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JISHOU, HUNAN — Anticipating the imminent arrival of another foreign teacher, I was looking forward to having more free time. I assumed he would teach the extra classes I picked up in his absence.

Never assume anything. That’s true in science, journalism, and working in China. Because the new guy was not here in September to teach the juniors’ Business English classes, he and the students have to make up the missed classes. So, his schedule is 16 classes of just teaching those students that one subject.

That means I will keep on teaching the freshmen, whom I was rather reluctant to give up, anyway. They were also not happy to lose me as their teacher this term. So, in that respect, it’s a win. (I also get paid extra for the extra classes, another winning point.)

On the negative side, I won’t have a respite from my busy teaching schedule. I have 22 classes a week, Monday through Friday, and on two of those days I need to commute to the old campus where the freshmen live. That’s a 20-minute shuttle-bus ride each way. Still, it’s fewer classes than I had as a high school teacher, so I can’t complain too much. And really, I am not complaining. I’m just a little chagrined — I miss those three-day weekends.

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