Monday, May 1, 2017

Lesson: Don't Waste Your Time Responding to Fascists

The “Luka” lesson for the conversation enrichment class in Fengyuan, Taiwan, went so well yesterday. It started with a choral reported speech warm-up, my last statement being: “I have a problem. What did I say?” ("You said you had a problem.") "I don't know your names. What did I say?" ("You said you didn't know our names") which led into having the class tell me their names and addresses handing out business cards for them to write it on (they all had English names) and mini-clips for them to attach to their shirt pockets of jacket zipper tags. 

We then re-connected to “Luka” for the question, “Where do you live?” One boy said he lived on the second floor; the class laughed. I said there were a million second floors in Taichung; which one did he live on? I then introduced how to write and say one’s address in English using the American standard of house number first followed by street name, street section (if any) and lane or alley number. I helped the students transcribe their Mandarin names into pin-yin or other Romanization. I told the class that next week, they would have to stand and introduce themselves including full name and address.

We zoned in on "Luka’s" problem; she was a victim of child abuse. I wrote the five types of relationship abuse on the board and demonstrated examples using verbal and body language clues. Next week, I will reinforce the lesson with a “Do Now” asking for examples for each abuse. I used the suicide of a 27 year old Taiwanese author who was in the news recently as an example; some of the students knew who I was referring to. She was a victim of sexual abuse from her bushiban teacher when she was 13 years old. 

I topped off the discussion introducing child labor, saying these abuses were suffered by many under-aged workers by their bosses. It was May Day yesterday and, although the topic of child labor is in the more advanced Bread & Roses Curriculum I wrote, I made the connection now; no child under 16 should be allowed to work; over 16, while in school,  only up to 20 hours a week. I know that the students knew of some under-aged friend who worked; the class was hushed.

      Now isn’t it better writing what I just did instead of writing a Facebook message responding to Sal P’s anti-socialist diatribe, explaining why he’s wrong defending Trump and criticizing Venezuela’s revolution? I blocked him on Facebook. Especially on May Day, do I have to explain to the de-evolutionary how he wouldn’t have had a job teaching at FDR high school in New York City if it weren’t for what he called my socialist worker-solidarity ideals: I'm “living in the past; not from modern prospective,” he said.  

     The teachers' union protected him from charges of incompetence; charges he probably deserved. He should kiss the feet of every union member who fought for his rights and gave him the opportunity to waste immigrant students’ time in the ESL classroom for twenty-five years. Maybe the union was wrong for protecting a self-centered reactionary bigot like him. There is nothing he can be taught, and I have better things to do. Wherever there are workers fighting for social justice and their rights to a living wage, Sal won’t be there and wouldn't help; that’s why he, and other fascist freedom riders, has to be blocked.

Happy May Day! Solidarity Forever! 

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