I had my first class for SABIC this evening. SABIC is the company that’s hired me to teach its staff business English writing. I was stressing myself out, preparing for the first lesson. But it went wonderfully. My students are young professionals– in their 20’s and 30’s. I suppose I was expecting a serious, quiet bunch, but they were great– unabashed and lively. I taught the word “Ms.” today. Like my parents, my students thought it meant a divorced woman. Sheesh. But I set them straight and said that I preferred Ms. over Mrs. Hee, hee. The indoctrination begins…. One student said he loved my company name– “Move the Brain.” I was so thrilled, because my mother gave me such grief over it. “Move the Brain” is translated literally from a Chinese Idiom which means to find a way, to think of a way (solution). Yay, a Chinese person got it!
Oh, on Monday I nailed another tutoring job. This time, my clients are these sisters– one is 8 and the other is 14. At first, I was avoiding this job. I guess you could say I’m part of a childless couple and I want to keep it that way. But then my wise friend Em suggested I just meet the girls, just to see. The interview with them and their mother went great. The girls appear very well-behaved and their mother, though native Shanghainese, speaks English really well (as well as Mandarin and Japanese) and actually has a sarcastic sense of humor. She was totally cool, so now I’m really looking forward to starting that gig on Monday afternoon.
So things are going well. I’d almost venture to say that I’m happy. Feels a little weird saying that actually– not because I’ve had a miserable existence or anything, but because for a while, I had resigned myself to a boring life. You know what I’m talking about– life as this slow progression from human to robot. Life as an endless series of immutable tasks, repeated ad nauseum. In so many ways, John and I have snapped out of that cycle. I honestly feel a new liberation. It’s just amazing. Life is good. My brain is churning again. Tomorrow I’m meeting with my guzhen (Chinese zither) teacher to buy an instrument. I can’t wait to start taking lessons again. It’s been years already.
In the evening, I have my tutoring session with Cissy. She’s one year younger and just got an interview to the Fudan/Hong Kong University MBA program. The program application, interview, and curriculum is all in English. I’m helping her prep for the event next week–a group behavioral interview. I had private behavioral interviews when I was applying for engineering firms– they were the new recruiting tool a couple years back. But I can’t imagine having to go through all of that in a non-native tongue. Cissy is inspiring in that sense. She is motivated, confident, and undaunted.
In other news, John gets back in two days. He’ll have been gone nearly three weeks, can you believe it? He’s bringing back some goodies– although I’m disappointed our wedding cake will not be among them. I’m having a real hankering for yellow cake with buttermilk frosting. I don’t think my little oven can squeeze something like that in though. 🙁 I can’t wait for his return. I’ll have a feeding buddy again. I’m gonna take him to La Seine to celebrate (his return, my new gigs, Duke’s victory in the NCAA tourney :)).