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alcoholics and TEFL

 
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wix



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Posts: 250
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 6:40 am    Post subject: alcoholics and TEFL Reply with quote

I am surprised this topic hasn't come up for discussion before. Last year I was working in a school that employed two teachers with drinking problems. One of them got the sack after a few months, another managed to disguise and/or lie about his problem and is probably still working at the same school now.

When I was living in Thailand I never taught English but I did know a few English teachers and heard a lot about the problems with teachers who drunk too much.

I am sure this is a big problem in many countries. And I am sure there are many reasons for it. Some teachers might bring their drinking problems with them when they come to a new country. Others might develop drinking problems when they get there.

I'm sure this issue has affected many contributors to this forum so I would appreciate other's comments.
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 9:12 am    Post subject: boozing in TEPL Reply with quote

Teaching English as a Pissed up Language,(TEPL),has long been regarded as a job perk by many an English teacher.Here in Qatar,one Bacchus got bombed out yesterday.However I think that ex-pat life and not TEFL encourages that mad social life that some of us have.I drink a lot but I don't hide bottles or let it effect my work in any way.In fact, I don't know a soul who doesn't drink less than 30 units a week.A sign of the times I guess.With the latest developments in medicine who cares?
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Shonai Ben



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 585
Location: on the floor

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have met many fellow drinkers since I came to Japan but not one Teetotaler. (sp?)
Never met any real down and out drunks either.
Socializing in this business is important so it's hard not to drink,imo.
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R



Joined: 07 May 2003
Posts: 277
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you teach in Ireland and pick up a taste for Guinness. Then you move to Russia and learn to love Vodka, continuing to drink Guinness as a reminder of Ireland. A brief stop in Prague introduces you to Absinthe. When you get to Japan, you discover the joys of Saki and, I dunno, Asahi, and drink those regularly, enjoying Guinness and Vodka as well. You finish your evenings with a cheers toast - in Absinthe - to Prague. Next you move to France, and your family arranges for your body to be shipped home from there?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12302
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 4:13 pm    Post subject: some of us quit Reply with quote

Some of us quit because we could not do anything else !
There are sober and teetotal TEFL teachers !
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12684
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 4:57 pm    Post subject: Pack up my troubles in my old kit bag Reply with quote

The fallacy of the " geographic cure " - the notion that a change of environment could lead to a change in you - is fairly commom among us alcoholics. Of course, it never works - you take yourself with you. I wonder, though, if there would be any tie-in with EFLers. in that going to other parts of the world is often a strong motivation in choosing this field. Would there perhaps be a larger percentage of alcoholics among EFLers than among, say, homebound teachers. Research project, anyone?
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12302
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 5:09 pm    Post subject: alkies Reply with quote

johnslat is right again. Darn it why is that guy so smart !

There are lots of alcoholics in this business of TEFL/TESOL. Some of us quit. That is it. Simple. Who needs a research project ?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12684
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 5:26 pm    Post subject: That smarts Reply with quote

Dear scot47,
Question: If I'm so smart, what the heck am I doing in Riyadh? Actually that reminds me of a " classroom moment ". I had a good student ( yes, they DO exist here ) who, unfortuately, knew quite well he was good. He'd always crow over his quiz grades, his inevitably being the highest in the class. " I'm so smart; I'm REALLY smart ", he'd say, half-jokingly. So, I told him, " Bader, people who are REALLY smart know how dumb they are. They know there's so much to know and that they know so little of it. " He thought about that for a few seconds and then said, " I'm so dumb; I'm REALLY dumb. " Like I said - smart kid.
Regards,
John
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 8:18 am    Post subject: BOOOOOOOOZE Reply with quote

One drink is too many,a thousand are never enough.Way to go Scot and John and good luck.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12684
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 9:03 am    Post subject: Winning by default Reply with quote

Dear biffinbridge,
Many thanks for the encouragement. It's been almost two years now since I " indulged ", and, what still surprises me, I don't miss it at all. It's almost a disappointment - after so many years of hard-drinking, I figured it'd be a titanic battle: my will-power versus temptation. And yet so far, anyway, I've been winning by default. Temptation hasn't even shown up yet. I'm very happy that's been the case, but it's a puzzler.
Regards,
John
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Celeste



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 814
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do drink alcohol, but not much. Here in Japan, I drink a few cans of beer a week, or sometimes wine with dinner. When I lived in Korea, however, I was drinking A LOT. Way more than I ever had before or have since. The isolation made me feel really bad, and somehow i felt like drowning those sorrows.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: boozing in TEPL Reply with quote

biffinbridge wrote:
...I think that ex-pat life and not TEFL encourages that mad social life that some of us have. I drink a lot but I don't hide bottles or let it effect my work in any way. In fact, I don't know a soul who doesn't drink less than 30 units a week.

EFL can be hard on the liver.

I thought about this this morning.

Strange this should come up today of all days.

Back in Japan, I knew some hard, hard core drinkers...

But I've never known any of them to lose their jobs.

Students would complain of smelling a lot of alcohol on Instructors breath. The complaints weren't taken that seriously from what I remember.

I've seen teachers sleep in at NOVA and not show up for class a few times. Still didn't loose their jobs.

I remember one NOVA Manager used to get so drunk after work that she'd miss her train, so she'd open the school back up and go sleep in the Voice Room!

At Berlitz schools, during Christmas and other functions, we were served alcohol by the staff. Students drank with us.

Attitudes in Japan re alcohol are a lot more casual compared to those back in Canada.

I saw one instructor, one morning, run out of his classroom and throw up just outside his door attempting to make it to the washroom.

Ha, aha!!!

Drinking and EFL seem to go hand in hand.

And for the first time in my life, I can finally afford it!
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Shonai Ben



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 585
Location: on the floor

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I came to Japan I find that I am drinking more than before.Personal choice or the lifestyle that goes with teaching,I am not sure.It is hard to refuse an invitation out with your students and my students do like to party.
As noted by the previous poster,now I can afford it also.
Such is my life. Cool
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slaqdog



Joined: 29 Apr 2003
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 12:39 pm    Post subject: alcohol and substance abuse Reply with quote

At our 'skool' there is an anti alcohol and substance abuse policy which we all signed one night during a session of tequila and whiteboard marker sniffing down at the local, (THERE IS NO MISTAKE ,we were sniffing both),I have reached the conclusion that sniffing tequila and other substances is bad and not to be encouraged. This is why we teflers exist, the good kids in foregn climes can see the results of self abuse at first hand and sometimes in glaring technicolour close-up. and so we lead them onto the straight and narrow. To dis-abuse our students of the notion that teaching is a noble and enlightening existence. I could go on but the great white telephone calls, my hotline to god awakes.
bless you all,
slaqer Shocked
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richard ame



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 319
Location: Republic of Turkey

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 1:07 pm    Post subject: tefl and drinkers Reply with quote

Hi Forum
As long as there is a place and a time for ex pats and others to meet and socialize you are going to get boozing done to a greater or lesser degree speaking as one who likes a drink (in moderation) I find the term "alcoholic" means different things to different people,I think someone mentioned an intake of about 30 units a week or was that a day if its a daily intake that's excessive but does that make the drinker an alcoholic? In some countries it is more socially acceptable to smoke dope than to knock back a few beers of an evening,the tefl fraternity has its fair share of both users and abusers but I don2t think we're any worse than other "professions . I would say that the private language schools seem to have the greater number of "alcoholics who seem to be lost souls looking for a drinking partner but then don't we all want that sometimes?
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