Combatting Racism

Hi Alex,

It has come to my attention that you weren’t truthful with me. It’s funny that you said that you didn’t need any teachers to me and then go and try recruit my wife to sub for you yesterday, after you screwed me out of 6 weeks of work. When I started to deal with your school, you made it clear that you needed me for those weeks. In order to accommodate you, I refused other jobs. I reserved that time for your school. I found it quite insulting that you just told me on a whim late on a Sunday that you wouldn’t need me anymore.

I should have known better. It all boils down to racism. Your school has racist policies. The fact that I’m not a white Canadian is what it boils down to. What I can’t believe is how you just blatantly lied to my face, telling me that I’d be working in August, when you knew you’d just try to find someone else. This was just to placate me so I wouldn’t make a scene.

You might not know that I am a freelance journalist and I will writing about this. Your school receives a failing grade.

This is a letter that I didn’t write to a school I’ve had dealings with. I’ve reported before about how much racism I encounter when I go to jobs. This was just a little too much. On top of being racist, they totally screwed me out of work, work which I could have easily found elsewhere if they hadn’t lied to me so much.

Ah well, life in Taiwan is sometimes about getting screwed by the Taiwanese.

Joe’s Twig-gate

So there I was, minding my own business and teaching a buxiban class. It’s a “homework” class for grade school students, and I’ve got kids from 3rd to 6th grade in the same classroom. This means that some of the kids can get easily bored. They are of too different levels in my opinion and the class should be split.

After having told Joe to stop playing with his toys for the 4th time, I told him to give me his little twig. This happened right after I confiscated a blown up rip-off Rubik’s cube. He didn’t want to hand it over, even when the Chinese teacher confronted him. He hid it behind his bag and said he didnt have anything. I looked around on the floor and found his little twig. He took it up and tried to put it in his pencil case. I told him to hand it over. He didn’t comply and threw it in my general direction. I took it in my pocket and took his pencil case from his desk and put it on mine. By this time, he was bawling. I guess that he’s about 10. He was making a big deal and most probably saying bad words about me. I talked to him in English. I didn’t swear, but told him that I didn’t care. He should have handed it over. I didn’t care that other teacher might indulge him. He was totally freaking out and the teacher had to take him outside. Before she did, while he was crying loudly, I resumed class and spoke over his attention-seeking.

A few moments later, I broke the twig in small pieces. During break time, I threw it out. I noticed that when Joe came back into class, he was looking all over the place for his twig. He even checked out the garbage. Towards the end of class, he started crying again. He couldn’t find it. I told him that I had destroyed it and that he shouldn’t have played with it in class. Too bad so sad. If he would have just handed it over, I would have probably just put it on Teacher Kay’s desk, but no, he had to make a giant deal about it.

Later, Kay tried to explain that it was a special twig. I wanted to know more, was there a religious significance, was it valuable or a shoot of some sort? No, she said, it was just a twig. She apologized for him and I said not to worry, I’d seen plenty worse in my time. From what she said, I understood that she didn’t understand why Joe was so enamored with the twig.

Substitute Discourse

-Well, give me a call if you need someone to sub over the summer.

Conversation between myself and a buxiban owner, after she tried unsuccessfully to downclose my minimum hourly wage.

Teaching In Quebec

I was very surprised when I got jobs as a teacher in Quebec. I say jobs, because not one job can offer me the amount of hours per week that I need, which is about 15-20h. I took some good pictures of the Campanile.

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Preschool Buxiban Abuse

Since all of the teachers are busy making costumes for the kids, the main abuser at my school found some interesting ways of dealing with 5 year old trouble makers.

First she started by using duct tape. Duct tape you ask? Yes, duct tape. She taped the duct tape onto their little hands and pulled it back roughly. The other strategy involved putting the take on their little mouths and pulling it back. It must hurt badly. The kids cry out in pain and the abuser relishes this.

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Buxiban Crisis And Sports Day Madness Part III

It was my final day working at my buxiban on Friday. I was supposed to work on Monday as well, but I was informed that my services were no longer required since they were going to have another big rehearsal for Sports Day. This rehearsal would involve all three schools.

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Sports Day Madness Part II

It was pointed out by Thoth that my last post on life as a teacher in Taiwan was unfinished. I have to agree with them. So, here is the next part of that post.

The owner of the three schools had just arrived and was taking notes. The teachers were all very stressed. I was the lone foreigner there and watched the spectacle. It was entertaining from multiple points of view. For one, the show was kind of cute. All these kids dancing and going through their routines. Two, seeing the teachers freaking out was also a bit funny, in a strange way.

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Burnt Bridges And Sports Day Madness

A nice blurry view of the Sunworld Dynasty Taipei (王朝大酒店). Part of the Last Minute 2008 Series.

I’m in the final days of working at buxibans for the next few months.

I’m in the final leg. It’s funny how the schools have already put me aside. I don’t really care. Of course I’ll some kids, not all of them. But like my wife said, it’s your first students that you’ll miss and those ones are in Hsinchu.

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Giving Notice And Moving On

I’ve given notice at my jobs that I will be leaving in the second week of January last week. Things have started to get awkward. I haven’t really disclosed anything to the staff. I’m letting the boss take care of that.

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