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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

From China with Az

It started with a Facebook Post:

"If anyone wants to come teach with me, please let me know. We're looking!"
I run an independent publishing press (Writing Knights Press) and one of my authors is currently teaching ESL and related courses in Nanchang, China. We've had a decent relationship over the last two years, we've had pretty deep discussions in the past, but most of the time our relationship is fostered through Facebook posts and occasional comments. I've always enjoyed their posts describing their experiences in the East.

I've always wanted to travel. Wanderlust is strong in me, but these past few years I've been in one place. In my 20s I traveled a lot. I moved places. I stayed there for a few years, then decided on a new location.

I scrolled my FB feed, as one does, and came across the post: "If anyone wants to come teach with me, please let me know. We're looking!"

My knee-jerk, sort of complacent response: "I can teach poetry... just not professionally." To which I received a <3 response from the poster and I figured that was the end of it.

A few hours later, someone else asked: "What's the minimum degree level required?"
Friend: We have openings for BAs, MAs and PHDs.

Other comments... then...

Me: I have a BA in English. this interests me.
Friend: Send me your email address

And truly, I was interested.  The last time I traveled anywhere of significance was Chicago over the summer for a week for National Poetry Slam.  Before that was a camping trip that ended up with me sleeping in my car.  There have been various poetry related trips, but I have been in Canton, Ohio since 2012.  Just about 7 years.  This is the longest I've lived in a place since I was 18, living at home.

I sent my email address to my friend who passed it on to the administration contact at the college in Nanchang.

That evening, I brought up the situation to my partner, Skylark. I suggested that we fill the two spots. She has a Bachelor's in Journalism which could be translated to ESL, if necessary. She has just been promoted at her job, so unfortunately this isn't the right time for her.

Me? I'm at a job that I like and they treat me well enough, but I have no health insurance and I have been feeling the burnout of looking at a screen for almost a year for work. Also, it's killing my time with Writing Knights. I used to think a job like this would be ideal, but now... not as much.

I am not prone to flights of fancy, but this is a job offering with a time limit. So after a few questions (which I will go over as time goes by), I jumped on the opportunity.

As the blog progresses I will chronicle the experiences of the progression of my journey before I get to China, during the time I'm in China and probably after I'm finished and have returned home.

I'm notoriously bad at blogging, but I've from suggestions I've received, it is a good idea to have a project to work on that keeps one grounded while in a completely different culture. The plan is to make this a combination blog/vlog to make things interesting.

So here it is... the first entry... (almost) From China with Az!