Monthly Archives: December 2013

Okay, this is not some perverto topic I’ve come up with. Depending on your age and your interest in history, you know that 100 or so years ago when woman’s skirts reached the ground, there was nothing really to fantasize about. Then they raised the skirts and you could see ankles. ANKLES!!!, how exciting. I know I would read these things and think how strange this all is. I mean, are ankles a turn-on? Maybe for some of you, who am I to judge. I now have a bit of understanding regarding this “weird” phenomena.

It wasn’t the ankle per se, but the fact that the man could see something that could fire his imagination up. I sort of always knew that, but I admit I never got it. Now lightening has struck and I get it.

I’m not a pervert (I hope) lusting after 18 year old girls so I don’t it has to do with their ages. I think the same would go true for a lot of women that I see. As I’ve mentioned, the girls dress like black crows. Their hair is covered and their outfits cover everything. If they are sitting down you many see their sandals but if you make a joke about it (nice toe polish there) they get all embarrassed.

Sometimes a girl will take off her head covering to adjust it. That’s perfectly natural but in some strange way, it’s a turn on. I don’t have a deep cleavage to look at, I can only have my imagination work through glimpses of their hair? It’s sick, but it’s given me an understanding of the past.

Some of these girls are pretty (I think). I only really see their faces and some of them are uglier than sin (if sin is ugly). They should probably cover their faces. But it’s strange, a glimpse of hair and I’m off to Fantasy Island.
One more week of classes for the semester and then it’s exam time. The students get about 3 weeks off but officially we get no time off. It’s been hinted that we will but nothing “official” has been said. Whatever will be, will be. I don’t trust these people.

I had a talk with the head of the English department about a month ago where I explained that I felt I was being misused and wished to be of more use at the school. He told me I will have no Foundation (beginner) classes in the next term. Guess what? I saw the classes for Semester 2, and I have 4 hours of a foundation class and that’s it. They are throwing me somewhere else and I don’t know what because God forbid they should tell me. He’s away so I’ll have to wait until he returns.

I’m tired of these children. They go to the person above me and complain that I favor girls and other silly things. These are just 1 or 2 malcontents who do this and I have to defend myself without blowing up. The person who they are complaining to should be asking them to bring in more students to support them. I told the students to grow up and if they have a problem, they should tell me. If they are not satisfied with what I say then they should go over my head. I throw more boys out of class than girls. The reason is the boys are so loud and the girls are quiet. It’s easier to pick out the loud ones.

I was told I shouldn’t throw them out but make them stay after class and write lines. You know the thing we used to do when we were in Grade 5. This woman (the department coordinator) is stupid. I have the head of the department telling me to throw them out, and I have this moron telling me to have them write lines. Since there is only 1 week to go, I’ll just keep it to myself. If it were earlier in the year, I’d make an issue of it. I just want to be left alone.

In Foundation classes there are 4 levels, (A, B, C, D), and exams for B, C, and D is their whole mark. Teachers are unnecessary, If the student is a jerk, you can’t downgrade them, and if the student is one who makes an effort, there is no reward. Everyone knows it’s wrong but knowing something and doing something about it are 2 different things.

So I will wait and see what my classes are and curse my decision to teach at a Chinese high school (that led me here). I should have done University in China where they leave you alone to do what you think is best. You can dress as you please (I can’t wear jeans or shorts here) and the students make a bit of an effort. I can be silly and I can discuss most topics. Here, I can’t show the movie, “The Princess Bride”) because there are 5 kisses in it. What is nice about here is no one pushes and it’s quiet. But I admit even though my job is easier than easy, I hate it. There is no fun and no challenge. Every class is really 2 classes. There are boys and there are girls and never shall the twain meet.

Tomorrow we will try something different. A girl suggested the boys ask girls questions and the girls ask boys questions. You can’t really understand this, but it just doesn’t happen. Since it was her idea (and an excellent one) I told her she had to explain it to the class otherwise they would think it comes from me. She was concerned that the boys would be their usual immature selves but I told her that before she speaks I will warn them that if they are silly or disruptive in any way they are out of the class for the last week which might just put them over the 20% absent make which means they fail. To get back into class they will have to explain their behavior to the coordinator and get a note from her asking me let them back in. It probably means more trouble for me, but if a girl is going to “have the balls” (forgive me) to do this, then she deserves everyone’s support. I don’t expect that everyone will participate which is okay, but there better be a few. I know they want to talk to each other and now here is their chance to grow up and make it happen. I hope this works.
I finally got my resident card on Monday. Shujie got her visa on Thursday. So, is this easy? No. She has to go to the Oman embassy in Beijing and get a letter there saying it’s okay. It sucks to be Chinese. We are hoping things move quickly and with good fortune she will be here next Friday.

So my life of boredom carries on. I did go out with some people last Thursday night and got a bit drunk. That’s the highlight of my time here. That’s pathetic. I’ve been patient but to be honest, my patience is about at an end. We will see if she gets here next Friday and what classes I will have next semester. I like the quiet. I hate the boredom.


Sunday to Thursday I wake up, shower, get dressed, go to school, teach next to nothing, come home, shower again, talk to Shujie online, eat dinner and watch a movie and read a book.  To shake things up on the weekend I go shopping in Barka (30 minutes away) on Fridays and on Saturdays I dust, sweep, and iron.  What a life.

I’ve been told (and who knows how believable these people are) that my visa will be ready on Sunday or Monday and then all I need is my medical exam before I get my resident card.  Once I get my resident card, they can apply for the “family visa” for Shujie which only takes a couple of days.  I don’t want to get my hopes up (but I am) and perhaps she will be here in 2 to 3 weeks.  Then I can start doing things.  I’ve been holding off so we can do them together.

