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So basically, my English major students were tasked with making a video for their final exam based on a topic we discussed in class.  I expected something simple, perhaps hastily made, filmed on an ipod or a cellphone.  In fact that would have been perfectly fine.  But this was not good enough for Nikki’s group.  You see, Nikki is an actor in a local Deyang T.V. drama.  So naturally she talked to her friends and got someone to agree to digitally film their video.  The result is much better than I expected, and in fact much better than local T.V. dramas!  Therefore without further ado, allow me to present to you “Career or Relationship, Which Should You Choose?”

Don’t ask me why, but lately I’ve had my interest in pro wrestling re-kindled. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t follow story lines or watch regular programming. What I’m interested in is hearing about and listening to the behind the scenes stories from the days when I watched wrestling and the days that came before that. There are a couple of podcasts I really enjoy and they spend a lot of time talking about the good ol’ days and how the times have changed. It’s nerdy, I know. But I enjoy it, so what the hell.

Here’s a little wrestling 101 for you. Back in the old days when new wrestlers wanted to break into the business, most (if not all) of them had to spend time “doing the job” as they called it. Doing the job meant going out every night and taking a beating from the established stars in the business to make them look good. If you did this, you were called a jobber. And if you spent enough time as a jobber you might just break out and become an established talent in time. But needless to say, it would take a lot of beatings and making other people look good before you had a chance at success for yourself.

Now, I told you that story so I could tell you this one. I’m the jobber. I’m a Peace Corps volunteer in China, and I am very proud of the work that I have done. But in order to be a successful volunteer in China, my experience is that you also have to be willing to “do the job”.You put in extra hours because that’s what you signed up for. You work because you want to be successful and you want other people to look good. You’re asked your opinion and it seems like it was just so someone could tell you they disagree. You’re asked for your expertise only to have someone tell you that for one reason or another it doesn’t bear as much weight as someone else’s. But at some point, just like that jobber who’s lost his 1000th match and still hasn’t gotten his shot, you start to think to yourself, “Is anyone going to put any value in the work I’m doing? If not, then what am I working toward here?”

At some point you just want to be recognized for the work you put in. I’m no egomaniac, but when I put my stamp on something and someone comes along and blots it out with their bigger and brighter stamp it bothers me. If I had no chance at success, why did you ask me to “do the job”?

The wrestling business has moved away from the jobber system because they figured they already had too many established names. But the jobber didn’t go away. He just changed occupations.

Haven’t written in a long time, but I wanted to share. This week was the COS, or close of service conference for Peace Corps China 18s (and extended 17s). It was a bittersweet event, not knowing whom of these awesome folks I will see again or when. I’m so proud to be a Peace Corps volunteer, and to have so many new and absolutely awesome people in my life.

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