Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Exits, Banks and Problem Kids

I seem to have got the commentators curse. As soon as I said no one had been screwed than somebody left the next day. I am still not sure exactly why but it does seem that things were promised and not delivered. Seems to be quite common here.

One of the other things that have not been delivered to anyone is a copy of the contracts. It’s a bit worrying that we still don’t have them. They keep on saying that we have extracts and that will do. Err yes, the extracts are going over the main details but they also leave out important stuff that could be relied on if the shit hits the fan. Like stating exactly why we can be fired, what constitutes grievance procedures ( if I remember right ) etc etc.

One reason for wanting the contract is to double check what it says about out of school hours activities. This was something that was glossed over – as well as the having to work the first two cover lessons free each week. Looking at the school calendar today, it maybe that we have a weekend coming up of school activities. It will be interesting to see what is expected. Already a couple of people are starting to grumble and make noises about “I’m bloody well not coming in two days and giving up my weekend”. We found this out because we got measured for our official school t-shirts that we will have to wear. Lovely white things with trimmings of green, blue, red, orange and purple I think. No idea how we got allocated our colours or anything, there will be a meeting soon we were told that will tell all. Uh huh. I won’t hold my breath.

Another task we might get is attending the chapel for a spiritual awakening week. It won't be so bad during the lessons we are supposed to be teaching the kids, as all we need to do is turn up with them and stay awake and make sure they don’t run around. But they were also talking about doing it for the teachers during our lunch hour. Stuff that. My lunch hour is the only time I get on a couple of days to chill, no way am I going to sit in a chapel and listen to somebody rattle on about Gods love. If god loves me I am sure he will forgive me and at least I am honest towards him unlike some Christians who preach about love and forgiving but will then stab anyone in the back who gets in their way. They are they few people who can look you in the eye as they stab you in the back. I seem to saying this word a lot today but another wait and see event and see what will actually happened compared to rumour control.

Ah well. No news today – as you can probably tell, the bit above was written yesterday but because of problems connecting it didn’t get uploaded.

No more news today officially about the contracts but unofficially we should get them this week. Apparently they are with the program director for her to read – exactly why I don’t know, as far as I am aware they are all the same. Maybe she is inserting the clauses that say we if we get a government holiday that we have to make the time up. That is a story that appeared on www.thaischoolwatch.com I think that the person is from the other program that the school has, the facts just fit better on their side. There are a few bad tales coming out on that and some of them are true.

Pay day is tomorrow whoop de whoop and we got out bank accounts today and we are promised that the money will be in there tomorrow. At the start of the year we were told that we had to have an account with the bank that is purple. All other banks were no good. Hmm, school colours purple and the bank is purple. Connection or paranoia? After a couple of weeks some people had got their new accounts and some hadn’t – like me. Then we got told that the school would organise it and we shouldn’t go the bank ourselves. Alright, something less for us to do, good. Fill in the form and wait. Err, what account are we getting? The normal one. Yesssss, but what is the normal one? Is it a card or a book? It’s a book. Oh, no card? No, just the normal one. Can I get a card? Umm, yes but you have to pay. Err, ok, how much? 300B. And it can be used in an ATM and is a debit card? Yes, you can use it at the ATMs.

So we troop along to the office today to pick up the card. Its there, jolly good, sign for it and open it up. Whoo Star Wars limited Edition card, funky! Now, can I use it at the ATM. Yes. Can I use it like the Visa Electron? No. Aw feck. It’s just a normal ATM card. Yet another story that was invented to get out an awkward situation of not knowing? I should have just told them that I had got one myself and that way I would have got the card I wanted rather than the book and basic account they were going to foist onto me. Sorry but what the feck is the point of having a book and no card in this day and age. Carry a book round with me and have to queue up during my lunchtimes or right after school along with the possible wrong queue / translation difficulties? Nah. Make sure I have enough cash on me at all times just in case I see something I like or spend too much? Nah.

Never mind they said, you can always change it at the bank. How about getting it right so I wouldnt have to change it? No doubt there will be another fee that I have to pay.

I have just watched an interesting documentary from the BBC about Autism. It is one of these diseases that do not exist in Thailand. The shame would be too great for the parents and for the school a possible loss of revenue. It seems that more and more discoveries are being made not only in the diagnosis of it but also the causes – even if they are still years away from the definitive reasons. They now no longer think of it as a black and white disease and more like varieties of grey. Some of them can actually seem to be previously described as other psychiatric diseases like obsessive compulsive disorder. What quite makes the difference it wasn’t quite explained. It could be that a lot of “Autism Spectrum” disorders could be currently diagnosed as other things.

It sort of makes me wonder where one disease starts and one finishes when the symptoms are so similar and that it could just be the new medical “in” disease for doctors.

One thing that I realised is that I have seen a lot of the symptoms in my kids, in this and my previous school, that probably some could be suffering from Autism Spectrum disorder of one level or another. How many? Not sure, single figures probably with a few more that have some other psychiatric problem but a lot more than the school or parents would like to admit.


Anonymous said...

The school regs actually FORBID you from telling a parent that little Somchai has "a problem".

Last year there was a big to do made of the new "referral system" for children with problems. Only one student was mentioned as absolutely needing this help, a kid who had been there for 7 YEARS and could barely (and still can't, this year) speak English.

Oh no, not J***- he's a "special boy".

Let's just throw those referral forms in the bin right now! :)

dong said...

I teach an autistic boy, yet he doesn't have autism because his mum's a professor at Chula. How could he have a problem? Mummy sits in front of the window every class watching him. I guess it's because he doesn't have a problem. I do! I'm not trained to deal with kids like this. Last class he had a pair of scissors in each hand and was getting ready to pounce.

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