Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Military Work really DOES stink
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Saudi Arabia
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ohman



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 239
Location: B' Um Fouk, Egypt

PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The military work is not much different from working in an intensive university or community college language program, i.e. classroom management can sometimes have you staring into the abyss that is your life at the end of each day.

The real problem seems to be the officer-in-charge. You might luck out from time-to-time and during a particular cycle have a genuinely enlightened officer who conducts himself with admirable bearing and is willing to allow the teachers to do the job they were hired to do--teach. This fellow will be sure to back you up in the classroom and give some thought to any tweaks you might have for the program.

On the other hand, you could easily wind up with a socio-pathic task master who has about as much tact and humanity as an SS goon manning the train disembarkation station at Bergen-Belsen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Gee, I am working on a military base and having a great time."

This comment would have to be made tongue in cheek.

It is just not possible to have that sort of experience anywhere in Saudi least of all on a military contract.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ohman



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 239
Location: B' Um Fouk, Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 12:07 pm    Post subject: Homerphobic Reply with quote

Then again, perhaps this "great time" spoken of is a matter of taste. Alexander the Great's most dedicated fighters were the Companions--now they had a tough military contract made easier by their Greek personal preferences.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12345
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 1:59 pm    Post subject: It ain't necessarily so Reply with quote

Dear ohman,
Perhaps I'm mistaken here, but when you wrote of "personal preferences", were you implying "gender preference"? If so,
then the "Sacred Band of Thebes" would have probably been more appropriate than Alexander's "Companions".

http://rowan_oak0.tripod.com/thebes.htm


But more to the point, I'd say that if you were making that implication, it could be one that's both unwarranted and might well be offensive to Paul in Saudi. OK, it's also difficult for me to believe that anyone working with the Saudi military could be "having a great time". But I'm willing to admit that it's possible, and the reasons for that wouldn't have to have anything to do with "personal preferences". I'm rather surprised - IF I've read you correctly - that you'd impugn (as many might see it) someone that way.
But please forgive me if I've misread your posting.
Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ohman



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 239
Location: B' Um Fouk, Egypt

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:00 pm    Post subject: not that there's anything wrong with it Reply with quote

John,

I'll rephrase it. According to generally accepted statistics, 90% of the men working military contracts might find it not so great here on a bachelor status having celibacy thrust upon them. 10% might more easily find felicitious companionship. Anyone who reads this post who is in the EFL field and that 10% group might like to know that their lifestyles won't be nearly as cramped as the other 90%.

Plus, I couldn't resist the Homerphobic pun.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12345
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:17 pm    Post subject: The 10% solution Reply with quote

Dear ohman,
And yet, if that 10% were to engage in an "uncramped life-style" with someone in the Saudi military, they would, in my opinion, be making a VERY big mistake.
Regards,
John
P.S. Gotta admit, I like the pun, though - even if I'm not quite sure how "Homer" ties in with Alexander the Great (well, except for the fact that Alex reportedly always carried a copy of the Illiad around with him).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have worked with many gay guys in Saudi and they all had similar feelings and emotions re the problems of living and working in the kingdom.
In sum, it is no bed of roses irrespective of gender preference.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12345
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:53 pm    Post subject: Risky business Reply with quote

Dear Mark100,
Having also had a good number of gay guys as colleagues, I'd say that their situation is even worse, for the Kingdom is especially unforgiving of that specific gender preference. The risks they run if they indulge in that preference are, I'd say, even greater.
Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Paul in Saudi



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 391
Location: Doha, Qatar

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee Mark100, an shocked beyond words. I like working on a military base, so you make comments that I must be gay.

This is shocking and despicable on a number of levels.

1. You have launched a personnel attack on me because my seven years on military bases in the Kingdom has led me to a different opinion than yours.

2. You, an educated man, are unable to further your case by discussion, and choose to call me names.

3. When you choose to call people names, the name you use has been used for decades to inspire hatred and violence. Why don't you just call me a '*beep*' and be done with it?

Mark100, you are an ass. But, I suppose you have been hearing that from a lot of people for a long time.

In any case, and cooling down a bit, I enjoy the regular hours and job security that a military contract offers. I enjoy meeting and working with different kinds of people. On military bases, I think I meet something closer to a cross-section of Saudis than I would elsewhere.

Mark, you may now continue to rant, or perhaps it would be best if you let the grownups talk now.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ohman



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 239
Location: B' Um Fouk, Egypt

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 9:13 am    Post subject: AHEM Reply with quote

Paul--

Where did you take freshman composition? Didn't you learn at the time to never draw hasty conclusions, to research and investigate before turning assumptions into conclusions?

Is this the disadvantage of those who ONLY got a degree in TEFL and never had to actually consider topic, original thesis, draft, revision etc but instead spent many long hours for four years working in groups with housewives on end-of-semester presentations, chosing a non-thesis track just in case you were ever called upon to give an original insight?

Nobody here has come close to suggesting that you are a Saudimite. It was I who initially brought up the subject of gay men and straight men and how life might be similar or different for them while posted here.

I have an openly gay colleague and after being slapped on the wrist by JohnS. for what he initially thought was a politically incorrect "poke" at gays, I consulted my colleague about the lifestyle here.

It turns out he is writing an article for a gay publication on this very subject. And I think this forum a fair place to broach this area as well.

Yes, it is true, gay men are in this business and I'm sure they would like to know a little about the nightlife before commiting.

Naturally, in this country, it is much easier for gay men to establish places to rendevous for tea and sympathy and maybe a little more. Starbucks if you're inetersted, according to my colleague. The big problem he says is that if one gets involved with a national, one is expected to catch and not pitch. The relationship is short on romance. But the lifestyle is here, more discreet than in the US (as with straightmen), but there are places you can go to dance till dawn, to cruise to hearts content, to snort poppers and even call yourself Angelina if that's your thing.

