Hows living in China? I work every day of the week. Usually a normal day includes an hour or two of teaching guitar, and a couple hours entertaining hotel guests. once a week I teach all day at the guitar school downtown. One of my employers, Mr. Chen, is a guitar lover and businessman who has opened over 15 small hotels in scenic spots across the beautiful mountainous region north of Wenzhou. He competes in a competitive tourist market by having an unique brand that includes a performance spaces and instruments in every hotel, a large number of employees who can perform. My job this year is to develop the brand image for his line of hotels. I have a room in the worker's dormitory and usually have the mornings free to hike, practice, and study Chinese.
It began with a summer trip The idea of going to China began in 2018 while I was a master's student at the University of Denver (DU). I got to know several Chinese students as the teaching assistant for DU's guitar class. Some of my students brought up that China has a huge demand for education from Western teachers. This idea of working abroad had always intrigued me and the prospect of having ample work opportunities encouraged me to decide to give the place a visit. I called up Erdong Li, a buddy from my college guitar studio, and he arranged that I appear as a performing artist at the Altamira Wenzhou Guitar Festival. The following trip filled me with wonder and curiosity about the beautiful country. I met two people who promised me employment once I graduated from school the next year. The responsibilities of the job included teaching at a classical guitar school in Wenzhou City, and entertaining with the classical guitar at a line of hotels in the scenic mountainous region north of the city. This job would start out with a light workload and compensated with living expenses plus about a $1400/month stipend. I agreed by the end of the trip, but I would have to use Chinese for the job.
I had to learn Chinese in a year When I visited the first time, I only knew a few sentences in Chinese. I would had a year of school before I would begin working as a guitar teacher. I had studied abroad in Japan when I was 20, and during that time I discovered a deep love for learning and conversing in new languages. Learning Chinese was an exciting challenge for me - I was able to get to an acceptable level by listening to programs on my phone for at least an hour every day as I walked to school.