one enjoys a good sized chinese knife in your back. They will love you to your face and then complain behind your back, BUT I still love it here and love the people regardless. Understanding myself (and no one else it seems cares) that I have only been teaching kindergarten for, well, ONE WEEK I had to just get off my high horse and realise I have a long way to go before becoming the number 1 rated foreign teacher in the East (my long term goal). Had to take some shots to the head (and ego) and basically the comments that were worth anything (and true for that matter) would be solved by me becoming MORE like a clown.

Dont confuse "becoming a clown" with making people laugh either. The latter I can do quite comfortably (meaning not everyone laughs but I enjoy trying anyways). Becoming a clown means doing songs about animals and also BECOMING that animal, including appropriate sounds and body movements. This is not easy for any adult male (or not me at least) so I have to keep reminding myself Im a professional and I get paid to do this, that way I feel way more grown up :)

Dont get me wrong, I really am starting to enjoy it more and more every week and it really is fun work - if you can even call it real work.

But thats just some insight into the largest part of our daily lives here in China at the moment. Other than that we have met a few more foreigners which has been great to hook up with them at Star Bucks from time to time. They also seem to be serious social event organisers so also wanting to join them for their next trip out somewhere on the weekend. Im also hoping to get my Manderin skills polished more and more by starting private lessons this week which Im really keen for! Loving the language and I can only teach myself so much (meaning online and iPod kind of stuff) which is great but need some expert help to advance to the next level.

Janna and I agree that we really want to learn how to swear in Manderin since there are many times when you really want to but anything in English just dont cut it. Besides, dont think they really swear in Manderin but maybe il just look for the Manderin word for "crap" or something similar.

Other than that missing everyone big time and will bring news regarding our passports and our next trip with the Hong Kong guys (sounds like it will be next weekend !!!!!!)

Big love and all that other intimate stuff.
PS - Dont get me wrong WERE FULLY STOKED AND LOVING IT - just good to be honest and let you into our real lives you know...