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谢迈克在中国 » 2007» December

谢迈克在中国

Mike Shecket Goes To China!

Year end wrap-up

December 30th, 2007

  • Am I glad I came here? Yes…it’s not like every day is amazing…after a while it just feels like regular old life. But I feel like I was meant to be here. I might not be making a difference versus some other guy who inevitably would have occupied my place, but I think I’m making a change in myself that is going to be reflected in my future pursuits. That is to say…my being here isn’t really changing the world, but it’s changing me, and maybe that will help me change the world later in some other way.
  • What about the teaching? I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a teacher, per se…at least I have some faults in presumably important areas. It’s really hard for me to get “fake mad”. I get mad or I don’t. If there isn’t some kind of discipline system to impartially and dispassionately enforce, then I’m kind of lost. If I have no power to get students in trouble, I’m not capable of deceiving them into thinking that I do. And if they don’t want to learn anything, I can’t bamboozle them into thinking that they do. I’m definitely better with individuals or small groups who are self-motivated and have a clear goal.
  • What about being away from home? The thing is…I feel like I’m really only in China physically a lot of the time. In my apartment, I eat Western food (or at least my personal take on it), read articles in English about the election, watch American movies and shows, listen to Western music…my mind resides on the Internet a lot of the time, just as it has for ten years or more. Physical, tangible things I miss: hugs, food from home, pets to pet, kids to play with. All in all, though, I’ve made myself quite comfortable here, although I’ve done so by passing a lot of my time in this bubble of foreignness.
  • Stay or go? The economy back home is terrible, everything is expensive, and if you get sick or get sued, you could lose everything you’ve worked for. The government goes into debt that I don’t want. My money gets taken and given to rich old people. Everybody hates us (well, not so much here in China though), we’re still doing stupid stuff, and nobody back there is paying attention. Then again, it’s my country, and maybe I need to man up and deal with it and try to help fix things. In China, I live a charmed life in many ways, but it has nothing to do with me as an individual and everything to due with circumstance of birth. I happen to have been born an English speaker, which gets me all sorts of privileges here. My individual talent or character doesn’t make a bit of difference in getting dropped right at the top of the heap, sitting on top of a vast underclass that makes life easy for me. (Needless to say, I hope and expect they won’t be poor for long, but I certainly haven’t done anything to deserve to be in such a position relative to them.) With my present knowledge, skills, and experience, I’m more or less interchangeable with any other foreigner straight off the plane. If I stayed for a few years and picked up the language, or otherwise set myself apart, maybe things would be different. To my family, though, I’m the only me they’ve got. These are things to think about when it comes to deciding going forward where I am most valued and needed.

Hainan video wrap-up

December 23rd, 2007





So I decided to go to Hainan this weekend…fly into Haikou, spend a night there, then take the bus to Sanya and spend two nights at a fairly nice beachfront hotel, then back to Haikou and the airport hotel and head back the next day.  My feelings were a little mixed about doing two three and a half hour bus rides in the middle of my trip, but I think I’ve figured out how to spread out the travel enough so that it’s not a huge deal.

One of my fellow teachers suggested that I save Hainan for when it gets really cold here…but by that time, it will pretty much be vacation time again, for like six weeks, and when that’s done, it’ll almost be March, when high temperatures are back up to 64 in Guiyang.  So.  Might as well go now.

Chinese fire drill drill

December 8th, 2007

Just outside of my apartment, on Monday, I witnessed what I perceived to be a fire drill. Later, I realized that it was literally a Chinese fire drill. The next day, however, I saw a real Chinese fire drill. What I had seen on Monday proved to be a Chinese fire drill drill. Tuesday they had the conference table, under a canopy, with bottles of water on it for the dignitaries. They also had a big red banner that said 2007 Guiyang Fire something something. So that was the real drill, preceded by a drill for the drill.

By the way, I have not seen fire trucks anywhere else in Guiyang. I have also not seen any fires, except seemingly intentional (and possibly Buddhism-related) ones.

Quiet

December 8th, 2007

I’m stuck between not having much going on (often by choice) and experiencing somewhat mind-blowing things or having deep thoughts but not having the patience to sit down and write about them properly.

Copyright © 2007-8 Michael H. Shecket. All rights reserved.