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PhD in Humanities
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12359
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear NCTBA,

So, you were in prison (as a C.O., of course) prior to EFL, and I'm in prison (as a GED teacher) after EFL.

I'll bet prison was a good dress rehearsal for Saudi Arabia.

Regards,
John
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Never Ceased To Be Amazed



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 3500
Location: Shhh...don't talk to me...I'm playin' dead...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear NCTBA,

So, you were in prison (as a C.O., of course) prior to EFL, and I'm in prison (as a GED teacher) after EFL.

I'll bet prison was a good dress rehearsal for Saudi Arabia.

Regards,
John


O' yes and it gave me a lot of practice sayin' "Yessa, massa...yessa massa, as I quickly learned and as my bank account grew...who EXACTLY the "Massa" wuz...at least it gave me a house that's paid itself off in equity and had given meself a leg up in life, given my poor start as a military brat!!!

NCTBA
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, VS.
Thank you for your consolations. But with all respect, of course, I do not agree. I reacted to what is clearly an unprofessional tone, something that we see far too much of in many of these forums. And any of us can, I suppose, get sucked into it, so it is certainly forgivable. However, if you think anyone here would actually compare me to a "failed lit teacher" looking for a EFL graveyard in which to rest my bones, and do so to my face, you must think much less of your colleagues here than you let on. Or I'm just too polite for this dog-eat-dog EFL world where the bulk of you claw out your living. Ahem, some how I do not think that is the case.

you are absolutely right though that conflating regions confuses things. B/c I am the OP, I was staying on top of what had been said quite closely, and temba had not. At one point it seemed I was being discouraged from getting a PhD at all, and I defended my plan by saying that with that degree, I could get a more desirable position somewhere. Anyway, no sense in speaking peace twice here. It already all seems so silly.

It does however remind me of when I first began using Daves to get info about teaching in Korean unis. It was largely b/c of what I learned here that I was able to obtain an excellent position, given my degree and experience, but to get that information, I really, really had to bite my typing fingers and basically say to a lot of Korea forum-schmucks, "thank you sir, may I have another?" That forum is far worse than this one--and I am not flatly comparing the two forums. But you have to admit that people say things and use tone and attitude here that they would never use face to face, especially not the males. C'mon, even academic types will break if provoked enough.

Or perhaps it's that these Dave's profs and teachers are an extra tough bunch of hard-talkin', head-poundin' ol' boys from the hood; but I know I never hear talk like this around my university lunch table! Wink
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NCTBA,
Before I was a teacher, I worked in a facility for chemically dependent men and parolees from the Texas prison system. So, after you released them, they came to us for the real rehab--which sometimes (only sometimes) made me wonder if the prison part weren't either A) a waste of time and resources, or B) completely counter-intuitive, creating problems that did not exist before the offender was incarcerated! For some, especially the "mere drug offenders," I believe the latter was certainly the case.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15957
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting... I don't read it as his accusing you of being a "failed lit teacher" but just a statement of fact of current versus past situations in the field in the Middle East. After all, you haven't become one yet to be able to fail. Laughing

VS
(What is it with all these posters with prison experience... hummm...)
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temba



Joined: 05 Jul 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kittyyfaye, I’m sorry to have gotten you all hot and bothered but VS is quite right if you reread my post you will see that I was referring to the past and not the present. When I started out in the 70’s the only qualification most of us had to teach English was that someone had sung songs to us as children in English, and over 90% of the top ELT teachers were failed Lit. teachers who would have much rather been teaching Dickens than modal verbs. Not only did they hate their jobs but for the most part they despised their fellow teachers if they did not come from literature backgrounds. Times have changed ELT is now a profession in its own right with applicable academic programs to support it (BA”s, MA”s & PhD’s.) So given that this graveyard no longer exists in goods universities how could you become part of one? Anything I say on this forum I would say to your face the problem is that you don’t seem to like what I have to say. So I will be totally frank with you: You will have your PhD. at around the age of 40, most universities want fresh PhD’s of around the age of 28 – 30, fact. Your pre-PhD teaching experience will count for nothing, fact. Your publications excluding the book you make out of your thesis will have to match up to those candidates qualified to teach in good universities any where in the world, fact. Your views on Korea if expressed to a prospective employer will do you no good, I have never visited Korea but your total negativity does not bode well for living and working in a culturally challenging environment, fact. (in my opinion I think that your views on interpretation are deeply flawed, but this is not the place to discuss such things) Finally, you have managed to tick me off too, in my university I do not hang out with bums and deadbeats, most of my coworkers are fine scholars with top class degrees from the best universities in the world they speak at miniumum 3 languages fluently, are well travelled, and published, many are non native speakers who have succeeded in holding their own professionally in the West, do you think you can do the same in their world? For my part I have taught at UCLA, NYU and the Free University of Berlin before comming to the Middle East, I hope they do not thing they are consorting with a bum, prehaps they do!!

