"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Monday, February 01, 2010

"Whitey go home" and other charming Asian proverbs

As annoying as teaching in Japan ever got - and believe me it got plenty annoying - I never had to contend with this kind of crap.

Korea activists target foreign English teachers
A South Korea group uses the Internet and other means to track foreign teachers, in an effort to ferret out illegal or unsavory behavior. The teachers say they're victims of stalkers and rumors.
There are lots of anti-foreigner groups around in Japan, but they don't bother to get quite so focused as these numbskulls in Korea. Mostly they just ride around in big black buses with loudspeakers demanding the people of Japan "Venerate the Emperor and expel the barbarians".

And I'll be the first to admit that there is plenty of unsavory behaviour going on that is related to English conversation schools. Starting with the school management that rip off teachers left, right and center in complete violation of the labour laws (but since the Japanese court system could take ten years to process your claim - and foreign devils rarely win - you might as well just suck it up). Yes, there are teachers who sleep with students and do drugs and drink their brains out every night - almost as many as in the regular Japanese school system. And don't lets get started on the number of people who take English lessons as a way of meeting foreigners to date or the student who stalk teachers or the large number of complete wackos some school's sign up.
I used to work at a school that sold lessons on credit that had a neighbouring branch in a large building just one floor below a mental health clinic. Lots of people would get off the elevator on the wrong floor and the school friendly staff of attractive young men and women - always under pressure to make their sales quota - were more than happy to sign them up for a package of lessons and then send them to our branch. No, there is nothing like being trapped in a glass broom closet with a schizophrenic who is off his medication and want to show you his karate kata or a delusional manic depressive who can't decide whether she desperately wants to have sex with all the teachers (male and female) or thinks they are all harrassing her.
Add to that the special classes of students who are studying English just to have someone to talk to, or as therapy for some sort of antisocial disorder, or who are just plain kooky --- or my personal favorite: students who study English so they can complain about how nasty foreigners are screwing up the country to the foreigners in their own language.
Don't get me wrong, the nuts only make up about 10% of the students I had, and I had some absolutely fantastic students of all ages and backgrounds here in Tokyo, but I don't really miss teaching.
As for the South Korean Foreign Virtue Police, they can bite me.

4 comments:

123 123 said...
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the rev. paperboy said...

Death to spammers!

FFIB NAMOL said...

Toronto, like Korea is having a similar problem, with cell phone ladened transit riders stalking TTC drivers and ticket takers.

the rev. paperboy said...

Yeah, I saw a story to that effect the other day in one of the Toronto papers, basically saying that TTC staff - who are physically assaulted by riders at an alarming rate - are afraid to blow their noses or check their watches for fear of some snap-happy vigilante complaining that they are wasting taxpayers money.