Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Yep, still here in Hong Kong. And it is hot. But I have made it through half the summer so I am confident I will survive. But then again, I am never outdoors for long, I get quite cranky and I don't even want to be around me when I am like that, so when it is really hot I am only outdoors long enough to get from one place to another.

My Cantonese studies ended in April and now I am somewhat gainfully employed. I say that only because I haven't gotten paid yet so I don't feel any different in terms of money. I started at an international kindergarten as a fill-in the last three weeks of the school year. The break between school years is only two weeks, which seems absurdly short to my American mind, but since I am not getting paid these two weeks, my wallet will be happier.

To be honest, I am not sure about teaching Kindergarten, I worry about the energy level required to deal with 20-25 3 year olds every day. I am teaching K1, which is a lot of nursery rhymes and songs, they will be working on their ABCs and numbers, basic math and general knowledge, so content-wise it isn't a big deal, it is the energy required. But it is amazing to me how quickly I adjusted to the idea of high expectations for these kids in terms of paying attention in class (versus playing) and obeying commands (stop playing with your towel or I will take it away). These kids have homework every day, exams every quarter and at the end of nursery school they performed onstage for their parents which I guess is all very normal in Hong Kong. Sometimes I feel sorry for them, they should be playing more, taking naps, good grief, learning 3 languages at once and at such a young age! But then I wish expectations had been higher when I was younger, I might have achieved more.

The pay? Well, I am getting more than a local I am sure but still it seems a bit on the low side. Still, I should be able to put aside some money to travel and start slowly rebuilding some of the savings I have used up since I have been here. If I decide to stay past this one year contract, I will want to find my own apartment. I am already feeling itchy to do that, especially since my job isn't as conveniently located as my classes were plus even though I am blessed with a very nice roommate I miss having my own space. But one step at a time.