By Professor Fury
So you chose your school, the place where you will work and live for the next 12 months. Crunch time. So scary. All the doubts come flooding in. Will I be a good teacher? Can I survive? What will happen to me?
You think you are the only one to feel that way?
Sorry to disabuse you but everyone feels that way to one extent or another. Age is no protection either.
The day dawns when you finish packing your cases and it is time for that last look around the home you are about to leave for a year, two years or who knows, maybe forever? You said goodbye to your friends last night in the pub (they think you are out of your mind) and maybe now it is time to say goodbye to your family if they are not running you to the airport.
I spent years saying hello and goodbye to friends and family and so one could be forgiven for thinking it was easier for me. It never gets easier. It’s only ever easy when you are disappearing on holiday to the Costa Del Sol for a fortnight, not for at least a year. You are leaving your old life and the way you did things behind you forever, regardless of how long you are gone. You will be changed irrevocably. You are about to grow up very quickly. You will be someone respected and expected to know everything in class. You may well be flying to teach your first ever students. China expects etc……….
And then there is that poignant moment at the airport immediately before you go through security and when you realise that this is it, I really am leaving. A last wave and fake cheery smile to whoever came with you and you are sucked into the process of metal detectors and emptying your pockets. Gone is your old life. Perhaps forever.
Depending on how much time you gave yourself you may have the opportunity to browse in duty-free or if you are like me, sit and try to have a relaxing over-priced beer until they call you to board.
Whatever, your stomach will churn like a cement mixer. It’s really happening. What have I done?
What you have done could actually just turn out to be the best thing you have ever done but of course you are not to know that yet. Nobody can.
And then they call all passengers for flight MU1256 to Guangzhou/Shanghai/Beijing and the butterflies become bats. But you rise and go to the boarding gate nonetheless. You hand over your pass and enter the walkway to the Airbus A320 and step aboard to settle into your window seat with a 12 hour flight ahead.
There is no delay and you taxi to the runway. The engines scream and the plane lurches forward, pushing you back in your seat. The aircraft lifts off from the runway. You are on your way to your destiny.
Emotions will run the full gamut from anxiety to fear to doubt to hope to excitement. Enjoy the feelings, for in a month you will wonder what on earth you were worried about. Instead, concentrate on getting that drink they will offer you and what the meal choice will be. Your next set of worries will manifest once you land in China.
But that must wait for Prof Fury’s next article……
About the Author
He is in his early sixties and has been teaching in universities in China for seven years. He has been a ships officer, salesman, manager, company director, engineer and truck driver in the past and so has a wealth of stories and experience to impart to his students.
He has been to 47 countries so far and visited more than 400 cities around the globe. Antarctica is the only continent he has yet to experience but there is still time!
He has so far volunteered at every school level in China, appeared on television several times (including taking part in a Spring Festival Gala show) and his ambition is to be allowed to retire in China when the time comes. His latest party piece is playing Santa for whoever asks!