I had my first day of work!!
I was anxious all morning. My stomach was in knots… I’m not sure whether it was because I was nervous about teaching or just nervous about this whole working in China thing and wanting to be sure I’m listening to the Lord and doing what He wants me to do. It’s a lot to consider.
I woke up first thing and spent time with Jesus. It was so good… He reminded me from Ex. 16:20 that He wants to provide anew every single day. I don’t need to hoard or hold on to His provision from yesterday. His provision is fresh and new each and every day. So don’t hoard and don’t worry. Good stuff.
After Jesus time I met my friend to go and get a bus pass (goodness knows I need one fully loaded with lots of money… the way I get around on the bus system here, going the wrong way and getting off at the wrong stops). It’s only ¥1 (about 15¢) to ride the bus and it’s totally worth it to get the pass so you don’t have to worry about having cash or change all the time. After getting the pass, we grabbed some lunch real quick and then headed off to Sianggang Lu (Hong Kong Road) to start my first day of work.
My workday began with getting my schedule for the day. I had one hour to prepare for teaching my first class. I didn’t get to sit in and observe anyone!!! I had really hoped to, just so I could get a feel for how they do this thing, but apparently they were desperate to get me started. So with one hour of prep I set off to teach my first class. It was a private lesson with two brothers (must have been from a very wealthy family for there to be two of them). They were 13 & 15… typical boys, but we had a lot of fun. The lessons are all planned out so all I really had to do was follow an outline. We played Taboo and talked about their life achievements. The lesson rounded off with us talking about the NBA. I pretended to know what they were talking about, and thankfully my exposure to the NBA (via the brother) gave me some street cred with the kiddos. We went over our time because they didn’t want to stop talking with me about basketball.
After that lesson I had another hour to prepare for a private one-on-one beginner’s lesson with a very shy and sweet young lady. It went well. We were talking about family and schedules. She also asked me some questions about my life in America, including what my job was there. I told her where I worked and she seemed to be intrigued and very surprised. It’s really neat that I can answer any question that’s asked of me. And it’s really convenient that so much of my life and work experience includes Jesus, so He’s bound to come up at some point. He came up again in the next lesson when the two students in the class asked me what my degree was in. They seemed shocked that I would spend four years studying Theo. They checked their little pocket dictionaries to determine what Theo meant and then the girl asked me, “Why would you study that?” Yay for answering questions!
The Lord has definitely given me favor here, and all the doting I receive is great for the self-esteem! Yesterday I had several students tell me that I was cute, beautiful and sweet. One girl even gave me the nickname, “Beautiful Girl.” Okay. I’ll take it!! And they really like my voice. I had students tell me that I sound so young and my voice is so soft and sweet like a little angel. One girl said I sound like a small child from American films, and then she went on to say that I sound like HANNAH MONTANA!!!! That’s exceptionally funny to me, given that Hannah Montana sounds a bit like an old diner lady. Definitely a stark contrast to a small child’s soft voice, but I’ll take it. I think it may be my most favorite compliment to date. It’s the best of both worlds! :)
So there you go... day one down. I wish I could have everyone here with me to experience all that’s happening. Other than the language barrier and the non-intuitive eating (I think I may starve to death in China if left to dining out on my own… only because I don’t know how to order or what to order for that matter… I had Starbucks for dinner last night), this place really is entirely lovely and it would be fabulous to have you all here with me. So, work on making that happen, okay!?
~Teacher Jaime (that’s my fancy teacher name now)