That relief has come through a strong commitment to improve and make small progress. Small progress is still progress.

The people here have taught me about compassion. I’ve gained compassion for my curious and lovely students. Their curiosity helps inform my teaching and motivates me to teach them better. I also have gained compassion for the other foreign teacher. We are both in a similar position and need to depend on one another. The experience is better when we work together. My compassion spread to my friends and family back home as well. The distance has made my heart grow fonder for their warmth and wealth of advice. We talk a lot and I cherish my relationships with them even more.

The importance of patience has been paramount. Sometimes I ask a question and the students won’t answer. Originally, I thought it was because they couldn’t understand me, or because they didn’t know the answer. Odds are the third option holds the most truth. The third option is that they are taking time to think of how to say the answer. English isn’t their first language and a lot of the time I took it for granted. It takes time to develop thoughts and that time should be increased when it comes to translating the answer in the head. I’ve also worked on my patience when it comes to learning Chinese. The language isn’t coming naturally to me, however, slowly but surely, I’m making progress.

Lastly, I want to give some advice to you all! My advice is to stay curious and to always ask questions. If you’re interested in traveling, ask people who’ve been abroad. Continue to look for ways to travel as you get older. You’ll be amazed by all the opportunities out there. A lot of them will pop up when you least expect it.