We have had such a weird fall. Hubby’s first class started October 17th. Not a typo. The university started almost 2 months late because of construction. Shi Da (where he teaches) moved their whole campus to a location outside of the city. No small feat. New dorms, classrooms, library, offices, and then some were built. It is a university city – a self contained campus. It has everything the students need and they don’t need to leave the grounds for anything. There is even a supermarket!
Construction is not uncommon in this growing country. Getting things built on time is uncommon. Hubby (and all of his colleagues) are now busier than ever teaching make-up classes so that the semester can end on time just before Chinese Spring Festival.
To add to the craziness, the teachers were not moved to the new campus. We still live on the old campus and Hubs now commutes the hour outside the city to his new classroom whenever he has a class. We have been very content to use public transportation. Our city is big and the bus system is a well oiled machine that most locals use. But, if we have ever been willing to study to get our Chinese driver’s license and bite off buying a car in a different culture….well, the hassle has never felt worthwhile till now!
Commuting is a pain, but our true disappointment comes from not living close to the students who we feel called to invest in. We have taken great joy in hosting the 7 years we have worked here with students. Holiday parties, loaning English books from our little library, English corners, tutoring, baking, and just hanging out…an hour bus ride prohibits all of these precious times.
This fall feels like a new beginning in many ways. We are figuring out how to live spread out. We would appreciate you thinking of us as we experiment with new ways to reach out to students and try to hit a new rhythm and a new norm.