Apr 12, 2011

tests, jobs, and oranges.

Lots of emotions swirling around this corner of the world.

There's some junk going on now involving my education, the administrators in charge of me. Because in China schedules are not important, held to, or published before the second something happens, I was unaware of my school schedule when my dad purchased me a ticket home to participate in my sister's graduation ceremony.

Well, golly gee, it falls smack dab during my midterm exams. Awesome. (good ol' American sarcasm there).

So now I'm left in a predicament of my last semester's teacher telling me I could take the tests if I happened to be gone (I looked at the calendar and saw it was a possibility, asked, and was told "no problem".) Now this semester's teacher is being a b-word and won't let me take the test late or early.

I'm being told from various sources that grades don't matter, it's just the HSK and my PhD courses that matter. I have friends who have not taken their finals in their language courses and still continued on in their degree program the next year.

I'm hoping that as precedent implicates...all things will go well and I'll have no problem signing up for next semester's classes even without a midterm grade for my Chin.ese courses.

It's just frustrating ot live in a system where one person's word is different than anothers, where anything can change depending on who you talk to and what they feel like for that moment. Nothing is set in stone, anything is able to be manipulated. I know this system. It's one of corruption, white lies, saving face, and ignorance of contracts.

So, I'm pulling out the biggest weapon I have - Myself.

Today I went around to my other teachers and explained my situation in the perfect "Chin.ese" way. I explained that I bought my ticket before the school gave me a schedule (true) and that I needed to be with my family (true). I batted my eyes, wore my highest high heels so I was looking down on every teacher, and held my shoulders back in self-assurance. I told them that last semester's teacher told me it was ok, why would things be different now? (true). I was met with positive response.

Then this afternoon as I left my head teacher's class I gave her a very serious look that said, "You may have told me I can't take the test, but I will win this power struggle."

I wasn't going to mention it on the blog...but I think it fits here.

Two weeks ago I was offered a full-time job in America. $55,000USD/year starting pay. Full benefits. I did not apply for this job. I did not know this job was vacant. I was just offered it. This job would require relocating to California. In May.

I turned it down without thinking twice.

Actually I think my exact words were, "You're joking? You think I'd cash out now for $55,000? After all this?"

Not poo-pooing the money, because that is a large sum of money...but it's not what I worked this hard for. I'm not here in China because I think that it will be financially beneficial, I am here in China because I am called to be here. But on the professional side of things, I am not willing to check out of the situation now for a job that I do not want to do the rest of my life. It wasn't my dream job, it wasn't the best place for my talents and passions.

BUT. All that being said. This darn job offer is wrecking my PMS'ing brain. When things like this happen about my midterms I think, "I could be in sunny Cali working at a desk right now not surrounded by all this madness...I could have a washer and a dryer...I could not be spit on when I walk down the street...I could have a "real" life and not constantly feel like I'm fighting a huge battle against cultural nuiances and ignorance...I could live in a first world country..."

Then conversations like tonight happen and remind my why I'm here, what brings me joy, and that I should cherish my time spent abroad. I was at Starbucks studying with some friends after the gym and I got a phone call from Michael.

There are some American doctors visiting the hospital this week and I previously suggested to my boss that the hospital take them to KTV. Michael said, "Do you know the doctors from Oranges are here?"

Me: "What? Doctors and oranges?"
Michael: "The doctors from Oranges. Orange? Oranges. (In Chin.ese...Los Angeles)
Me: (In Chi.nese) "Oranges from Los Angeles? They brought you oranges? You want to give them imported oranges? What I don't understand you?"
Michael: (In English) The doctors live in Oranges, California. You know..."
Me: hahahahahahahahahahaa. It's ORANGE COUNTY. hahahahahhahaha...
Michael: (In Chi.nese) "Stop laughing at me!"
Me: "I am so happy you called. hhahaha."

Why would I leave this for $55,000 a year and a dependable schedule? These small moments of communication and friendship really do make all the hassle of life worth it.

My school situation may be hell, I may be tempted with shiny offers in America, the land of opportunity, but my experiences with people of another culture are worth their weight in...oranges.

walk slow. xoxo.

1 comment:

agapelife said...

what a seriously fabulous post.
You describe life so well.
I can't wait for your future memoir.