Chongqing is actually a municipal region of 34 million people. The new campus of Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences is about 2 hours outside of Chongqing proper. Longchuan is a peaceful and quiet city with little traffic and residents who are not used to foreign teachers. This is not a tourist destination so the town does not have the predatory feel of many tourist destinations where you keep your hand on your wallet.
I arrived at 4 am on Friday, September 3 to an apartment on the fourth floor. I was astounded by the fully funished 6 room apartment. I still do not know what to do with all this room. The office is furnished with a computer, color printer, sound system and a flat screen TV in the living room.
The first full day here I was treated to a banquet given by the university for all foreign teachers. The campus has 15 thousand students. There are 1200 teachers. I am part of a foreing contingent consisting of seven Americans, three Russians, two Canadians, and three others from Switzerland, Phillipones, andJapan.
The university has two campus locations. I was given my assignments which will have me teaching on the Old campus on Mondays, mostly freshman, and on the new campus the rest of the week with sophomores and Juniors.
The old campus is gorgeous. From my classroom I look out onto a manmade lake with an island suppoting a romantic pagota. It was used for the filming of one of John Woo’s moview Crouching Tiger. It is also used for many wedding photo shots.
My teaching schedule is easy..only 14 hours a week until later in the semester when I conduct a few debate seminars. This leaves me time to explore the inscriptions and caves from the Tang Dynasty that I came here to research.