Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring has come and so have the Lilacs

Spring has finally come to Harbin. That means that the lilacs are in bloom which is the cities official flower. They are everywhere. I must say the city has done a good job at trying to plant trees and shrubs to make the city a little nicer. There are crews out planting new trees every spring and summer. Through out the Northeast of China you will find trees being grown. This is a good thing and probably due to the deforestation of much of the land. Coming from the Great Northwest of the U.S. , I can say that is surely one thing that I miss, the forests and abundance of trees. Where I live in Washington state, some of the forests have been harvested and renewed 3 times. Most of San Francisco was built from the forests where I live on the Hood canal and Olympic peninsula. So it is really nice here in Harbin when it finally after the long winter finally ends and the buds start. There is one thing that is common here that is a little hard to understand. The Chinese are obsessed with trimming trees, so after the first leaves show up they disappear and the tops of trees are whacked off. The effect is a little strange as it creates streets filled with no tops, and the growth of the trees are shaped in a particular fashion.

On the teaching front classes are going well and I'm pretty much booked up to capacity. I want to point those teachers who may be working for around 5k rmb towards a very doable doubling of their salary, with about 4 extra classes a week. If you have a large enough apartment you can easily start some classes during your off time. If you are a university teacher your weekends can bring in an extra 1000 rmb with 4 classes. If you keep your prices below the language schools and are a decent teacher the word will spread and you will not have to advertise. If you are a private language school teacher you will have lots of free time in the week to have some after school classes or just one per night at around 5:30. If you want to focus on young learners you should be able to schedule an afternoon class around 1:30 as many students in that age group have one day per week that is a half day of classes. So it presents a good opportunity to double your income with a few extra hours of work. Most teachers have 14-20 hours of teaching per week so there should be lots of time, unless you are having to do all the curriculum and have lots of testing to mark. Of course if you are here to just to spend money or time on your interests then this model may not be for you.

worldtour aka Larry Rhoe

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At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is great! I was wondering. There is much talk in the States about how polluted some Chinese cities are. How does Harbin rank? Is pollution a problem for you.


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