Again I wish you luck, you are entering a word that can offer only the very best to the very best and if you have the credentials to match there are glittering prizes to be had. However at 40, with a fresh PhD, and slim publications if any, please don’t think that you are doing the Middle East a favor by applying for positions for which hundreds of other applicants will be better suited.
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eha



Joined: 26 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: ME

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'...Or perhaps Dave's profs and teachers are an extra tough bunch of hard-talkin', head-poundin' ol' boys from the hood; but I know I never hear talk like this around my university lunch table! ...'

Only on the forum; they do most of their tough talkin' at a distance. In the workplace, it's mostly snide remarks and poisonous gossip; hardly anyone ever dares speak up and give their real opinions to each other's face. There's a lot of mwah mwah about the kind of collegiality you meet in the academic environment--- is it the same in Korea?
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, temba, for your reply. And I have never had a problem with your "facts" at all, only your tone and connotations. If you would "interpret" my posts with more clarity, you'd see that.

But I do, even still, appreciate your time and energy here; I have gotten info worth saving. I will admit, however, that when I compare your first posts to your last, I see a very different picture of teaching in the ME. Before you were warning newbies to leave within two years or they'd never get out, now you work with the best of the best. Im not accusing you of a flat contradiction--there are holes in this kind of communication, after all. But it still leaves me with questions and something to think about.

If I caused you any measure of stress, in addition to your work and international moving plans, it is b/c I forgot that I am on an internet forum where the rules of communication are a tad (a tad!! Wink) different. Virtually no attention need be paid to positive ethos in an anonymous forum. Anyway, I am going to end this now decently. Much thanks, to all of you, for your input.
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Never Ceased To Be Amazed



Joined: 22 Oct 2004
Posts: 3500
Location: Shhh...don't talk to me...I'm playin' dead...

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fergit, "My Heart Will Go On"! This thread will go on! Laughing

NCTBA
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eha,

I am sure there are environments, in Korean unis, where the gossip is poisonous. Is that what you are asking me? But the most poisonous environment I ever worked in was in a private school. And even though many of my colleagues teaching Eng Lang in the unis held only BAs (no different than in the private school), those people really were much more mature and positive about their work in general. Of course, they weren't working all day with kid-fatigue, either.

But that was teaching Eng Lang. As for the academics, I've only met a few, and only one of those was in Eng Lit. He wouldn't have a thing to do with us "English monkeys," and I did hear that his Korean colleagues disliked his publications, and so, though he had tenure, he had a hard time of it in that uni.

The other two were: a Fulbright in American women's History from Anselm, an excellent confidant, and a politics prof who, though not academically ambitious, is an excellent teacher and a stand-up individual, too. I think there was no "mwah mwah" in those environments Very Happy
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, NCTBA, let's debate prison reform until someone comes up with something else~
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12359
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear kittfye,

OK - my first suggestion: make education in prison the TOP priority, not bottom of the ladder, as it currently is (at least where I am.)
Inmates often can't get to my classes because their work supervisors won't allow them to leave. Washing dishes is clearly of more importance than getting a GED and, as any fool can see, will do so much more to ensure that they won't return to the penitentiary once they get out.
It's called the "Department of Corrections", but it ought to be named the
"Department of Slave Wage Labor."
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Texas it was called the Texas Dept of Corrections until only recently. They changed it to Texas Dept of Criminal Justice. The state apparently realized the only thing the prisoners corrected in the prisons were the mistaken ways in which they committed crimes which got them caught!
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temba



Joined: 05 Jul 2008
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Kittyfe, I to would like to end this tread with a degree of civility. Yes I do encourage young academics to get out after two years that is because for the most part their only commitment to the region & our university is higher education teaching experience, they often say otherwise at interview but they lie, and that’s fine by me. If they are good and ambitious and have no real reason for being in the Middle East they should move on. Those who choose to stay (myself included) have a hard road to travel most universities in the region do not engage in what has become the norm in the West for example “transparency” etc. and if you stay long enough and go up the ladder you will become sucked in and part of a system that you don’t really believe in and find yourself compromised on a daily level, that is why I am leaving. If however you have decided that this part of the world is for you and you can live with the prospect of never really achieving the rewards that your potential might have afforded you in the west, well good luck to you it can be a rich and rewarding life and one many have chosen. I was fortunate and played the game, now I’m simply too old and look forward to an extended holiday in Yemen and then a second rate university where a second rate academic can live out his days, one of stipulations in accepting the post was that I would have no part of the admin. Free at last!!!

All the very best of luck to you.
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kittyfye



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 46
Location: was Korea, now Albuquerque

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, well, then it sounds like a good deal for you--and anyone else for that matter. Admin-free. Congrats, and thanks again for your input.
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