I am moving to China in February to teach English for a year.
There are many reasons, the first is that I want to go to China. And no, I don’t speak Chinese. I’m hoping to be posted at a Catholic high school in which I can conduct my English classes in Latin. Either that or I will speak English louder and louder until I am understood. Ok, fine, I’ll learn Mandarin.
The second reason is because I can’t find a job that doesn’t suck. No, really. I cannot find a job in Amherst, or even in Springfield, that doesn’t involve chipper restatement of company policy to angry customers. I have actually applied to any place at the mall that is hiring for Xmas help because I need money in an increasingly pressing kind of way.
The third is that I want my picture taken at the Great Wall because I am playing a live-action game of Civilization and I’m winning.
I also have a scarily idealistic reason. I really believe this is a great chance to use my English degree to change the world! Because I think if I show a few Chinese students that not all Americans are greedy war-mongers then I’ve changed the world for the better. Some people who are reading this are amazing special-ed teachers and artists and rape counselors and there’s one rabbi-in-training, and I want to be like you guys and not be a retail girl forever.
And I’m not breaking up with Stick. In fact, he suggested something along the lines of “I’d let you see other boys if you wanted” but I said “Mmhhmhmhmhmmmmmmhhhm” which is the sound of me saying “No! I only want you!” when my face is smooshed up against his chest and I am trying to suffocate him with my arms. It’s this type of mature response to stress that makes me an excellent candidate to move across the planet.
My family is used to dramatic life changes (For the record, one can learn to be the pastor’s daughter in one’s twenties), so my mom said didn’t ask me if I were really really sure I wanted to go, just that I had to get my flu shot and go to the dentist first.
So I’m moving to China. Because mortal terror shouldn’t keep me from doing something cool.