Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Look Back On My 2010 Blogs

Looking back at my blog posts throughout 2010, I displayed a plethora of envy and resentment towards many groups of individuals.  Although my arguments aren't completely without merit, when I re-read them now I have to chuckle because all I see is one angry Asian kid who wanted to vent and voice his scathing opinions regarding Asian-American IR dating disparities. Of course, there were other topics I've blogged about in the past as well, but the IR debate consumed my person to the point of sheer contempt and downright bitterness.  Once I purged this sentiment from my mind, I noticed a considerable change within me.

I believe Better Asian Man has stated it best,
What I realized after my transition period is that even if all negative media portrayals of Asian American men were replaced with good ones, and even if all white male romantic leads were replaced with Asian American male romantic leads tomorrow morning, that still wouldn’t produce any tangible result for my romantic life. Even if all of that stuff I was “fighting” against went away, I would STILL have to learn how to get good with women and make myself into a better man. 
This is one of those simple, yet harsh realities that I refused to acknowledge quite frequently. I would make excuses or justify my shortcomings by placing blame on residual factors such as the media or entertainment in hopes that somebody else would pave the way for me so I could just ride their coat tails. That kind of mindset has zero positive impact on my personal development and is an amalgamation of whining (unattractive) and laziness (also unattractive) in its purest form.

Imagine if a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, let alone any company for that matter, operated in a similar fashion. If the CEO went on a diatribe about how the government and his competition have an unfair advantage every quarterly earnings release instead of reaching out for help by hiring the right resources and executing on a well thought out strategy, that person wouldn't be CEO for long and would eventually fall off in the corporate world. The dating world is no different from the corporate and it shouldn't be.

To each and every one of you who have posted on my blog, contender or defender, I wish for all of your forthcoming holidays to be filled with joy, peace and brighter days ahead.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So what is teaching English in Korea REALLY like??

Nowadays, guys going abroad to teach English in Asia are a dime a dozen. In these tough economic times, its actually not that bad of a gig if you consider what these programs have to offer. Go to any job site such as or just Google, "Teaching English Abroad" and you'll get tons of hits. Here's an example of one I found online yesterday. The salary and benefits are decent for recent college graduates looking to experience life in Asia and as a teacher there.
  • Compensation
    • From $1800 ~ $2700 (per month)
  • Benefits
    • One month Bonus (after 12 months)
    • Free airfare
    • Furnished housing provided
    • 21 Days Paid Vacation
    • Partial Medical Insurance Coverage
    • Save up to $15,000 per year  <== I have no idea where they came up with this figure.
You only need to be a native English speaker with a 4-year college degree willing to travel and live in Korea. Those are probably going to be the easiest qualifications you will need to fulfill throughout your entire career.

What I always find fascinating about these Asia-Pacific based English programs is how they always cater toward recruiting white people. You may ask me, "Well what's wrong with that?" My answer, "Not all white people are extraordinary English speakers or teachers." Don't get me wrong. I'm sure whites probably do excel in English over non-whites even after dissecting SAT scores. Feel free to disprove me here. I'm curious as to what the breakdown is really like. 

Let me put this in a different perspective though.

Imagine if American software companies went recruiting for programmers in Asia and all of their advertisements had nothing but Indians, since everyone knows that Indians are like the Mexicans of IT. If you're Indian, you're genetically predisposed of being good with science and engineering. Though it may be generally the case, this is where it turns borderline ridiculous. (This isn't a knock against either ethnic group. I have the utmost respect for both of them as they are hard working contributors to society.)

Back in university, one of my best TAs was a white guy who taught English in Japan and lived there for 4 years. Even he was dumbfounded by the absurdity as to how the schools he taught at disfavored native English speaking Asian-Americans from teaching sitting them on the bench majority of the time. Apparently, this preconceived notion of "White English = Right English" was a common theme at many of the schools he taught at. Eventually he gave the staff reasons as to why he believed this sort of thinking was flawed. He argued that: 
  1. Asian-Americans raised in America are just as fluent in English as him.
  2. Asian-Americans are no less qualified to teach the language.
  3. Students someone of their ethnic background or similar speaking the language with such fluency as an inspiration.
Granted, this doesn't mean these English teaching programs will not hire you because you're of Asian descent. Times have changed since then and the world is embracing globalization and ethnic diversity albeit advertising and marketing has not.

Alas, this brings me to the title of the topic at hand. So what is teaching English in an Asian country such as Korea really like?  Ladies and gentleman, watch and learn.