Other than that, frankly speaking, for you 10 percenters out there who are considering coming here or going to any gulf Arab country, you WILL have an easier time of it meeting potential companions then to 90% of us who are here on bachelor status. (no duh)

Back off. Nobody doubts that you are all man Paul.

And JohnS., I would like to to add something about the risk--not the plague but the police. If a 10 percenter manages to get into the the correct "party pipeline", it is likely that you'll find royal family dressed in jeans, silk or leather. In that case, you're probably not going to jail for doing what comes naturally to you. Good luck you ten percenters back home on the marriage issue.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Paul in Saudi



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 391
Location: Doha, Qatar

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ohman,

I would point out that John also took Mark's comments as offensive and uncalled for. While we all can mistake one another's intentions in written communications (just as we do when speaking), both John and I seem to understand that Mark was trying to cause offense.

Further, I cannot for the life of me figure out why he did so.

My post did not attack him or his ideas. I simply pointed out that I enjoy working for the military. It is a matter of opinion. Hardly a reason to start name-calling.

In addition I would expect a higher quality of name-calling from a literate and educated man.

As for my freshman English, I took at Frostburg State College (now a university) in Maryland in 1978.

I see you are in Jeddah. If you like we could meet sometime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12345
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 1:37 pm    Post subject: The PC defense Reply with quote

Dear Paul H, ohman and Mark100,
Whoa, what a can of worms has been opened here. For what it's worth, here's my take on the exchange:

1. I don't think Mark100 meant to insult you at all, Paul - I believe he, getting into the discussion later on, was simply commenting on the situation of gays in the Kingdom.

2. Much as I dislike writing this - for I have always respected and enjoyed ohman's other posts - I think he was way off-base in making the insinuation he did. Unless I'm misreading his post, he did imply that you were gay, based only on your saying that you were "working on a miliatary base and having a great time". In my opinion, this was entirely uncalled for and has nothing to do with being "politically correct" (And while I'm at it, I'm getting just a little tired of people using that as a defense for what, in my opinion, is simply ungentlemanly behavior. That seems to be an inceasingly popular ploy, and, in fact, is being used right now on the general forum as well.

"Well I'm going to continue to objectify women and the PC's can kiss my shiny white buttocks."

See what I mean? ).

3. As mentioned, over 19 years I had a fair number of gay colleagues. As an aside, let me say that I couldn't care less about anyone's "gender preference". What matters to me is what sort of a person the individual is and, as a colleague, how well he does his job. Of the many gay colleagues that I knew in the Kingdom, there were two I didn't like as people (not at all a bad ratio), and there were none that were not at the top - or very close to it - in their teaching ability and dedication.

4. None of those gay colleagues, ohman, ever "managed to get into the party pipeline", as you put it. But many of them frankly admitted that getting involved with a local was VERY dumb behavior. And if that local was a member of the Royal Family, I suspect it would be even dumber.
Lover's quarrels do happen, and if you have a prince angry at you, well, jail might be the least of your problems.

OK, if I've misread anyone or screwed up otherwise, please let me know.
Personally, I'd say that you owe Paul an apology, ohman. But hey - what else can you expect from a PC guy such as myself, right?

Regards to all
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Paul in Saudi



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 391
Location: Doha, Qatar

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you John. I think you are exactly on the mark here.

'Ungentlemanly,' that is exactly the word. After all, this post is simply about opinions. It is hardly worth getting all excited about.

Still no hard feelings. I would be pleased to meet Ohman. It is always good to meet new friends.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
manonatrain



Joined: 06 May 2003
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:34 pm    Post subject: interesting Reply with quote

i find this thread to be interesting and I donīt need to agree or disagree
with what is being said. Because in a way all of it is TRUE.

I have seen so much gay activity in the ME, I can hardly believe it!!!
Transvestives etc...openly gay, straight men who are clearly actively gay,
lots of them by the way, and the classic closeted gay, whom all the students seem to pick up on as being gay right away.

My Western friends are amazed when I tell them just how gay the arab world is... and some gays say they only HOLIDAY in Oman now cause it
is a great ĻsceneĻ.

I donīt participate but do find it interesting and fascinating. As well, I wonder if a lot of it is caused by the ARRANGED MARRIAGE syndrome.
The same goes for Pakistan and India....lots of male to male hand holding....

I personally think arranged marriages force young healthy males to seek
release...and thus it creates this incredilble strong man to man...environment....of course if you canīt go with a girl cause someone is going to kill you cause they are from a different tribe or whatever....
what else do people think is going to happen.

I donīt see it as healthy but *beep*...working is unhealthy too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12345
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:31 pm    Post subject: The prison syndrome Reply with quote

Dear manonatrain,
My personal opinion - and I want to make it clear that it's just an opinion - is that the number of gay men among the "locals" in the Middle East is almost certainly just about the same as it is in the rest of the world. But any time you have a society that is very repressive in sexual matters, that forbids and harshly punishes any kind of contact between young men and women who aren't married, then what could be called "the prison syndrome" manifests itself. Sexual energy is at its peak among young men, those between 15 and 25, and if no "outlet" with the opposite sex is permissable or available, well, I suppose a fair number of "non-gay" males will indulge in what IS more available. Young men and women cannot be even seen together in public and certainly cannot visit each other. But there's no such restriction regarding young men being with other young men or visiting them.
Non-local gay men are aware of this situation and so it's not surprising to me that such societies would tend to attact them.
Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Saudi Arabia All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC