Published: June 20th 2012June 20th 2012
My fourth year at Wuchang Experimental Primary school is coming to a close. At the moment I’m in the midst of yet another explosion of marking doom (as seems to be the story of my life this year in particular!). Nonetheless, I’m glad to be signing on for another year, and that I don’t have to say goodbye to my students, even if I’ll have to say a lot of other goodbyes this year. Quite a few teachers who have worked at the school for multiple years are on their way home, and in particular I’ll miss Dina and Shane.
I’m sitting right now at a Costa Coffee at a new, very Western style shopping center that popped up about a twenty minute walk from my school this year. It’s amazing how much Wuhan has changed. My first year going to a Western Style coffee chain was a special treat that could only be had after an epic journey to the other side of Wuchang. Now they’re everywhere. I also never ever used to see other foreigners around the area where I lived, unless they were one of my co-workers. The addition of a Starbucks and a Walmart means suddenly seeing mysterious foreign people is an everyday occurrence. The whole thing is very strange. Aside from the rampant Westernization, there are all manner of new walls, statues, and monuments around the city. I think if somebody from my first year working here were to come back, they’d be shocked at all the changes. If I go away for ten years and then come back, I probably won’t recognize the city.
Some things haven’t changed. The kids are still awesome, and the summer heat is a blistering as it ever was. I’ll be doing another trip to Kunming this summer, starting from the first of July and going on to the 26th
of August. Chinese study, as usual. I’m going to focus on writing this time, since my reading and writing are so far behind my oral Chinese.
I’d better keep marking those tests. Procrastination won’t make them go away. Fire would, but I doubt the students would much appreciate that.