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About otherstuff1957

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  • Birthday 04/24/1957

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  1. I teach at a bilingual school and several of my students have gone off to spend a year (or more) abroad - mostly to the US, but also New Zealand or Canada. They all left with reasonably good English skills and returned as fluent English speakers. If you just want to improve their English skills, one year at age 14 or 15 would be enough. If you want them to get a full Western Education, send them after they finish P6.
  2. I have never been to Turkey and have no first-hand knowledge of this situation. From what I have heard about Erdogan he is doing his best to undo the nearly century year old reforms of Ataturk and change it from a secular state into a fundamentalist Islamic state. Are the people who he is purging opposed to his political/religious stance? Or is this a case of two similar figures competing with each other?
  3. Well, if you really need to watch a certain poodle's birthday party, better do it now, before big brother starts watching you!
  4. It's just a matter of time before these hacking attacks start inflicting casualties. I think that plane or train crashes or operating theater blackouts may happen as soon as this year.
  5. Scouting is part of the Thai curriculum. They have to be scouts or 'medics' until the end of M3. (9th grade).
  6. According to the article it costs about 2 million baht to make a 36 square meter house.
  7. ^This! While I can see the need to have some kind of insurance, affordable insurance for those over 60 needs to be available! Others have pointed out that medical insurance is required for visits to the Schengen countries. There are a number of companies offering this insurance WITH THE SAME PRICE FOR ALL: about 1,200 baht for 30 days or about 14,000 baht per year. If something like this was available at the airport for incoming visitors and for expats renewing their visas, I think everyone would be able to pay.
  8. I used to live in a low-lying town by San Francisco Bay (Alameda). During the winter rains we lost power or phone (land line) signals fairly frequently. I predict that the problem will be much worse in Bangkok! Wires and boxes that are rain resistant may very well have problems keeping out standing flood water.
  9. Actually, ADHD is a very common abbreviation and is something that every teacher should know. A couple of students with ADHD in a class can make it very difficult to control. Not only are they incapable of sitting still and paying attention themselves, but their behavior can and usually will influence the other students in the class. Unfortunately, there do not seem to be any professionally trained school psychologists/counselors in Thailand. Also, in Thai schools, discipline begins and ends with the teacher. Most school administrators are baffled by foreign teachers asking for help with classroom discipline and would have no idea themselves about what to do.
  10. Striking children to make them obey just teaches them to obey only when they are in danger of being struck. Up to about 10 years ago this was the most common way of enforcing discipline in Thai schools and resulted in the kids viewing freedom from corporal punishment being the same as freedom from all discipline. Until the students are taught self-responsibility and the class sizes are reduced from 40+ to 20 or so, the situation will not improve.
  11. The UK Embassies have ordered new signs for their front gates: "Higher Fees, Fewer Services".
  12. I teach at a bilingual school in Bangkok. The school pays fairly well - 40K to start and annual raises of 5 - 8%. There are several long-timers (including myself) who are well paid and largely content with our jobs. The school policy is to have only NES teachers teaching English and NES or fluent English speakers teaching other subjects. Over the years we have had teachers from US, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, NZ, France and India and Thailand (with the last 3 teaching Science or Math). This year, a couple of teachers went home, a couple more finished their PGCEi's and were snapped up by International Schools, 4 went back to Grad school in their home countries and a couple didn't have their contracts renewed. Needless to say, the school has been struggling to get replacements! In addition to the usual bunch of NES Unversity graduates, we have hired a very mixed group of Indians (from India and S. Africa) a Nigerian and a non-degreed Englishman. I am not bringing this up because I have any problem with non-white teachers, but rather to point out how thin on the ground the usual NES types must be for our Thai admin to accept this very international bunch!
  13. The only way to end the image of sex tourism is to end sex tourism. They only way to do that would be a massive crackdown in Pattaya, Phuket and parts of Bangkok. So, how would they do the crackdown? Shutting down the bars would just drive the girls (and boys) out into the streets. Mass arrests of the girls who provide the services would be ineffective if it just resulted in a lecture and a 500฿ fine. Sending the girls off to re-education camps wouldn't go down too well, so there seems to be no good way to cut off the supply. Demand, however, could to reduced to a trickle, by arresting a couple of thousand foreign sex tourists! This action, however would have a very negative effect on the tourist numbers and income!
  14. I voted no, not because I am a Trump supporter, but because impeachment does not automatically mean removal from office. First of all, the standard of guilt needed for a successful impeachment is quite high. There have only been two impeachments in US history - Johnson in the 1860s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Both were impeached, that is, tried by the Senate, but not found guilty or removed from office. It is quite possible that the same thing could happen to Trump. Secondly, I don't think that Trump's ego and self-image would let him resign. He may be kicked out eventually, but it will only be after a long chaotic period of political battles and growing mental instability.
  15. I've heard that he is not the only royal who has piloted for their national carrier on occasion.