Thursday, June 28, 2007

It was a full day

Yesterday was pretty good at work. I got the lower-level students talking more than usual (for some reason they want to listen more than talk, which is the complete opposite of the former class of same level). I also had a lot of fun with the two young women in the high level--they taught me a few Chinglish sayings. I'm just glad they're at the point that they recognize direct translations as being really bad and sometimes funny (i.e. Mao's famous saying: "Good good study day day up.")

When I arrived home I was greeted with a very belated gift: my children's books. I had originally loaned these books to a Chinese teacher and asked the senior teacher at Tsinghua Experimental School to return these books back in January. I would have retrieved the books myself, but I was not allowed back on campus to do so. I made numerous polite requests for the return of my books, but being the forgetful one he is, the senior teacher never returned them. Finally, I got fed up and set a deadline.

Here's where it gets interesting: My books we accompanied by a little piece of paper for me to sign stating that I received them. This was not from the senior teacher, but from the director of studies of the language center at Tsinghua Experimental School. This is the same guy who threatened me a few times. Case in point, I was told I would not receive 7000 RMB and I would be "blacklisted" if I didn't hand over my passport so the school could take it to the police immigration office to cancel the visa (which I have found out is not necessary). I was also threatened in March because of an accounting error that "accidentally" paid me two months salary (I think I deserved that money considering I never received a month's notice, thereby breaking my contract). I was told they would call the police if I didn't correct THEIR mistake. Again, this was a lie because the police do not get involved in such trivial employment matters (yes, I have asked English-speaking officers). This all makes me quite glad that I no longer have ANY connection to that school. I should've left it earlier.

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