Sunday, December 6, 2015

Go big or go home. Literally.

We have made a big decision...

For those of you in international teaching, you'll get this. For those of you who are not, let me tell you about this process. Generally, one's initial contract at a school is 2 years. After that, you can sign a contract for varying lengths of time, including only 1 year. After our initial 2 year contract, we've signed year to year. At our school, which seems to be typical, this contract is due December 1. Since this is the typical deadline, most people need to quit with nothing lined up for the following school year. Everyone hopes to land something before the December 1 deadline, obviously, but there's not much to be landed until things open up on December 1. See the problem? Can you imagine both working members of a family of 5 quitting their jobs at the same time? It's enough to make one think they're going to throw up all the time.

We agonized over this decision. I have cried and cried. Here are the places I've cried about this: in the principal's office, in the 5th floor bathroom at work, out running along the Tancheun river path, in our bedroom, in the 4th floor bathroom at work, in my car, in my classroom, at the school Christmas party. Jim has not cried, but his sleep has been a mess. We both like our school, we're happy here, but we're ready to explore again. Why walk away from a good thing? It's time. We came here for the adventure.

We tried to land something before Dec. 1. We requested an extension and got one until December 5 and tried to land something before that. We were close. We had some Skype interviews, but the timing is so tricky.
Jim in the middle of an interview
skype interview selfie! (a few minutes before the actual interview)
You can take notes during a skype interview
We had to decide: are we the kind of people who walk away when things are good? Oprah did it. 
I told Jim it was like jumping off a high dive. He said, "it's like jumping off a high dive not knowing if there's any water in the pool". Jim has also said this is like riding a roller coaster where only some of the seat belts work. There were more analogies about sky diving and hot air balloons. I think you get the idea.

As our deadline of 5pm approached, we had gotten out of the house to meet up with our friend Christian for some head-clearing shopping and food. As we talked it over, it became clear that this is the right time. 

Here's Jim at 5:03:
I think he just shit himself 
Eating our feelings with banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery. 

You might be wondering what comes next. Here's how this works going forward. We get our information out, we hope to connect with schools and have more Skype interviews. And then, while we're vacationing in Thailand over the winter break, if we don't have anything lined up, we will go to the job fair (that's a whole different story). Our safety net is America. Did you know you can get a house in America for like $10,000? DETROIT 2016!


  1. Wow, way to take such a big risk and put yourselves out there. Fingers crossed for you and I'm ready with a side hug whenever you need one.

  2. Somehow I think your next blog will be "Farleys Even Further Away" and then "Farleys So Far Away We're Getting Closer Again"!
    I know that's a flippant comment, and nothing about this process has been flippant for you guys... I appreciate the insight into the background anguish, and I feel for you. Most of us just think the Farley's sail serenely from one adventure to the next, a seamless segue of serendipitous serenity if you'll pardon the alliteration, but it seems there more to it than that. From a distance I have to say you both make it look so easy, so this blog has been quite a revelation for me!
    Promise me you'll keep writing the blog though, from wherever in the world you end up.

  3. We are all your biggest cheerleaders. Maybe we don't dance on the sidelines in sketchy outfits waving pompoms, but we are always rooting for you!

  4. I wish I had the same bullhorn you brought to the Denver Marathon finish years deserve that cheering on at this time! :) You guys will be okay no matter what. Thinking of you with lotsa love!