In the end, she became more than what she expected. She became the journey, and like all journeys, she did not end, she just simply changed directions and kept going.R.M. Drake
Life in China
China was my home on and off over the past decade. During my sophomore year of undergrad, I taught English at a university in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province in exchange for history credits. Post-grad school, I joined an educational NGO and moved to the countryside of Lishui, Zhejiang Province. There, I taught about American culture to a local public primary and middle school, and worked part-time at an English training center for two years. Following this experience, I moved to teach English literature and drama history with an American middle school in Beijing.
When Covid hit, I found myself trapped outside of China, but still had to work full-time from abroad. I wouldn’t recommend that experience to anyone, but it did teach me a lot in terms of personal growth and resilience!
I grew up listening to languages my immigrant parents didn’t want to teach me, so I get a regressive pleasure out of feeling my way through sounds to their possible meanings. Not “getting” a word, or a line, or a poem at first read was never an obstacle for me — in fact, it was a seduction.”Ange Mlinko
As someone perpetually caught in a vortex of mixed races, cultures, and religions, there’s a lot about my past that I’m working to unpack and heal from. Writing has helped me to process some of the painful experiences I had growing up including forced religious conversions, sexism, racism, and gaslighting among others. My hope is that someone out there can gain something positive out of my story, even if that is just to know that you’re not alone in trying to take care of your mental health and move forward.
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Hi, I’m Steph. While working full-time as a literature and drama history teacher in China, I started this blog to share about my travel experiences and observations. Now, when I’m not spending time with my wonderful husband, I continue to write about my love for travel, food, teaching, and identity politics. Read more