Friday, April 27, 2007

The Chinese Dilemma


A little background information for the old guys who are new to the blog: My wife and I are currently living in Bloomington, Indiana. The wife is wrapping up a PhD in French Linguistics – she has finished all of her course work, passed her exams and has only but the dissertation to write.

I recently got laid off from my job, and this being a small town filled with a large college, career options are few. With the dissertation being able to be written anywhere, and my job worries, we feel it is time for a move.

CHINA-Great%20Wall%20ofr%20China%203My sister and her husband (Bethany and Brian Bates for those of you who were at Faulkner long enough) are currently residing in Shanghai, China. They work at a high school for international students. They’ve been in China for about three years now and absolutely love it.

Amy and I have talked about traveling over there ourselves and working for a year or two. The thing is, it’s always been talk – a pipe dream if you will - something that sounds exotic and fun, but nothing more than that. The thing is with us being in what you might call a transitional period, I’ve kicked it up a little and we sent our resumes to Brian.

I got an e-mail from my sister this morning saying they had given the resumes to the administrators at the school. She also said they were eager to get somebody to teach their English as a Second Language classes. Amy, though not certified in ESL, has taken some courses in it. She also tutors foreign students in English at the local library, and she taught ESL during our year in France.

The sister also said if they like Amy they’d find me a spot. We’re expecting a call in the next week.

chinese-dragon-redNow, the question remains whether or not we would take this job if we were offered it. That’s a big move. It sounds great in a lot of ways. But we do want to start a family soon. It would be more difficult for Amy to do her research. And we’re not sure how this would effect Amy’s ability to move into a full time job at a US university. In part she’d have some real ESL experience, which is a field she loves. But it would still be out of the US market which could be detrimental (most universities expect you to jump right into your field and complete your dissertation quickly.)

Who knows if we’ll even be offered the gig. Much to think about, and I request your prayers that it will not only be offered but that we’ll make the right decision concerning it.


Jamison said...

I think if anyone deserves to go over ther,e it is you. You have (like you said) had some flip flopping jobs, none of which I would assume are things youd want to be doing. I can see you teaching, and I can see you having fun over there. On that note, I'd say go for it. Heck, you lived in France for a year...

On the other hand, you mentioned the family. If you decided to have a child in China, what kind of medical facilities and what are the medical standards in China? Would you want to raise a child voer there? If you just went over there for a few years, could you wait to start a family to come back to the states?

Mat Brewster said...

Yes, the family question is big. Bethany says their medical facilities in Shanghai are fine. And I figure they have like a billion people so they've got to be doing something right in terms of birthing babies.

But first baby thousands of miles from home might be difficult.

Though we could stay a year, save some large cash, and come back ready for a baby. I'd be 32-33 which is a little late, but not too bad to start a family. And the more I think about it the more 1 kid seem just about right.

Jamison said...

yea, ive know you long enough to see you being a 1 kid kind of guy... neither a good thing nor a bad thing.

But you have seen how "new grandparents" can be... them having a new grandchild on the other side of the earth may cause them to go insane. and youll be bombarded with guilt trips.

Mat Brewster said...

Oh I know, the grandma situation will be weird. I think my mom won't mind too much. I mean she won't like it, but my brothers got kids, and the real pressure now is on Bethany.

Amy's mom though, she'll freak. She already makes ugly faces when we mention we're thinking about going. If we had a kid over there she'd flip.

Interesting that you say you see me as a one kid guy. I used to want a couple figuring it would be good for them to play togehter and I worried a single kid would turn out egotisitcal or weird. But now I'm old and I don't want to be 60 by the time all the kids are adults. Plus my brother in law has an only child and he's turned out real well.

Chris said...

I have been thinking about your dilemma and I have decided that it's up to you. God will use you no matter where you go and open doors that you'll be surprised to find open. That's the way He works, the point is be faithful. China is a neat place I hear. We have some friends over there working - Temple and Ruben Davis. Their situation is kinda similar to yours, although different. They lived here, both worked, going to school and then decided to move BACK to China to work again. Either way I am sure you'll make a good decision. If you allow God to lead this process He will. Shalom!

Mat Brewster said...

Thanks. In my prayers I simply ask that I may make the right decision and go where I can do some good.

mullinz8 said...

As a Christian you're (we're all) supposed to be a walking billboard of our faith and belief system.

there is so much that youcould do to represent your walk to those who might have a completely different take on that faith.

As for the family thing. Shanghi is not some po dunk dive. It's a very modern city and though it might not be a first thought having a kid over there would be fine.

Don't base what you want to do by where you are. Base it on what yo want to end up with. I don't think you'd give up your time in France for anything, why in a couple of years would this have been anything different.

Think of the kid. You move back to the states and the little kipper grows up and gets to tell everyone he knows he was born in China. Very cool. Living in TN and telling folks I was born in Washington state gets odd looks, think about CHINA! Awesome!

If I get a wild hair and start sending things overseas and get a bite, you can bet now while the kids are young we'll be catching the first flight over to anywhere.

I have a cousin who was offered a gig with Kraft foods in the UK. He took it, make buckets of cash and now if back home. Had one kid in England and raised another there for several years.

If it happens it will happen for a reason. Don't deny the potential.

Jamison said...

and by the way, if you have a child in china, and move back here, he will automatically have dual citizenship and if America goes to pot (though I cant imagine it getting worse than communist, no-religion, china in 30 or 40 years time) then he can go back to his homeland with no problems...

mullinz8 said...

See Brew! You have the fall of America to consider, go to China you bastard.

Mat Brewster said...

I'm not entirely sure that's true. My American friends had a child in France and he doesn't have dual citizenship. My wife was born in Africa and she doesn't have dual citizenship. I believe one of the parents has to be a citizen of the other country for the child to have any rights.

Could be wrong though.

And you go to China if you're so gung ho on the idea.