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Asia » China » Liaoning » Benxi
August 29th 2010
Published: August 31st 2010
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(Just realized I hadn't published this...)

So our internet is down and it makes it really, really hard to update and email. It's also been tough not talking to my family. I miss you! Currently, I am at the office in the school while all the other teachers are in class. I had my first class yesterday. I have six students, ages 12-16. They are pretty advanced and can carry on a conversation pretty well. I don't know that this will be one of MY classes yet. David, my boss, doesn't know either. Things are very laxed here. It's kinda nice, but it sucks not knowing what to prepare for. Our teaching schedule goes like this: Saturday and Sunday, classes go from 8:30 am to 7:30 at night. They're like the Monday and Tuesday back home basically. The teachers dread the weekends because the days are so long. Some teachers have up to 5 or 6 classes and others have 3 or 4 with private lessons in between. It actually is pretty intense around here. It is one of the most prestigious English schools in the area so I feel really lucky to have landed here. We have Mondays off and then we teach weekdays starting at 1 or 4 pm. I think it depends on the day.

We have moved into our apartment as well. I live with Brandy, who is from Texas. Helen, who taught in Thailand, will be moving in today. She was put in an apartment by herself a ways away from the school. It didn't make sense, especially since we have a spare room we use as the "living" space. We haven't used it once. Plus, the more company, the better. I'm excited because we got the green light to paint the walls. Right now, it's very white-dirty white- and has a very cold and industrial feel. The apartment is pretty spacious. I have a good size room, definitely bigger than the one I had at home. My bed is probably king size, but that just means two twin size beds were pushed together. It's amusing. The bathroom...now that's something. It has a western toilet and a sink, so that's good. (Squat toilets are the norm around here. My first experience was...interesting. And it still never fails to leave me feeling a bit awkward). But like Brandy said, "it's not so much as a bathroom with a shower as it is a shower with a toilet and sink in it..." Picture that in your head...The previous teachers left a lot of stuff, like movies and books and dishes and things they bought but obviously couldn't take. It makes it hard to feel like this apartment is ours, but give us a few days and that place will be transformed!

The food has been really good. We have been lucky to be with people who have been here for a while and know exactly where to go for good food. Yesterday, we went to a little restaurant that had huge noodle soup bowls for less than a dollar! And it is one of the only places open 24 hours. A little piece of home. 😊

That is all for now.

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