No Summertime Sadness! ... Beijing's Montessori Madness!

With the Autumn here and the Winter setting in, I wanted to look back at the Summer that has just passed. Was it filled with sadness or was it just tiredness? Through the trainings and early morning commutes, I tried my best to turn up during those 2018 Summer months. If truth be told, Beijing's thrown some shade but deep down she's had my back the whole time! Don't start! 

July 2018 put the M in my Montessori teacher training course, we had been working hard during our weekends for a good couple of months. We then found ourselves at the new home of the company operating the training. The commute for the weekend training had been in Shunyi at my then current campus but that July venue was a two hour commute in the morning and another two hours in the evening. I had other things going on at that point, believe me that pettiness was sorted within a second. The lectures were hardcore, running on little sleep and following a 6.30 AM alarm call, it started to take its toll. #TeamNoSleep! It wasn't all tiredness and takeaways, actually I really enjoyed the brain development seminars that helped me understand the mind of a child. Those nuggets of information kept me going through that nonstop schedule. Yes, I was waiting for the culture, music and geography days! Was I doing the right thing though? That month of training had me re-evaluating things! No mistakes, Beijing!

I lived for the cultural lessons, learning about the different land and water forms definitely interested me. Getting in touch with the seven continents was amazing, learning about the different colours for the continents within the Montessori code wasn't new to me but it was great to have some clarity. The newest trainer hailed from the Philippines, one place that I have some great friends from, that shared nationality gave me a sense of something I missed. I had missed most of Practical Life, enjoyed Sensorial but Maths really wasn't something I enjoyed. Art during that months worth of training was great, the course wasn't long enough because we had such chilled and creative lessons with music on in the background. First learning about the cultural items opened up a whole new world of Montessori possibilities, whatever would happen after that month I was enthused about culture for sure! Concluding with the assignments and the reality of the program, I had some gargantuan choices to make. What? Where's that Rainbow? 

From Spring 2018 and onwards, I had about as many weekends as hours I had sleep. Not many because I followed that alarm call, no snoozing in the big smoke! I was only getting one or two weekends free per month, that surely led me to go even crazier than crazy! I made a new friend along Line 14, discovered a new club in Sanlitun and got to grips with a bit of drama, all healthy things to deal with from time to time. I needed to let loose! Getting into town on a Saturday for myself was such a rarity I took that chance with two hands and ran with it! Getting down to Tai Koo Li had to be done, my wardrobe was invalid for that Summer period. H&M had me covered, getting some new threads I headed for some dinner/tea, my livener and food had sorted me out big time. Too many hot toddies the night before had left my head feeling a little sore. My rare opportunity to get into town was well worth the wait, like I had been going into town for the last three weeks everyday but that was business, not for pleasure. The scenery was delicious! 好吃!

Freshened up and with my new threads looking good, it was time to hit the town. I had recently been shown a new place to get crazy at in Sanlitun, Kai Bar had something more to show me because the previous time I had been at training for the whole that Saturday. Switching between Kai and Destination, I allowed my night to take some pretty insane twists and turns. Arriving back home with the birds it had been an equally eventful early morning period, the less I reveal its for the best. I'll just say 'TAXI!' That Saturday was full-packed and so was the Sunday morning but the rest of the day was a complete different story. The following Sunday I took a random trip to see the Peking Opera, staying away from the drink it was something to remember for a very different reason compared to my usual Beijing days or nights out. My social life may have taken a backseat, I had a certain feeling that my weekends would be making a comeback. Oh, I made things happen regardless-of having no free-time! It wasn't forever! I was so over it! 

Before my summer holiday to Wuhan and then onto England, I spent a lovely day with my new class at Beijing's Science and Technology Museum. Before my Summer training period, I had spent two Fridays at my second Shunyi campus, it was a transfer that I had been looking forward to see happen. No mistakes, B! I would be reverting back to my English Specialist duties in August, once the training concluded and that was something I was really looking forward to. The day at the museum was great, it was a great chance to spend time with the children before I would be in the class with them on a full-time basis. It was a lovely sunshine day, something somewhere told me that however the training would fair I would have a new chapter waiting to begin at my new campus. It was a sign the previous months had not been for nothing, its was fate! The Monday after the school trip would be the beginning of the training, what a month B! I was ready for Wuhan, I was ready to see my first-born Niece! 2018 would be ending nicely! Yes!

The summer of 2018 may have been filled with weekends of training and little time for me to see the city, but that time has passed and things are starting to look very different indeed. I managed to get down to my kind of party town once, twice well maybe more than three times per month! No matter how important something career-wise may appear to be, there's always time to get down right crazy to deal with the stresses that life brings us. My training was a life-lesson, those snatched days and nights out were great but it was even better to meet my new students before beginning full-time in Rainbow Class. It may have been stressful and quite tiring but all of those things brought me a new found clarity, a sense that I had made the right choice during the previous winter after arriving in Beijing. My current destination wasn't the one I had envisaged a couple of months ago but I know I have made the right choices along the way. Absolutely, there was no summertime Sadness! Beijing had it all covered for me! Let me breathe, I needed to rest! 

No More Shady Business! 

Joseph Harrison 


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