On my very first day teaching here at Chongqing Talent, I taught Class C, the lowest level class, and there was only had one student in it at the time. It was the class right after lunch and the student’s name was Emily. She didn’t speak very good English and it was a rough class. It was rough because I was nervous. It was my first class after all and I didn’t know what level of English she had. We worked through it though and I got to actually be able to say her name. I wrote it out how you said it, not how it is spelled. So Emily becomes Emma-Lee. We worked a lot on pronunciation during those first few classes and it was only us. We became friends and she quickly became my favorite student.
Fast forward a few weeks, Class C grew to 5 students and I gave them my WeChat number so that they can message me. WeChat is like Facebook in a way. It’s a messaging app but you can post pictures and statuses. Everyone has WeChat, I mean EVERYONE! So that same day we had a photo shoot in Class C and it was really fun.
Fast forward a few more weeks, to about 2 weeks ago, and that’s when everything went downhill. We had more people in the office quit and people not show up. Some of the students got very upset and wondered why they paid all this money to come here when people quit and don’t show up. They pay A LOT of money to come here, something like $9,000USD. Crazy right?!? I can’t even imagine paying that.
Anyway, a few students from Class C asked for a refund and they one by one have left the center to go back to their homes. The first to go was Rollicking who was the newest of all the students and lives right here in Chongqing. Then Alicia left at the end of last week and left on the train last night to go back to Wuhan. And lastly, Emily, my friend and student, left today. It was the saddest of them all. We started here together and now she is gone. She is from Chongqing as well, but she is leaving this afternoon for Beijing. Her uncle got her a job there. She also went to college in Beijing so she is very familiar with it and has many friends there.
Alicia and Emily are my friends. I met them outside of class many times. We ate Malatang together and they took me shopping for my birthday outfit. They even bought me the earrings and necklace to go with my dress for my birthday. They are so sweet and nice. Emily was going to teach me how to cook REAL Chinese food. We might do some sort of video call or maybe she’ll send me recipes. Of course, we’ll have to go to Beijing to see her or maybe we can meet up somewhere and travel together. She is always welcome to visit me wherever I am.
It’s a sad day. The weather here fits my mood. It’s rainy and smoggy and cold.