Why am I here?  How did I find a country where the students are a bigger pain than the Chinese students.  Now I only have fond memories of the Chinese kids.  Their schools are awful but the kids are decent.  Here, the schools are stupid run by stupid people producing stupid graduates.  As another teacher put it to me (and he is much wiser than I am), if I don’t like it, just finish the year and do something better next year.  The work is easy (it’s brainless) and I should just relax.  He’s right.  I’m trying.

The head of the English department is a moody psycho who for some reason appears to dislike me.  The day we met he was so nice.  Now I get ignorant emails from him with lies in them.  I sent him an email response to one of his and he got all huffy that I had sent it to everyone.  I would have if I had hit “reply to all” which I didn’t.  I confirmed this and he’s a bozo.  Then the head of the E-learning at the school told me he’s leaving at the end of the school year and he’s told the powers that be.  I asked him if it was okay with him if I wrote the head of the department to apply and he assured me it was, but the job was probably going elsewhere.  So I wrote my email and I got back a response telling me he didn’t know this person was leaving.  That was a really stupid lie.  So my new plan is just to keep my head low, only ask questions when I have no choice, and when I find out he lied to me about the courses I’ll get next semester I’ll just ignore it and just finish the year here.  These people who run these schools don’t know what they are doing.

If you have a PHd they think you must be a brilliant teacher which any teacher knows isn’t true.  Teaching involves many skills, the most important of which are communication and empathy.  Here they like to walk around calling the Phd’s “Dr. George” or whatever.  I never call anyone Doctor.  If I have heart surgery again, I might call the doctor, doctor.  I am not calling a Phd in English “doctor”.  Maybe that’s why the head of the department hates me.  Maybe he thinks I’m disrespecting him.  Well Jack (I mean George), I’m older than you so perhaps you should respect your elders.  The man is psycho.

The car is riding fine but I haven’t gone far in it.  I’m still waiting for Shujie to do that.  I think we’ll have fun discovering the country.  My new insane plan is to do 2 years here and then drive back to China.  That would be a hell of a trip.  Of course, I’d have to go through Iran, which doesn’t thrill me, but it would be fun.

The foundation program (which is what the student’s must get through before they start their real University classes), whose purpose is to get them to learn English has 4 levels, A, B, C, and D.  You take an exam when you start here and they place you.  Most students start in C or D.  Classes B, C, and D have their entire mark based on the exam so as a teacher, you’re pretty useless.  You have no say in how they do.  If they don’t do their homework, so what?  All they care about is that they’re not absent 20% of the time or they are thrown out.  I keep telling them the truth as I see it, which is that it’s up to them to do well on their own because no one cares about how they do.  They’ll just be pushed up the ladder until they run across a teacher who has a say in the mark and expects something from them.  I have a level C class (all exam) and a level A class and their mark is all based on their research essay and presentation.  I’ve told them that many of them will be failing based on what I’ve seen of their draft copies so far.  I’m a hard marker, but if you do well in my class you know that you’ve accomplished something.  Do any of them get it?  Maybe 20%.

I find the girls fascinating.  It’s probably because of the culture being so different and having them all look like black crows.  When class finishes, the boys leave first and then the girls can go.  They used to wait for me but I told them they could leave before me because many times I cleaning up my computer and things.  (They will have multimedia classrooms by 2015 and I will be able to fly then too).  The girls are comfortable with me now so I learn some interesting things and get to ask things that normally aren’t asked.

On Thursday I asked the girls whether Muslim boys had circumcised.  Of course you have to handle these topics very delicately.  It started when I was asked if there was anything special we did in Canada when a baby was born.  I said there are many cultures and some do different things.  I told them that in some cultures the male babies are cut when they are 8 days old.  They asked me, “Cut where?”.  I said that I really didn’t want to tell them so they all knew.  I then asked if the same thing happened to Muslim boys and they said yes, at 8 months.  I said “Ouch” and that was the conversation.

At the end of the class after the boys left one of the girls said she wouldn’t be here on Sunday to do her speech so could she do it right now.  I knew her game, which was to do the speech with no boys in the class.  I called her sneaky and she knew what that meant and she smiled.  I figured if she’s clever enough to find away around the rules, you should be rewarded.  So I let her give her speech and 8 other girls volunteered.  Their speeches weren’t speeches as they were just basically about themselves but all I wanted is for them to speak in English in front of the class.  So the boys were gone.  The girls are totally different when there are no boys around.  They’re goofy, funny, and fun.  I told them that and they said they couldn’t be that way when there are boys, because the boys will make fun of them.  STUPID!  I want to be a teacher at a girl’s school.

They told me that some of them like to play basketball and football (soccer) and I asked them where did they do this.  It seems their dorm area is cut off so they can play on the field in privacy.  They wear jeans and t-shirts and no headscarves.  I said I’d love to see that but I knew I couldn’t.  I just know them as the black crows and I’d like to see them in some of their other guises.  I admit, they fascinate me and I will never understand them (because I’m not a girl in this culture), but they do entrance me.

So it’s Saturday afternoon now and tomorrow begins another week of the same old.  I’m tired after class, but I’m tired because I’m so bored.  In China I was tired after class but it was because I actually worked.  I prefer teaching in China.  I just didn’t like the lifestyle anymore.

So that’s it for now but the future looks like it might be a lot brighter as I will have a life and see some of this country which I’m sure is beautiful.