April 22, 2021

My “JOB” | Support from Colleagues | Dinner in Public??? ?

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Hello, friend, and Happy April 22.

Since the last time I posted on the blog, there have been a few things that I felt like you should know about.

This year has been incredible, to say the least. Incredible could be positive or negative depending on who you ask.

Last time, I told you that I was denied access to campus and they were allocated to other teachers. I was also told that I wouldn’t be teaching this term – in person nor online.

My “Job”

I’ve been working on the student leadership program which will begin next week and I’m quite excited about it!

Even though I have a few things left to do with the modules, I’m happy to say that everything has been flowing pretty effortlessly since I started putting it together.

The latest development, however, is that I’ve been working with the party secretary for two weeks now. This individual is also one of the deans of the university and we meet for two hours every day.

During our meeting time, there is a mixture between cultural exchange and faculty support. The other part of our time together consists of me helping her prepare for her upcoming class that she will be teaching in English about Confucianism.

(More shared about this in the audio)

I have actually been very mentally exhausted for the past week or so because, in addition to the new programs, I am still trying to get settled into my new home. The last few pieces of furniture and decor have been arriving last week and this week, so I’ve been doing housework during my non-working hours.

Support from Colleagues

I’ve realized that many of my colleagues still have/had no idea about what’s happened with me since my return to China until recently. For two weeks now, I’ve been contacted sporadically, asking why I haven’t been given an answer for being denied access to campus and not being able to teach this term.

While I appreciate the support and their frustration on my behalf, I’ve chosen to not concern myself at this point with trying to find answers. I don’t want to put myself in a negative state of mind where I force myself to stress about a situation that is completely out of my hands, and supposedly, out of the administration’s hand, because they’re following the (senseless) rules of the university.

I appreciate the support, concern and care from everyone.

The importance of protecting my peace

One thing I learned last year was to protect my peace. I’ve been working on that by not asking certain questions at this juncture. There will come a time when I will be given answers but for now, I’m not trying to figure out what is happening in my life, friend. I’m just going with the flow.

As I’m doing this, I see obstacles turning into opportunities and these traumatic experiences turn into pieces of treasure that I can carry with me in my learning experience. I’m sure that eventually this will all help someone else in the future.

Dinner in Public??? ?

I went to dinner with a colleague for the first time in public on last weekend. Honestly, even though I wore my mask, I felt extremely uncomfortable being out in public.

We went to Lenbauch, a local German restaurant that’s a favorite for many people in the city. It was interesting to see how many LESS foreigners were there then the last time I was there. This place is usually popping with expats but not this day.

Even the food didn’t taste the same to me.

But then again, maybe that’s because I spent the past year in America eating many of my favorite Western cuisines. When you’ve been living in another country for a while, eating at a Western restaurant after eating the local cuisine, is generally a welcomed treat, but not this day.

The food was – as they say in China – “Justa so-so.

Still, I was proud of myself for actually going to dinner in a public space where there were tons of people not wearing masks. This has been a major concern for me.

My concerns about catching COVID again

The party secretary told me that I’m generally safe to be out in public and shouldn’t be too worried about catching the virus from anyone but she wanted to be sure so she asked a friend of hers, a director of one of the local hospitals, about my chances of getting COVID again.

The director told her that that even though I’ve had COVID before, there’s still a possibility that I could be infected with a new strain of the virus which is what I kind of figured. The director said that I would need to wait six months before getting the vaccine. Even with that, there’s still a possibility that I will not be allowed to be back on campus just yet.

Being Fine At Home

Honestly, friend, I am perfectly fine with that. I have gotten to the point to where I think I’m a bit spoiled by being in China and being able to work from home. Even though a lot more work goes into working from home, I’m fine without being on campus.

Anyway, friend, that’s the latest update.

I look forward to catching you up next week, friend.

Til next time…

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