It’s not often I get my picture painted.
Actually, I did not pose for the painting or even know it was planned.
One of the students staying in our house was returning to China after a year’s study here and he asked his artist friend, another Chinese student here, to draw a picture of the house with me (in typical pose?) out pruning the bushes.
I thought that if it showed me watering the flowers it might portray a nice image.
However, he told me it deliberately pictured me using shears.
‘It symbolises you role in the house here,’ he said. ‘While we are here you trim off our rough edges.’
I took it as a compliment.
Anyhow, I recommend the thought to those going to China to teach. It expressed the Chinese idea of what a teacher is: not one who just imparts knowledge but helps the student improve their character and be a better person. Or at least that is how I see it!