Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It was six years ago today that I flew into Beijing from Los Angeles. Hard to believe that so much time has passed.

My life and work here at the university is almost over. Since Beihang University does not issue Foreign Expert Certificate's to foreign professors over 55, I have no choice but to find work elsewhere. I actually work for the Software College, but the College of Software does not have its own visa granting authority. So my visa is granted by the University.

It has been a fascinating six years. My job here has been unusual in the sense that I did not respond to a job advertisement. I did not come to fill a specific vacant position. I proposed to set up a program for training students in the Oracle database system, and the Software College accepted my idea and offered me a contract.

When Phil first sent me an email, I didn't even answer it. I had forwarded my resume to the director of software colleges for China, because he had been referred to me by the Asia-Pacific office for Oracle in Singapore. The director of software colleges had given my resume to Phil, the coordinator for foreign teachers at the Software College, and he had sent me the email I ignored. I had planned to go to the poor area of Western China, so I viewed the Beijing offer as a distraction.

A week later, Phil sent me another email. I decided that it was rather impolite of me not to respond, since, after all, the email came in response to my own inquiry. so I dashed off a quick email describing briefly who I was and what I wanted to do. The rest is history.

Now, oddly enough, I am being presented with a request to go to Western China, and I am wondering if it is what I should do, or a distraction. One of my former students is from Guizou Province, and he has invited me to come home with him for Spring Festival, so I am going to go scope the place out.

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