Sunday, May 16, 2010

Typical Teacher Types Part 3: More Fun With Stereotypes

My usual disclaimer applies: these were drawn in 2003. If I have met you after this period, I was only insulting you with my telepathic visions, because we hadn't met yet. I'm kind of the Nostradamus of Assholes.

Seems like it's been a while since I saw a loving travelling couple of the type pictured; I met some people in Prague like that in 2000 but that was the last time.

These days the unhappily married man model seems to be a bit more prominent. (Although there has been the occasional example of guys enjoying their marriage to some small foreign woman they have very little in common with, I have to say that the odds are kind of against it, in my experience.)

Still plenty of crazy guys, but they are tolerated less than they used to be. We had a good one here shortly after I arrived; he would greet you cheerfully, ask you a question about something, then begin talking nonstop about something completely unrelated like the time he was arrested as a suspected terrorist in Thailand, all the while his face twitching like a Tourette's patient and his watery unfocused eyes darting around like a hammered steer. How he passed the phone interview nobody knew, but they got rid of him quickly. Perhaps he went off his meds in the interim.

It seems like the "language guys" that I see these days very quickly realize that teaching English and studying a foreign language just plain don't go together and give up quickly. A few stubborn ones remains, but a situation where you're working in English all day is unlikely to give you a good grasp of any language except English anytime soon. With very very few exceptions, if somebody wants to speak to you as a foreigner in their country, they want to speak English.

In fact, one of the Language Guys that was in Russia a few years ago started studying Polish with a Russian teacher, to get the Russian teacher to only speak Russian with him; even when he tried to study with Russian teachers they would speak to him almost entirely in English.

Obviously I was starting to reach a bit, because "The Money Grubber" and "Mr. Ambitious" are usually one in the same, and I forgot to mention their endless hours of teaching people individually in the hope that they'll end up in some rich guy's will or whatever.


esling said...

Which one are you?

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