Today I finished my last day of classes at GXU. I still have exams, but with no more classes time here slows right down.
I will miss the students very much, but I do not think I will miss the job or the place. I remember being at Moonkkang when that ship was sinking, and it was not pleasant. This place is the same, and I will be happy to be off to a more secure public job. I also feel that, on a personal note, I have well and truly "done" Guangxi. Of course there are always more places to visit, but I have hit the major areas, and spent more time in Nanning than anyone really needs to. The tickets to Shenzhen are booked, and we will cross in to Hong Kong from there.
I was last in Hong Kong in 2013 with Mike, and Yen has never been there, so that should be fun. I'll be back at the end of August to pick up the new visa, before we head off to a year in Zhuhai. The new job should offer more than my current one, and in an environment that I am excited to explore.
That being said, I am already looking forward to 2019-2020. I am starting to think it may have been a mistake not just going back to Korea this year. Certainly with 3 years I'll be able to get back with a good job, but I am not sure what this next year does for me professionally beyond putting one of the top universities in China on my resume. I am hoping there will be opportunities to grow professionally, but as of now I have no real idea. Personally, I am not actually looking forward to this 6 week break. It will be fun, I'll be in both the Philippines and Vietnam, but I can kiss my semester's savings goodbye. But that is how it works here. Finish my last exam on July 16th, visa expires July 20th. Don't come back til September 3rd. The visa process on the whole has cost me at least one full paycheque, and with this extended break, my last couple.
A friend here put it very well, China simply wants too much for too little.
Not that I am not excited about Guangzhou completely. The region has been one of my favourite places in China, indeed Asia, and the new job does look rewarding. I also would like to visit Beijing. I do want to head in to September with a positive outlook, and I am hoping it is a great place to be. I also think being in a more cosmopolitan area will give me a new look at the place. Who knows, I may be on here in 6 months talking about how great it is and signing on for the long term.
However, as I get older, I am more interested in a place to live and make money at a job I like. Canada is an option. What I ultimately would like to do is move back with Yen, finish my BEd, and teach High School somewhere in western Canada. But for now Korea is probably the better bet. Pension, good healthcare, very professional environment, and, well, a lot more money. I came to China to get the professional experience I needed. Two years full time after graduation is considered industry minimum in most places, and as of today I have that. In that sense this has been the best two years of my life. However, I still feel like I am in the proverbial minors, even if the new job is in the Yankees minor league system. I am okay with three years in AAA, but eventually I need to play in the majors or else find another job.
But looking back at SCIC, the highlights (which is always what you remember in the long run) are:
-the coworkers/friends I met here.
-the ability to pay for my wedding.
-getting the two years.
So what exactly will I do this summer?
I'll be in HK for the weekend before heading to Manila. We will visit Yen's brother and cousins, and buy me some new clothes. We will also visit a few national parks, and celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Then her sister comes in from Connecticut. They will head south for an Arbonida family reunion while I will go to Saigon to sleep on Mike's couch, visit him and Will, and finally pick up my CELTA certificate. Then back to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Zhuhai. Yen will join me a couple weeks after I arrive in Zhuhai.