Unsustainable Workloads

I knew I would be out of my element when I accepting a directing position here at Shantou University for the production of Pippin. While I have found great pleasure from working with students on acting, it’s not the directing itself that I enjoy. It’s my inner teacher that is being fufilled. However, my energies of directing have meant a cloudiness on my production skills. Adding in the fact that I am the patch-work tech director as well, my mind is racing with a million facets of the show. It’s been a real test of how sharp my mind is as I try to juggle all kinds of folks. 

For now, it’s meant having to give up the detail that I ususally insist upon. I can only deal on the higher plane. Normally, this would be fine because the folks implementing my decisions would find the right way to do it. However, I feel I must micromanage to a certain degree because no one here has ever done a full-blown musical or even a good sized play in any language. Currently, I lack a knowledgeable team to make sure the details reach the students that want to learn.

It seems that the spread-thin syndrome is not unique to the musical. The English Language Center teachers are asked not only to teach up to five classes, but they are also required to support extra cirricular activities on campus. While the living standard here is good for foreign teachers, it’s often hard to retain them because the teaching life here is unsustainable even if it is temporarily rewarding.