The Art of Eating

Food in an important part of the business culture in China.  Going out to dinner is more than just an invitation to have some food, it’s a social interaction that deals with networking, business, acceptance, and respect.   With my new position–and all that goes with it–I have been invited out to eat more and more.   In the past 2 weeks, I have attended at least 6 such dinners.

I didn’t take photos during all of them, but below are a few images from 3 of them.  The first two was a dinner with teachers and students. The middle one was 3 students and 2 teachers.  The last two were from a company dinner celebrating making our sales goal for the month.

At the company dinner I was forced to drink far too much beer. Yes, forced.  It’s a matter of honor and respect to drink when toasted.  And it wasn’t too much because I got drunk (I can’t get drunk on the beer here, it’s like water), but too much because I was so full I thought I would explode.
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The Big News

So…  My contract ended yesterday.

Today I signed a new one.  I’m both a “senior teacher” and (here’s the big news) Dean of Studies for English Learning International.   I am in charge of the entire academic department.

It’s a 3 year contract, so it looks like I’m settling in for the long haul.

The past couple weeks have been incredibly busy.  The curriculum and schedules were changed by management, and the students have been very angry with the changes.  Even though I wasn’t officially in charge yet (and had no guarantee that I would even have  job) I’ve spent the past week dealing with all the fallout and trying to get things working in a way that is good for both the school and the students.

I’m going to be busy, but the pay raise is significant, and the authority to manage the department is wonderful.