I managed to save up 2,200 of my 3,000 monthly stipend so I'm quite proud of myself. I might go get pasta when I get paid tomorrow as a treat and because I've got a better grasp on how to spread out my money. I'm really tired of fried rice and noodles, and I'm really looking forward to playing around with some of Dunlop's recipes seeing as her background makes her more familiar with Sichuan's and Hunan's dishes. Cucumber and chilies sounded really good and pretty easy to make. In fact, her book has been ideal for me since it's geared more towards home cooking and making different vegetable dishes.
Kind of a tough week as far as classes. Getting myself warmed up for teaching this morning after struggling to sleep last night and having a hard time with sleep over the weekend with the lightning and thunder outside my window was a bit like trying to strike a wet match. I had to address one of my classes 3 times before I could really get them (and myself going) and even after I had a full lunch I was pretty worn out. A cup of coffee did nothing for me this morning so I wasted 3 RMB but at least I had a hot drink to start my day. My last class of the day was out cleaning too so I came in to make sure that I wasn't missing class and they reminded me that they were cleaning all day. So they are peeking into my office as they pass by with mops and brooms.
So that's where I'm at now, a bit sluggish and drained, thinking about something that isn't jook, fried rice, or noodles for dinner tomorrow, and looking for a way to pick myself up. Maybe I'll finally brave a massage, bruises and all, to get my back to a point where I don't have to listen to it every time I stretch. Or maybe I'll just find myself perking up tomorrow after having a little more protein and variety than I've had the past two days.
I also think I'm going to teach in China again. I haven't really said anything to encourage belief that I'm coming back but after some thought I can't help feeling that I'd really like to do this again with a better sense of what to expect. I also want to get my TEFL. My online class just didn't do it for me and I already have a year's teaching experiences behind me, so I may as well take on the extra workload (which to be honest, isn't that much more when I already write at least 4 lesson plans a month, the biggest thing is creating a portfolio and recording myself while teaching). And what better way to earn the TEFL than by hands on experience? I've thought about taking on an independent contract at a college or any other school certified to take foreign teachers but I prefer to have that extra credential and that extra time to build relations and ask around. I have some sense of what to look for and demand in looking for an independent contract (pay, holidays, housing, assistance, legal proof of being able to hire foreigners).
So there you have it. I think I'm coming back to China. I keep asking myself if this is insane, if this responsible, if this is feasible, if I'm doing this to run away from facing real life (doubt it)...all the important things but I do think this is what I want. It feels right for now, and I'm not sure I've ever been in a position where the work I put and the rewarding responses I get in return are so strongly connected. I'll talk to the school I work at and tell them what I'm thinking. That doesn't guarantee they'll take me back, but it might be nice for them to know what I'm thinking of.
So...Zhu in Zhuzhou round 2?