Life, Art and Teaching...(and being content)...& advice?

Hi all,

Have been lurking here for awhile. I have decided, after three years back in Melbourne, Australia that I don’t like it here. I lived from 01 to 06 in Osaka, Japan and Hong Kong. I had to come back on account of my father being seriously ill. He died about 1 year ago. When I came back I enrolled and successfully passed my post graduate studies (Diploma of Education) I am currently working as an art teacher here. (I have been a practising artist since 18, and have had exhibitions in Osaka, Sweden and Melbourne) BUT, whilst I find my job challenging, my social life is great…I still miss Asia.

I thought about going back to Japan, but it’s too cold and the job market seems dead. You’re probably thinking, why do I want to go an teach English in Taiwan, and give up a pension, a 2-5% pay-rise every year, paid holidays…etc, etc…
I too have thought long and hard about this.

My colleagues (who have only ever been to Thailand think I’m crazy!) But isn’t that what life/art is all about?

I believe the reason lies in my passion to teach and explore new cultures. In Melbourne, all my friends are either married, thinking of it or worried about their mortgages. I have none of these to worry about. At the end of the day, you have to be happy with the environment you work in, yes? I loved my time living and teaching in Osaka. Yes sometimes, I’d get frustrated about the way they do things, but the same thing happens here…

At the end of the day…I believe my home is not here…am strange? No I know I am not. But if I am I always think of Haruki Murakami, “What makes us most normal, said Reiko, is knowing that we’re not normal“.
from Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.
So, I have teaching experience in HK, Japan and Australia, have a BA and Dip Ed. I been interviewed by Hess (I know, but its my foot in the door!) Emailed a few school on TEALIT…but I believe I would like to just get on a plane a hit the streets resume in hand…is this wise? I have the passion, am culturally aware, and a little artistic :aiyo: …
oh I was thinking of coming at the start of August… :unamused:
thank you

Hi there!

Like you I share a love for Harumi Murakami (read all of his stuff that’s actually been translated into English) and art (have an art degree and painted before I came to Taiwan)!

With regards to schools, normally people tend to go for Hess or Shane or one of the bigger schools for their first year here, the hours were pretty hectic (4 years ago when I worked at Shane), but with the current economic situation, perhaps you won’t need to work as many hours). You could come here in person and look for jobs yourself - but I’d still just get a 1 year contract at Hess or where ever, get stable hours, make a few contacts, get to know the score and towards the end of your contract you’ll be able to decide if you want to stay on, or move on and get a better teaching job.

There is the possibility of you teaching art, but I wouldn’t know how to go about that. What I do know is that some of the more forward thinking parents here are starting to view the arts with more respect and a lot of art/drawing classes are starting up. If you ever did decide to develope your artistic career here, then I recon you’d have it pretty easy, although there are many fantastic Chinese painting artists here, western art is very popular, the problem is that all of the Taiwanese artists who’ve tried to mimic western style - have really done a horrible job of it, if you walk down He-Ping East road you’ll see many shops selling paint supplies as well as a few galleries filled with awful Van-Gough and Picasso copies and some other awful paintings.

What ever you choose to do - best of luck!

can u pm me?

i dont have enough posts…

Live YOUR life. Make YOUR decisions. If you let your friends think for you, you’re going to end up responsible for decisions they have made. Your friends are great, I’m sure, but they are not you. If you’re going to have any regrets, better they’re your own. Being an expatriot is not for everyone, or even for most. Only listen to advice from those who’ve done it–not just visited overseas, but lived in another country and made thier lives in another culture. These are the only people who will have anything near the right perspectives to advise you from. Even these people should not just be obeyed, however. You must make your own choices.

(I know cause right now I’m tring to work out a choice I’ve been trying to make for months. It’s not always easy, but I will not let anyone else tell me what I should do. Once I’ve finally made my mind up, I’ll know that I’ve done what I think is right.)

I am also a practicing artist, read Haruki Murakami, have lived in Japan (Tokyo… and actually I lived near Hong Kong, too), and am going to Taiwan to teach English. You’ll probably meet new colleagues who share some of the same ideas and a passion for exploring new cultures. I think you have already made the decision, by the sounds of it. In any case, good luck !