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Friday, January 10, 2014
A couple weeks ago -- a few days before Christmas -- one of the teachers had some kind of mental breakdown here at the school.
I didn't see it, as I was teaching at that time.
I went into one of the offices during the short break between classes, and a teacher was complaining that another teacher had physically shoved him out of the other office.
"He kept saying he wanted to lock the door, but he didn't seem to be doing that," said the teacher who had been shoved.
I made a joke out of it, saying that if he needed backup, we'd go get it sorted.
As I went into my next class, I noticed several on the management and senior teachers running in a group down the hall, and vaguely wondered what was up.
It was all over by the time I finished my next class, though.
The teacher had apparently begun ranting and raving and laughing and crying and yelling, shoving everyone out of the teacher's office.
I asked someone who had been there what the ranting was about. "Religious themed," came the response. "Like about angels and stuff."
Apparently it ended with the security guards coming and wrapping the guy up in duct tape and carrying him out.
He was taken to a nearby hospital and sedated. A nurse friend of one of the teachers emailed and said that she'd seen the guy after he woke up and he was extremely confused and occasionally refusing to speak.
"He seemed a bit of a lost soul," said the nurse.
I'd never spoken to or met the guy -- there are more than 50 teachers on the night shift and more than 140 at the institute in general. One of the guy's friends said that he had confessed a history of bipolar disorder and had said something earlier in the day like, "this is what I felt like before the last time I had a breakdown."
They put him on a plane home later that week, but of course management was not particularly forthcoming with details.
What was the cause of this breakdown? He'd been here only about four months. Nobody knows the exact answer. There's speculation whether he was taking any medication, had taken something new, etc, but it's all just speculation.
So here I am at what is almost assuredly one of the highest-paying TEFL jobs in the world, which we all had to pass extensive background checks to get, and the teachers are still a bunch of unbalanced loons.
Just in case any of you were wondering.