Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Study of Societies

Teaching Social Studies is cool, 'cause you get to talk about stuff like... history, and social issues. Ok ok, it's horrible when you have to teach words like Legislative Assembly and Confederation to ESL kids, but in context, there's also a lot of pretty crazy issues i get to indulge with. Well a little bit crazy to talk about in the western world, and rather crazy to talk about in China.

For example:
I talk a lot about changing the law, because sometimes the law is bad. Such as in racist laws or sexist laws. And breaking the law in order to challenge the law. And the criminals who broke the law are now considered by all to be heroes.

Chinese kids find this to be rather foreign. "What? The government was wrong? What breaking the law is good?" So i get to toss out ideas (not in a lot of depth necessarily, but still...) like

Was Prohibition in the USA good or bad? Should people break that law?

If most Canadians smoke marijuana, should that law be changed? (most Chinese folk think mj is very very VERY bad, having been sold the same stories as the western statusquo, but without much access to contrary info, let alone access to people who have, like, tried it.

The Canadian govt GUARANTEES people the right to PROTEST against the government! How fucked up is that? From within the PRC, it's pretty fucked.

And then... sometimes [in the context of APEC protests, etc] the police and the government break their own laws! How fucked up is that?
"Yeah, some police officers are good, but others are not so good. Are there any bad police officers in China?" The kids look at me and each other curiously: "No," they reply.

I also have had opportunities to mention the Nike boycott, and why lots of people think that Nike is shit. Pretty interesting, 'cause in brand-name-loving China, these kids have certainly never heard a negatively connotated word about Nike, or the likes.

Good stuff!

And it's like, oh yeah, isn't this why i wanted to be a teacher? and the answer is... yes! So that's good.


Also... i have a reduced workload from last year, thank god. In fact, considering all the above, it's a wonder that i'm not more satisfied w/ my job than i truthfully am. God, what a complainer.

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