Back to the Past — and to the Future

10:39 (UTC+08:00), 29 AUG 2012 | CHN BEIJING

I’m now safely back in Beijing.

I have to say — I’m having one of these days when I don’t really want to sleep, despite not doing it for something like 24 hours or so already. The past two weeks were filled to the brim with adventures and “flashbacks”, and memories. Things that have been with you for twelve full years and that simply refuse to go away.

Things like my former school, ICS (the Inter-Community School Zürich). That place started me off in 1st grade. The end of my PhD programme was the end of “22nd grade”, of sorts, for me. So I thought it would be a perfect way to head back to the place that I started 1st grade with — just to say hello to the teachers that made it all possible.

ICS ticks to these principles and goals. I share them, along with my ten languages and 22 countries and territories that ICS started me on. Field trips at ICS took me to the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and all over the place inside Switzerland. I did five IGCSE languages — English, German, French, Italian, and Chinese.

ICS also gave me a home, as it felt like a homecoming especially when I drove into the ICS parking lot. Yes, the huge green bit of playing field’s gone, but they’ve now expanded in size as well (although that’s “old news”; they’ve expanded back in 2000 already). They now also have a Diploma Studies Centre outside of the main campus.

This visit to ICS was of particular note, as I’d just completed my PhD and am about to be made a Lecturer (Assistant Professor in the US) at the Communication University of China. Everyone was really happy to see me, and I was pleased to meet a lot of familiar faces. A day later, and I’d head a little bit back to the future — after all, the future’s where it’s all at — as in China, that is.

And now that I’ve entered on my working (Z) visa, I’m going to be in the academic world for good.