Fun fact: I miss my job.
Like, totally miss my job and can't wait to go running back once I'm done with this mess of a decision called a free PhD. (how did this happen again? I keep forgetting....gah).
Today after class, (on a Sunday - blasphemous), I met up with a student from last year, Yangxue. She took the bus 1.5 hours to see me.
Right when I saw her, we were walking through campus and I ran into one of my students from 2 years ago. He said he is coming to ZJU for a PhD starting in January, so we are on a similiar timeline. He was surprised to see me because he didn't know I had left HDU. It was a fun chance meeting.
Yangxue and I then went to a coffee shop near campus and talked for awhile, then took a bus to a book store to look for a children's chinese book for me. There weren't any good ones, so we took the bus back home and she showed me how to buy things on a Chin.ese website. (I'm in the market for a refridgerator and a small microwave oven).
We talked about what she wants to do when she graduates, her rocky relationship with her boyfriend, and how we don't understand men of any culture. I told her I think a Chin.ese guy at my school is cute and she pointed her finger at me and said, "No, Jessica. No more Chi.nese for you." Yes m'am. Maybe.
We then had dinner and met up with another one of my students who has an internship at Zhejiang University. We sat outside and talked for awhile and then I saw Yangxue off to the bus stop.
On the way home, I ran into another student of mine while crossing the street!
Once I got home, I recieved a phone call from a student in my first batch of classes two years ago. It was a student I became really close to because we share the same core beliefs. He wanted to talk about some important things and we chatted for awhile about his fears for the future, wanting to find a chrch for one of his foreign friends so they wouldn't endanger his home chrch and how to keep hope alive when people just tell you what to do and you have no choices. It was a deep, fruitful, encouraging talk, but was also a harsh reminder of the realities of living here.
It was a full, fun day filled with planned excursions and random encounters. But one thing was for certain: it solidified how much I miss my students/job/old life.
Gan Hui Jin (Daniel), Yangxue (Jasmine), and me (Ke Xiao Mei) sweating our guts out:
Yangxue and our dinner selections, she always picks the best food:
As I sat in my room contemplating my phone call with my old student I had a random thought. If I miss my job so much, and if I love my old students so much, then I owe it to them to learn their language. After two years of intense and wonderful cultural exchange with me at the forefront as teacher, it is now time to take a grunt-worker role, put the pedal to the medal, balls to the walls, and learn this language the right way.
I want to respect them by learning their language. Because they have given me joy, I love them, and it's the least I can do.
There's over 500 little monkeybutts who used to be my students who will hold me accountable for my studies. I want to make them proud.
So now, at 11pm, I'll start my homework. Geez, I'm off to a good start (not). ha.
walk slow. xoxo.