What a night! Matt had arranged for us all to go to OCT loft to see a Jazz version of Nirvana. The band was ok but a non jazzer wouldn’t understand it.
Prior to that we had been at PEKO having a drink.I loved going to MAGMA (right across the way- an Italian bar) because I could get an Italian Spritz (Aperole). There was a band setting up there called the World Service Project. They told us to come back later. They also told us they were the closing act for the OCT Jazz Festival last year.
We went to Nirvana.I can still remember Mickey one-tie turning around and saying “oh this is good!” but soon after, he bolted, heading back to PEKO.
The Nirvana jazz project wasn’t so good but the best was yet to come.
So we all headed back to PEKO and lo and behold, the World Service Project started up. They were magic! Matt was so excited because “they waited for us!”.What a night!
My favourite memory is little Ryan,Hoss’s boy, running out of Magma full bolt, pointing two drum sticks straight ahead.The drummer had given them to him(I think) and Ryan was on a mission to run before he changed his mind I guess. It was hilarious seeing this kid booting it out of MAGMA.
After the disaster that was Nirvana, the World Service Project was a God send. Everyone ended up having a great night!
Speaking of PEKO, the drink of choice there was called “The Contender”.It’s a beer made by Boxing Cat Brewery, out of Shanghai.
We all got used to these things, sometimes making way too big of a deal over them, but we were all trying to get on with it in China. China was the lowest point of our career in some ways but we ended up meeting the BEST people and having so many great holidays. So, although the teaching was rubbish, the after hours party times were grand!
I was tricked into teaching K/1 music. Here’s what happened:
At the SEARCH Fair, I was handed a contract for Primary Drama. I was told I would be the PYP Drama coordinator. Hmmm, I thought, this doesn’t seem real.
Anyway, around March of 2016, I received an email from the PYP head of music, Laois.
She told me I was teaching Pre K and K music.
“Absolutely not!” I wrote back. Who said that? What Ally had done was “cancel” the drama idea and just shove me into Pre K/K music.
I bargained and said “Ok how about K/1 music? I am NOT teaching Pre-k music.
So that’s what I got. It would have been smarter actually to avoid the grade ones that year because they were simply the devil. Those were the worst behaved kids of my entire career. We called them the fabulous ferrel factory.They had no toys to play with at lunch so they just threw rocks at each other. What a disaster!
We had to wear these horribly ugly yellow duty pinnifores. So ugly! I still can’t believe they make people wear them. We had duty 2-3 times a week. It was madness. The kids just ran around screaming in Chinese. And they bullied the ex-pat kids who could not speak Chinese so the whole situation was insane.
The admin at SHEN WAI was awful too. With the exception of Belinda, and Rene Ren, everyone else was hopeless, or rather, ruthless.
The Aussie PYP coordinator was one of the rudest people I have ever worked with: she had no idea how her mannerisms came across: boorish, and dismissive.And her husband?Oh dear, I am ashamed to say he is Canadian. Such a rude, uncouth character. I can’t possibly believe he was ever a drama teacher. His play direction in the school , along with the other chauvinistic drama director, was abysmal.
No people skills at all. The male school deputy director Daniel: not much to say except that he was and continues to be a classic chauvinist and a man of very small vision.
The Chinese Director: I rather liked her but she was devious. She warned the Chinese staff they could not take any sick days because of the high absenteeism of the ex-pats. She told the Chinese staff that they had to be “better” than us, that they were held to a much higher moral standard. Previously, she told the Chinese staff that all ex-pats come to Shenzhen just to get drunk, party and travel. So funny and, in some cases, true!
The new Principal in PYP: Mrs. Dithers. My my, she is a piece of work. Nice enough but talk about flaky.
I liked old Mr Gong though. He was a kind man at least to me. He seemed to be an honourable person. I wish them all well truly I do: I just couldn’t imagine working there ever again with so many incompetent people and such a lack of educational vision.