So I am buckling down and writing blog posts and a newsletter all in one night.
I guess that is life for most of us...long dry seasons of procrastination followed by spurts of creative energy spurred on by deadlines or in this case, just plain guilt.
At least there have been good reasons for our procrastination in writing.
Two of my university's foreign teachers ended their contracts early this year, leaving our school of about 10,000 students with a whopping 2 foreign English teachers. I have been swamped with requests to take on extra teaching jobs as a result.
Right now, I have 10 classes (20 teaching hours a week) and about 300 students. It's bad enough just trying to remember all their names and faces, but when you add in lesson planning time and grading time, well...you can see why the blog has gone on the back burner!
Matt has been studying diligently for several IT certification exams. He's passed the first 2 exams and is now planning to take the 3rd exam in a couple of weeks.
Also, some exciting news and one of the biggest reasons for our procrastination in writing: I'm going to start a new job next year, and we've been spending a lot of time dealing with logistics for that (applications, moving, etc.)
As we've mentioned in previous updates, Matt has been working at Tianjin International School (TIS) for the past year in their IT department. Next school year, starting this August, I will also join the team at TIS as a middle school ESL teacher.
Instead of having 300 students each week, I'll have about 20 students each week, so I expect that my overall stress level and workload will reduce drastically. My nights and weekends outside of work should be less busy, and I'll be able to invest in friendships more intentionally than I've been able to over the past couple of years as I've studied and worked full time and then taken on way too many extra teaching responsibilities.
Since I'll be leaving my university teaching job, Matt and I will also be moving. We currently live in free housing provided by the university, but next year since we'll both be working at TIS, TIS will provide us with free housing.
Moving takes a lot of time in China, as it does in any country. We're very grateful that TIS even provides us with a moving company to move our stuff from our current place to the new place so that we don't have to haul it all in a taxi or on the bus! However, we still have a lot to do with packing, picking out some new furniture, cleaning the new place, etc.
But we're excited for the change and the new opportunities it should open up in our lives. Our new apartment will be much bigger than our current apartment, so we should be able to more comfortable host people for dinner, movie nights, etc.
It's a lot of work right now, but we're excited about what's to come after the moving and organizing is finished.