Tuesday, February 28, 2006

it's now official -- curricula -- mental atrophy no more

Things are coming together very quickly.

U----- in Chengdu has officially offered me a position as an English instructor and I have, of course, accepted. I will begin teaching there in the summer as part of a special program, then teach regular courses for the fall and spring semesters. However, as I mentioned before, I'm going to try to leave as early as April. A friend of mine--Brandon--lives in Chengdu and I can stay with him until June, finding part-time tutoring work to make sure I have some source of income, and just generally getting acclimated to the culture and city. After that I will probably visit other countries in Asia -- possibly either Mongolia or Kazakhstan (where I can visit another friend of mine in August) -- then I will return to teach the summer program at U----.

Once I start my regular teaching in the fall I will teach postgraduate courses called "Composition and Conversation." The curriculum will apparently be open-ended, meanign that I'll be able to focus more heavily on reading and writing--my preferred subjects for teaching.

It's been a long time since anything has happened to me that implied forward progress of any sort. I've been in a dull waiting period for about two years and this job offer has made me excited about my future in a way that I haven't been in years. When you're sucked into a job like mine at the library you forced to focus so much on making it bearable that you do not concentrate on getting yourself out of it. Not that the job itself--the activities and the people--was necessarily bad; rather, it was the situation, the complete stangnation, the absence of any feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. In certain ways it seems unreal that my daily life will finally stopped being defined by this shitty neighborhood and this mind-numbing job--and I must say, it's really a testament to the quality of my friends that it will be at all difficult to leave this place behind.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

anxious -- eager

Awaiting the job offer.

If things go as planned, the scenario will be as follows: down to New York for the visa, back to Boston, brain-rot at the library, purchase plane ticket, think about bad things, good things, and my long dead dog Eli, consume great amounts of cheese, spend 30 hours in the air, stay with Brandon until he leaves, jump about the continent for a few months, return (to Chengdu), teach.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

preparation -- mollification? -- other pondering

There's nothing to do to prepare; or, rather, there is much to do to prepare, yet none of it will be of any use. Isolation, reading, recollection of the past experience and so on are all methods of adaptation that only work in the middle of it all--what I'm doing now is like swathing my skin with rubbing alcohol before the wound has appeard.