When I arrived at work I found out that I had won the "Super Teacher" award which was very flattering. I didn't expect it, as I had won last month and thought they would rotate it around all of the teachers. The bonus money will certainly come in handy for my impending trip to Xiamen in a couple of weeks. When I came to China I didn't think I had anything to offer with this English teaching lark, I could never imagine taking any classes with adults. That's why I was more than happy to teach Kindergarten children, at least they'd be too young to know about incompetence when they see it. Since starting at Web I feel I have gained a huge amount of confidence when talking to large groups of people, and individuals too. After receiving these awards I also feel that I must be doing something right after all. Maybe I can be a "real" teacher.
Proof that blue skies do exist in China (sometimes)
Actually, I should have found out about winning the prize yesterday, but my phone ran out of credit and I didn't realise until 6pm. In China they have two main mobile phone operators: China Mobile, the biggest and most popular with the best network coverage; and China Unicom, cheaper and less popular with a not-so good network coverage. I am with China Mobile, and the service they offer is quite ridiculous. It's pay and go which is not a problem for me, when I'm low on credit it's more than easy to top up here. Problems arise when you actually have no credit, because once you're out you will not even be able to receive calls or text messages. It's understandable if you can't make a call or send a text, but what are they gaining by not allowing you to even receive a message? Yesterday I assumed nobody was texting or calling me all day, I only found out later when I tried to make a call and the lovely Chinese woman blah blah blahed into my ear to tell me that I have no cash.
All in all, it's been a great day. I had a fun class with two Business Intermediate students in the morning, we ended up discussing marriage, religion, university and careers. That's the kind of class I really enjoy. I also had another class with a new student called Yankey, a young guy with a big smile who liked to tell me about Stephen Hawking, Mark Twain and President Nixon. Later he mentioned that he has two thousand books at home, he's going to lend me some about ancient Chinese history (not that I will be able to even understand a word of it). I certainly enjoy meeting a complete spectrum of people at Web, just the other day I had a class with a gynaecologist and a doctor of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).
I do seem to have one problem that is recurring at the moment though....