Thursday, January 26, 2006

Taiwan Debacle Follow-Up
Some interesting news on the whole Taiwan horror has come in. Earlier this week, I got an email from the other person who was supposed to be working at the same school as me in Taiwan. She stayed to see what it would be like once she was actually transferred to the regular school, instead of doing the summer camps. According to her, I didn't miss a thing.

She reports that the school was indeed located on the extreme outskirts of Taipei, which we were told, but that there was only one bus to get to the school from the nearest (and last) train stop, so on one night she counted that she was the 80th person in line for the bus. The nearest place to buy food was a half-hour walk away, and when the typhoon hit and she was rained in to the teachers' dormitory for 2 days straight, she survived on a bottle of soda and some crackers. Of course, no one from the program (nor the school) called to see if she was okay. She also found the lizard in her room and the flying ants in her bed to be quite charming.

She admits that she knew she wanted to be in the city in the first place, and so wasn't particularly inclined to enjoy living so far away, but from everything else she said, combined with my knowledge that we would still have been required to teach from extremely questionable material, I'm truly not sorry I left when I did.

There are so many good international teaching opportunities out there, it really seriously annoys me that programs like this are out there to ruin the experience, and additionally try to pass themselves off as being the height of credibility, heaping blame and guilt on any teacher to express dissatisfaction. Putting the employees in the status of semi-legal workers wholly dependent on the good graces of the recruiting agency isn't a particularly good sign, either. *sigh* Maybe someday I'll try it again, somewhere.

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