Readers' Submissions

Teaching And Touching



By The Lonely Professor


Question: What are your thoughts on guys who spend nights in the naughty bars and day working as teachers?

The Lonely Professor answers…

What a person does in their off-duty hours away from the job is her / her business…as long as whatever those activities are do not conflict with the expectations of the job.

Different organizations will have different rules for their employees. Taking a job, and knowing what those rules are, you should abide by them; or, you were perhaps ‘wrong’ for taking the job in the first place.

i.e. If you don’t like to kill, don’t join the Army.

Whenever a teacher does not separate work from pleasure and / or begins to pick up students the way he or she maybe picking up members of the opposite / same sex for pleasure – then I’d say that it’s time for that teacher to find another vocation.

A teacher simply needs to know ‘where to draw the line’ and practice ‘good judgment’ in this matter. If he or she ‘can’t, then that teacher probably shouldn’t be teaching because sooner or later that teacher is going to find themselves in a lot of trouble.

Does this satisfy your curiosity about ‘the Lonely Professor’?

Morally, I’m quite ‘sterile’ on this matter than perhaps most because I’m an educator. However, I’m also ‘tolerant’ and sensitive to cultural ‘differences’ because I’m an international contract teacher and I spend much of my time in foreign lands and cultural tolerance is what I think I wanted to promote more than anything else with concern to my first post in this forum. I’m not interested in getting into a catfight or a brawl with people who spend most of their free time in bars in Bangkok. I’ve always found that teaching in Bangkok is a fairly busy occupation if you wanted to make any money at it. Some of you would, too, if you had a family to support like I did when I taught in Thailand.

I’m also married to an Asian and I tell you, the way the Thai see things is not the way that we see things because the values of Thai society, even compared to other ‘Asian’ societies, are not the same. What is hypocritical to us is not hypocritical to them.

You might say, and you’ve probably heard mention before: ‘There is the right way, there is the wrong way; and, there is the Thai way.

Since most of you who read this forum are guests in their country, I would imagine that it’d be prudent to respect the Thai way and their opinion on such matters as sex, religion, and politics…as ‘hypocritical’ as those opinions may seem to be to us ‘farangs’.

Just remember what I said, ‘the Thai are not and will not be judged by the same set of standards as we, even by he who sits on high because the Thai do not live in a society that is founded upon Judeao-Christian western European / American values…nor want to be’

And this is what I am saying.

For example, a quote by ‘Siam Sam’:

" The Professor" also made to the extent that one thing the Thais are not guilty of would be hypocrisy. That is hardly the truth of the matter. In fact, how someone can understand Thailand and say such a thing is incomprehensible to me. Thais are grand hypocrites.”
Yes, Sam, in ‘our eyes’, they are. But, in their own eyes their behavior is just the normal course of nature. It’s not ‘hypocrisy’ because their behavior is not defined by the same definitive values as ours. If you had taken more note when you studied anthropology, if you ever did, you would have learned that there is an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside’ perception of cultural behavior. Either has to be respected.

And, the fact that the Thais do not see themselves as being ‘conquered’ by Japanese domination during World War II, but rather see it as an ‘accommodation’…is nothing new to historical perceptions by Asian societies. The Vietnamese also see their history as one continuum – but, as we ‘know’ what happened to them under the French, the Japanese and then under the Americans, this can hardly be true by our accounts.

Opinions may be different…and maybe historians from different parts of the world record facts differently…but while in Thailand it would behoove foreigners to be at least empathetic with the Thai view, such as it is. Like I said before, it’s their country. They have their own pride and their own way of looking at things.

And, I sense that there’s a lot more to what some of you are saying or might be thinking…but, it still sounds a lot like ‘farang’ to me…and, ‘I’m not meaning to be offensive’.

‘Think’ about it.

Stickman's thoughts"

Interesting notion of the inside and outside thoughts.