Thinking about the future.

June 16th, 2006  
Wing Nut

Topic: Thinking about the future.

As some of you know, I am living and working in Guangzhou China (and I have been for the past 5 years). Last year I became the proud father of a big baby boy and have been thinking about his future.

One thing for certian, even though I like it out here, I enjoy the life, I enjoy the fact that I can life a very comfortable life for little money etc... I do not want my son going through the Chinese Education system. (Sure they are good at things where you learn parrot fashion, but when you actually have to think, or be creative.. most schools are lacking) one of my biggest gripes is that the poor kids have to strudy from around 7:30 in the morning to anyway up to 9pm at night. (if they go home the get out around 6) To me it is important for a Kid to have the chance to be a kid. All the schools are have little if any PT focus.

So to cut a long story short.. When my kid is at the age of going to Primary school we will be back in the UK for him to study there (after primary school I don't know where we will go).

My original intent before coming to China was to join the military. (Then my little holiday adventure turned into this 5 year one). Now I am likely to be going back I instantly thought about joining up.

Unfortunatly the Missus has other ideas. She really doesn't like the idea much at all so we have come to some middle ground. Since I foolishly (now I realise that) fobbed off in school, and came to China instead of going getting a degree etc.. (came when I turned 21) When I get back to the Uk it's gonna be hard for me to find a decent job to support my family so I figured I could suppliment my income with joining the TA (territorial Army) Which means I still get to do some Military stuff, just on a part time basis

I was looking at the TA and the options they have. For me, I am happy as just going in as infantry. I have no gripe with hard physical work and getting down and dirty, Yet the pay for officers is better. So now I am thinking which one would be better for me to go into. Personally I don't care much for money, but now I have a family to support I've gotta think about it. So Do officers get to have as much "fun" as the infantry do?

I noticed there is a minimum ammount of time you have to put into the TA (27 days a year) is there a maximum?

(my main hope is that through the TA the missus will succumb to how handsome I look in a dress uniform and see that all is okay in the military and give in to me joining full time)

So does anyone have any advice they can give me.

Do many here in the forces have family? Does it change anything?

Wing Nut
June 17th, 2006  
Wing Nut,
I can't tell you much about the specifics but i can tell you a little something about having a family in the military. I have a 1 year old daughter and i have another one on the way.. (well a son actually). I Love the United States Marine Corps and i am a much more productive member of society having become a Marine. To me a family is first right after God. So being in the air wing (i am a 6672) we have someone working in warehouse 24/7 so there is always something to be done. I average about 10-12 hour days with one weekend out of every month being on a 24 hour post. So what i am trying to say is this... even though i am active duty and you are planning on doing something the equivilant to the reserve here in the US you need to know that you will be missing your family and they will be missing you. I am in no way trying to talk you out of joining (i find that once someone makes their mind up to joing NOTHING stops them.) but sometimes no matter what you want to do the fact remains that while not very often but definately sometimes your family will be forced into second place. It is a sacrifice no matter how much you enjoy it. And don't forget about deployments esp in this crazy day and age. I wish you the best of luck and congrats on the little one.
June 23rd, 2006  
Personally, I disagree about what you said about the Chinese education system. I've been in a elementary school in China for about four years and really enjoyed the experience. The school was ran in a style similar to American schools and that's where I learned discipline and how to handle pressure. But one thing they didn't teach us was teamwork, the students did really well on individual projects but failed miserably on group projests. So what I'm trying to say is that is best to let your kid finish primary school in China and then go back to U.K.

By the way,my school started at 7:45 and ended at 4:35.
June 25th, 2006  
SeaPumas you must have been in the ONE public school in China like this, or was it perhaps an international school? Anyways, I am happy you had a singular experience in school here, most do not. The hours of school, the massive amounts of inane boring repititious homework, the destruction of creative thought, and condoned cheating is enough for me to say NO for my child as well and think Wingnut is making a wise decision. Even his wife, Chinese, agrees with this for the same reasons.

Perhaps some of our British brethren will share a bit about the UK since that is where he's going.

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