■ 12:00 (UTC+08:00), 01 SEP 2012 | CHN BEIJING
■ ITEM FIRST POSTED BEFORE 07 FEB 2014
So, September 2012 is here. I’ve just entered China a few days back on a Z visa, or a working visa. I’m going to both be a kind of generic-alised “English teacher in China” and also a little more. I’m going to head to the Communication University of China as a Lecturer so that I can do a little academic research as a side schtick as well. My topics: new media and social media.
But here’s the thing: a teacher is not the smartest thing in the universe. There’s: (a) sure bound to be extraterrestrial life that knows more than we do (I think); (b) people who are not teachers that know more stuff than teachers do. I was a student of the Chinese rail world just some time back: these guys told me what those crazy radio blurbs were, and how two trains — one in China and one in Switzerland — actually had some thing in common. (It turns out the Chinese SS9G train set was designed by the same guys that did Switzerland’s Lok 2000!)
So I’m cutting it short here — yes, I’ll be a teacher, but I’m not gonna outfox anyone. In fact, I’ll be pretty happy when folks outfox me. That’ll also be the case a few years down the line when the baby is due (or babies are due, rather): I’m perfectly OK with these guys being smarter than I am from Day One.
You learn when in the company of other people. There’s no need to emphasise you’re a teacher: it’s better to tell folks that you’re a learner. A student for life. That’s what I’ll be, even if I’m outside of the classroom. A learner for life.
Do you know what makes my day the most in my classroom? When a fellow student teaches me something I don’t know. I like that. ■ ■ ■