Friday, September 23, 2011


In an earlier post, I wrote about the huge amount of time this job requires. If you can’t remember the exact number, it’s 49.5 hours every week, including 4.5 on Saturdays. And a solid chunk of that time is spent singing and dancing and walking all over campus. Long story short, this is a very tiring profession and it’s made even more tiring when we’re asked to pick up the slack for absent teachers. Still, just about everyone (including myself) has a very good attitude about it and we all realize that what we do is much more enjoyable than sitting at a desk in a cubicle alone all day.

This Friday, I took my first sick day since starting work here. Or half a sick day, as I came in later in the afternoon, feeling much better. Considering that I’ve been working here since early July, I think that’s a pretty good track record. I’d had a cold for the past few days, but another reason didn’t leave the flat in the morning was that I needed a bit of extra rest like never before. I don’t expect to make this a routine but just one work-free morning did wonders for my attitude and physical well-being. It really sucks that we have to feel guilty about the inconvenience that the other teachers go through in this situation, but sometimes in life, we have to look out for number one.

I can’t blame all of the fatigue on my school. Entering the working world for the first time is definitely a factor as I have far less relaxation hours than I did in college and am still adjusting to that. Oh yeah and also, I’m in a foreign country that’s hot and crowded. Lastly, I have to commute for a total of nearly two hours every day. Fortunately for me, I’m very young and a naturally energetic person. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have taken this job.

But a 50-hour week is not uncommon is Hong Kong. Most Westerners know about the crazy work ethic of the Chinese people and there is no better place to study that than in Hong Kong. As one of the densest cities on earth, the competition is frighteningly fierce. Why else would parents want their kids to get educated in two languages at six months old?

Even with all the work, it’s hard for me to really complain considering all that’s gone so well for me here in Hong Kong. I have no doubt that I’m living an abundant life, which is often not the case for recent college graduates, sitting on their parents' couch. This is very important to me. I’m undecided if I’ll work at my school for one or two years but at the very least, I’m now trying to savor my free time like never before. Thank you Mom and Dad for getting me a Kindle!

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