On The Other Side Of The Tracks

This past week I’ve been doing this add-on job working at a rather wealthy school here in town. I got the lead from my friend Gabriel, and deciding I might need some extra cash for my trip home this summer, followed up on it.

For a 45 minute session it’s 150 RMB (about $21 CND), so not too bad in the money department. However, it’s at the complete opposite end of town.

To take a bus there it would be about three hours round trip crammed into a piece of overstuffed metal on wheels, and a taxi, though more comfortable, would cut the 150 RMB for the class down to about 70-80 RMB. My first day I rested a lot of my decision about continuing on what the class was like, and they were horrible. I mean, I had never faced a class like this one before.

The school learns children from some of the wealthiest families in Dalian, and as such the kids tend not to care much for classes that are being run by some white guy at dinner time. I’d say my first night I had the attention of maybe 3 kids out of the group of about 20. It didn’t help that they are all at that “the world can just go stick it’s head up it’s ass, because it just doesn’t understand me” age of 14-15.

I got home, thought it over and realized that despite the salary, it wasn’t worth it and as such e-mailed my contact there. This brought a phone call and a plea that I at least finish the week because they couldn’t find another teacher so quickly (I, incidently, had agreed to the job the day before). They offered to provide transportation if I’d stay until the end of the week.
Day two was much better. The class’ regular teacher hung out for the 45 minutes, and the kids (though mostly disinterested) didn’t spend the whole class gossiping with each other. This coupled with the free ride shone a little sun on the whole thing and sticking it out this week wasn’t tough.

The students are actually pretty interesting. They’re completely different than the students I teach. Obviously older by half a decade, but also they really are just from the complete opposite side of the tracks. I’ve mentioned before that my regular school is in one of the poorest areas of Dalian, and many of these new kids are Korean or Japanese – making them from one of the richest areas of Dalian.

The week’s up and as I write this I’m contemplating a new offer of slightly less money but with transportation for next week. I wish I remembered what money was worth.

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  1. Pingback: Adventures of the Humanaught: Life In China Blog » Blog Archive » Fu Jia Zhuang

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