You couldn't have!, a short story by mark68. Date added: 2012-03-12. Times viewed: 828.
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- Intro: An account about education and its value.
You couldn’t have!
When I was young I didn’t even aspire to going to university, it was something that a very select other few did. Teachers did, doctors did and although you were young and rebellious you tended to respect them for what they where.
This is the bizarre story of my attempts to better myself through the university system. I left school at sixteen without much in the way of education and went to work in a supermarket. I worked in manual positions until I was twenty-three when I had this feeling that I had to do something to better myself. I decided to try a degree foundation course.
So this is it then: The Open University for one year, about 600 hours, which included a summer school at Bath University. I had an unconditional offer to The University of Wales, Aberystwyth. I studied Information Science, maths and statistics, I passed information science but failed the rest and dropped out. A year passed in which I tried to find work without much success and I decided to go back to university as it was my only chance to better myself. I went to what is now the University of Gloucestershire and studied an HND and because my results were really good I was offered entry to the final year of a BSc. I also worked as a night porter for the three years, which included first aid at work qualification. I joked at the time that I needed to appear in the papers to get a good grade and actually a project that I did, did appear in the Western Daily Press in 1997, and local BBC radio.
I studied a short course in Thai at Hong Kong University, and in 2000 applied to work at Assumption University in Bangkok Thailand. I worked there from October 2000 to October 2001. I drove four hours per day and taught about twenty three hours per week including summer school. From 1998 to 2001 I also studied by distance learning for a post-graduate diploma in Business Administration with Edinburgh Business School, Heriot Watt University, I passed this course in January 2001 and at the time this would have qualified me in the top 2% of the British population.
I came back to the UK in 2002 and went to the University of Greenwich School of education and training where I trained to be a teacher at post-graduate level. I passed it well with teaching practice at an inner London college of further education. I them worked as a lecturer in West London for a further two years. On the old scale I was four levels up the lecturer scale in another year I would have been senior lecturer. I found the cost of living was very high and I resigned and went to live with my wife. I had a reference which said ‘I always found him to be totally reliable and deeply committed to anything he put his mind to, he entered fully into the work and activities of the business division and demonstrated a depth of character and a genuine love of teaching.’
I went back to Thailand in 2007 and found it difficult to find work after a few weeks I was offered an interview with an Australian education establishment to teach English at various locations in Bangkok. My first and last class was at King Mongut’s Institute of Technology, yes I know you say that can’t be the case. I taught a three hour class from five in the evening to eight and then took a bus back to the wrong end of town and had a further forty minute taxi ride across Bangkok, getting home at about 9:30, I didn’t work with them again as my next class clashed with my children’s baptism, which funnily enough was at the same time as a well healed family of Westerners and Thais. I felt a bit upset because I had a suit on which I had had for five years and was living in a one bedroom apartment with my wife and two children.
I did teach at an EF in Bangkok for a further six months, six days a week until 8:30 at night for about £500 a month, no advice, no assistance and a one bedroom apartment. My last day of work was the 14th of July 2007 I had worked ten days without a day off, it was a Sunday, I wasn’t feeling wanted and I haven’t had a paid day’s work since that day. I did however teach people from nearly every university in Thailand, and when I stop to think about it I have taught about 4,000 individuals from many countries in this world.
Since being back in the UK I have been offered ICT teaching in secondary schools at Middlesex University through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry which I declined, and an MA in Intercultural Communication at Birkbeck which required an upper second in linguistics as entry.
I know what you’re thinking ten universities in one way or another and the one thing that stands out is ‘What ever you say you can’t have worked at King Mongut’s Institute of Technology, even it was for just three hours! I can just about believe the rest but not that.
I feel a bit like ‘God put a smile on your face’ by Coldplay although I don’t remember it at the time. It’s almost uncanny spiritual.
There was a small spiritual message I remember from the Bible, the sons who inherit their father’s estate, the youngest and supposedly most popular son was given only this ‘this too will end’ He was silly enough then to share his fortune with his brothers without asking for half of what they were given *)
I say this: ‘Even here I am’ We are all at our own center, why have anyone else there, but be it the bowls of hell or heaven itself ‘even here I am.’ I suppose it’s about personal responsibility for our behaviour.
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