Miles from Home

China Commentary– Youthful Musings on the Environment, Culture & Development

‘Bout to be Broadway Up in Hurrrrrr

with one comment

Jerry and Selena Rockin’ Out

Graduation is approaching. This year I have put my days as Peter behind me and am focusing on recreating The Ancient City of Agrabah. For those not so Disney-inclined, we are rockin’ Aladdin as our theme this year. I figured it was contemporary and timely to involve the Middle East, ha.

My co-teacher and I devised a brilliant two-script, two-grade show. My group, the kindy Seniors, will headline the show and come on as the main act– a 30 minute production of lights, laughter and love. I wrote the script, cast the characters, have revised and rehearsed tirelessly… the entire play and all of its choreography is imbedded in my fiber optics. I come home carrying a sword, humming “A Whole New World!”

It does surprise me how little I have mentioned teaching here. As an English teacher in Taiwan, your identity is bound inside this box. There is a stigma attached to teachers, and rightly so. I remember when I first came here I read a blog in which some weasely faced nerd wrote about how he hated foreign English teachers in Taiwan. This guy looked more hermitty than Bilbo Baggins, so I didn’t give him much cred’. In retrospect, he was on to something.

As my initial recruiter and friend Mitch told me, “There are an equal number of really bad teachers as there are really bad schools.” In 18 months on the island, I have seen ample evidence of this. I cannot even begin to rant about privatized education and the schools themselves. Another time, indeed. But I will say that I have come across plenty of worldly-losers who wash ashore on this island from whatever society shunned them in the first place. There are a lot of druggies, a lot of idiots, a lot of people running from reality. These teaching jobs can be so easy, any monkey with a native English tongue could take up the task.

So, occassionally when people ask if I am an English teacher, I cringe. For those of us who don’t show up at work drunk, blow off events, or cheat the children and blame it on the system– it can be taxing. This leads to inevitable and seemingly unstoppable discussions on teaching practices and improving what we (the self-proclaimed good guys) are giving. You can get so wrapped up in teaching, in the humor, the difficulty, the individual students, that you have to seek some solace, a breather. And I credit this for my lack of discussion here.

I have met some of the most intelligent, intellectual, compassionate, and adventurous people of my entire life here. With the bad comes some brilliance. I salute teachers. And now I am saying my salutations. This play is going to be the bright shining star of my final act in Taiwan.

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Written by Miles

June 15, 2007 at 4:33 am

One Response

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  1. Hey
    Friends-always
    I am glad to know you:) mags

    Maggie-Wong mei when

    June 15, 2007 at 4:10 pm


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