Ping Tracker

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Always in Zibo? (Lots of Photos!!)

Well, it's been a long time since I posted anything! Well, it seems like anyway.

So, as most of you know, I've sort of been MIA on Twitter and Facebook. I've been on Facebook some, but I haven't posted a lot of stuff except Harry Potter memes haha.

So.....down to business.

I've been talking for a few weeks with a number of schools in China, but things have not really gone in the direction that I anticipated.

I have been largely ignored by universities (my first choice of where to teach), which is understandable, because I do not have the qualifications for teaching in universities in China.

I was told that a TESOL certificate (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language certificate) was just a bonus for teaching in China, even at the university level, but it seems that that is not the case.

I do not have the certificate (but I'm working on it!) and I have no teaching experiences, so I've been largely ignored except for the "we'll call you" sort of thing.

However, strangely enough, I seem to have (sort of) unintentionally gotten quite a few elementary schools (or "primary schools," if you're not American) interested in me. I posted my resume and a few things about myself on sort of a website for ESL teachers in China, and have gotten hits from a number of different schools, and the one that I've settled on is called "Always English School" in Shandong Province. All I have to do is send an email (to be done ASAP), and I'll have the job, visa permitting, of course. Probably by the time you read this, I'll have already sent it.

Here's Shandong on the map:

It's about midway up the east coast, and the city that I'll be living in, Zibo, is about 3 hours south of Beijing by train.

Weather-wise, it's gonna be freaking cold in the winter, nice in the spring, fairly hot in the summer, and nice in the fall. So, that's cool - four seasons!

Here in Texas, we have summer and a 2 month winter haha

Anyway, about the school - it's called Always English School, or Always Education and Exchange Center. It's part of a sort of chain of English schools that were founded by some Australians.

As you can see from the picture, it's mostly kids, but apparently they have a few adults there too, in "VIP" classes.

This is an English-specific school - English is all that is taught here.
Since English is all that is taught there, classes are mostly on the weekends and there are a few scattered throughout the week.

So, basically, for me, weekends will be really long and difficult, but the rest of the week will be pretty much cake.

I'm just gonna use these two pictures from the school and give you the website if you're really curious.

Click here to go to their website.

I'm gonna get some really good benefits from working there, which I am really excited about and are on-par with the benefits/salary of a university. Free housing, paid vacations, etc.

It seems like a great place to work, and I've had the opportunity to talk with a foreign teacher as well as their general go-to lady who've both told me about working there and what to expect as far as what's difficult and what's awesome about it.

I do have a number of concerns, but they have been voiced in the previous blog post, and will probably be voiced again, just in case you don't feel like going back and reading the previous one.

 For now, I'm just gonna talk about what you guys should expect to be hearing about if I do, in fact, take the job, which I'm only a couple of days away from deciding.

Zibo itself is in the Northeast of China, close to a city called Jinan, the "City of Springs," because of its numerous springs and rivers that surround and run through the city. Coincidently, my favorite blogger, Poise On Arrows, actually just finished a year of studying Chinese in Jinan.....weird, huh?

Zibo is also blessed with a decent amount of water, which is a far cry from the deserts of Gansu, where I spent my time last year.

 It's a city of a little more than 5 million people, so it's a decently-sized city by Chinese standards, although some may still call it "small."

It seems like a great place - it's growing and expanding rapidly, and it's known for safety and being a "harmonious" place, even being named in 2009 as one of the "Most Harmonious Cities Which Enjoy Sustainable Growth In China," which sounds pretty official, I guess hahaha

In my opinion, it's kind of a strange place to take a shot like this.....the front half of the photo is pretty much bare.......

A cool thing about Zibo is that it's close to Mount Tai (pronounced "tie").

Mount Tai is one of China's "Five Sacred Mountains" and is arguably the most important of the five.

The Five Sacred Mountains originated from the body parts of Pangu, the creator of the world, with Mt. Tai being formed from his head.

Because Mt. Tai is located the furthest east, it is associated with the rising sun and the idea of rebirth and renewal, and is therefore considered the most sacred.

 Zibo is a modern city, but it still has its share of traditional streets such as this one.

I can't wait to go exploring in this place!

If I decide to take this job, it'll be for a one-year contract, so I'll have plenty of time!

Shandong is also home to the Karst Caves, which are a set of 300-something caves that are all connected.

Cool, maybe I'll have a chance to go!

One last thing about Zibo, and this might be the coolest for all of you non-Americans.....Zibo is the home of the oldest form of soccer (football) known to man.

Its earliest mention in literature comes from the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) and has been seen in many painted and drawings such as this one from the 12th century AD.

How crazy is that??? I had no idea about that until about 30 minutes ago when I started looking up some more stuff about Zibo.

I was told that soccer (football) was first created in England, but I never thought about a parallel game being created somewhere else. Let me be clear that cuju is NOT soccer (football), but there are some similarities.

So, there you have it! There's a little information about where I'll be heading for my next adventure!

Who knows, I might actually come back to the States in a year as some kind of badass super soccer player........haha who knows?

Anything could happen!

Here is a sort of video time capsule that I've made for myself. I don't know if you'll find it interesting, but here it is!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...