I wrote this piece a couple days before my Chinese language program started on September 2. I wasn’t really feeling this post so decided to let it sit for a day or two. That has quickly turned into two and a half weeks that are a blur of Chinese characters and not enough sleep.
Anyway, here’s what I wrote. A bit perfunctory, yes, but want to get the basics of what’s going on with me out there. Some edits [in brackets]:
I’m back in Beijing for real this time. Unlike last time, I can’t move away because I’ve paid up tuition for at least one semester of a Chinese program, and in theory will do it for a full year. I’m sketchy on the details but know the basics: I’ll be studying at the vaguely named IUP program at Tsinghua University. Some friends of mine have done it before and come out with badass Chinese. Good enough reason for me.
I left China Economic Review at the beginning of [August] after a tumultuous two-week handover to the new editor, the first EIC to come from outside the company in roughly the last five editors. It’s in good hands; there’s just a bit of a learning curve.
Things had been going well at CER, especially with the website, and we were hitting our stride, producing a lot of great content. But back when there was a huge shakeup of the magazine in the winter (print production was handed over to a Chinese team and foreign staff was refocused on the website), I had gone ahead and applied to this language program as a possible exit. Things ended up not as bad as expected, but the program offered me a 50% discount/scholarship.
Since then, several people have told me condescendingly “like everyone gets” such a scholarship, but at the time, it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up at the time. I need to go back to school for Chinese at some point to be able to do completely fluent interviews, so now seemed as good a time as any.
I arrived in Beijing on [August 20] after two weeks traveling in Russia. Class starts on Monday, and I’m already set up with apartment, which [left] me with plenty of time on my hands to get nervous about school, see Jurassic Park 3D and take care of long neglected tasks, like this site.
I finally updated my CV and my clips along the sidebar. You’ll notice that I’ve added the The Atlantic under clips, where there are links to the two stories a I wrote while I was in Myanmar. I also revamped my clips from China Economic Review, a difficult task given how much I’ve written in my almost two years at the magazine. There’s a link to my Instagram, which I’m a huge late adopter of, as well.
I’ll still be freelancing to support myself, so if you hear of anything, send it my way! More about the Russia trip soon.
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