This week’s kicking off to a different beat. SABIC cancelled again for Wednesday (nothing new there), but on Monday I started tutoring Hong, the supervisor at our local beauty salon. Months ago, on learning that I was an English trainer, she expressed interest in learning English but then was disappointed my rates were so high. After some thinking, I decided to tutor pro bono. To my surprise, she reacted suspiciously. After many more months, I think she’s finally felt ready to trust me– or at least she wanted to learn English so badly, she didn’t care that it sounded too good to be true. Anyway, the lesson went well. As always, I was a little nervous beforehand. But once we got going, it went well. We only covered a little bit in two hours, but I am very pleased. You could really see her eagerness and excitement to be learning. The cool thing is that she’s been talking about it with the other ladies at work; she said three others are also interested in learning. I sort of think of this as my consolation for not finding an NGO in Shanghai. Internally, I hope that the English training will enable these young women to find better paying jobs– perhaps still in the service sector but maybe with employers whose clientele include foreigners. Establishments that predominantly service foreigners always seem like a notch above. I’m not sure what their motivations are for learning English. I tried to get a sense when I talked to Hong on Monday, but she didn’t explain. I guess it’s good enough that she just wants to learn.
I started my lessons with Frank this morning. He’s the director of ISAW Global, an executive search firm. It’s helpful making contacts with HR recruiters…. you’ll always know someone who’s up on the market. Anyway, the lesson was early– I was up at 6:30 for the class at 7:45. Wanted to make sure I got there on time. The hour went extremely well. I think he was really pleased. We covered introducing yourself at a conference/party, talking about his company in detail, talking about his background, ending conversations, and some light writing. It was pretty cool… I may consider teaching more people in the mornings. Frank was definitely more awake and interested.
What else is new? Hmm. I’m making some new friends, which is exciting for me. I went to a networking event last month and met some cool Europeans. I’ve been in contact with them via email since then. I met with Noor (Dutch) for lunch, and we will meet JB (cool French dude) for dinner/drinks this week I hope. I’ll keep you posted.
Btw, anyone shopping for a laptop? My compaq presario is still chugging along, except for that strange, random bug where it just abruptly shuts off. Yes, the unit is about 3.5 years old… long story short, John and I have been crazy researching my next notebook. The nutty thing is, I settled on three others before finally purchasing a new Sony Vaio S170 today. I can’t believe we made such a big purchase in China. I originally was holding out to buy in the US, but since warranties don’t usually apply outside the country of purchase, we were kinda stuck. Anyway, my new laptop is sweet!! But for those of you in the market, my research turned up a number of good products. Of course, I like a hi-res screen– I like to see a lot of stuff, even if they are small. That said, I give good marks to the following (in no particular order): 1) Acer Travelmate 800C 2) Gateway 450Eb 3) Samsung X30 (not available in US). There you have it. They all run near $2k. My Vaio is kickass, if you’re ok with a wide aspect 13.3-inch screen.