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Can we have conversations with humour, difference of opinion and complete and utter disagreement?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by kemevez, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Locking a thread because someone posted something inappropriate (I assume of course as I didn't see it, could be wrong) seems a little childish. Just delete the post and let the rest of us mere mortals get on with it. Brings back memories of that "detention" forum where TES admin allowed the banned to post. Oh well, more British than British ban them all mentality surfaces on the "Teaching Overseas" forum.
    davidbowiefan likes this.
  2. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Couldn't agree less. The UK is still a ridiculously open country. It's also full of liberal people. Other countries more liberal in some ways? Yes.

    England is nowhere near where it should, or could be. But comparisons with Saudi are a sure fire sign of idiocy, or even being moronic. Most countries have a lot of things that are better than they are in the UK, Saudi isn't one of them.
    Redparrotfish likes this.
  3. davidbowiefan

    davidbowiefan Established commenter

    Or it could be that the honest replies were reported.

    If you have an unrealistic opinion of yourself, truth hurts.
    Cantandmorecant likes this.
  4. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    The forum has become really boring since Mainwaring and SMTDude left... It's hardly worth visiting any more. That's partly the decline in the standard of postings, partly the regular "upgrades" to ever-more unfriendly formats and partly what seems to be a deliberate attempt by someone to deaden debate.
  5. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Have they left?
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I don't think that they have completely left, but they do appear to be going through a slow withdrawal.

    I agree with the sentiment regarding the posts. There does appear to be a certain puritanical streak running through the forum and it does appear to have lost the cavalier attitude of its heyday.

    Perhaps it will return, but I doubt it.
  7. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    It’s a sign of the times guys, for those of us raised on the cut and thrust of debate, it was part of the fun to be a little pedantic and to pick on opponents weak points in their arguments. This is no longer the case, I refer my honourable friends to an article in the Economist on micro aggression (sorry don’t have the link) on US campuses. Lecturers are being banned for even using words that; “might cause students to feel uncomfortable”, not offence just uncomfortable!

    In this case it might be all my fault!

    I replied to the OP fairly early on and took issue with his/her sweeping generalizations much as I would anywhere, in the classroom, in the staffroom, even in the pub. To dismiss whole continents as ‘crime ridden’ or ‘disease ridden’ is the sort of prejudice that we are trying to eradicate in our students – I hope.

    He/she then reacted quite badly to my criticism; e.g. ‘of course I didn’t mean that’, ‘I know that’s not true’, etc. Well if that is the case why did you say it in the first place! The whole thread then descended into bickering about what someone did, or did not mean.

    But these are the new rules of social media, any constructive criticsm is trolling, only the positive side of life can be reflected or it WILL be deleted.

    PS: I am not sure that the days of the Captain or SMT Dude were the ‘good old days’, as us historians say, ‘there never was a good old days’. Maybe it’s just that, as I was saying in a reply recently, there are so many newbie’s out there who see working abroad as a panacea, and being young and rather full of themselves they are not happy when the advice they are give doesn’t match their expectations.

    No Offence!
    Cantandmorecant likes this.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, I have to agree that things were not quite what they once were on this forum. Now the TES Mods have stepped in and chopped some posts here and there. Shades of Carry On Don't Lose Your Head. Will things improve from now on? I hope so. Old-timers like this pachyderm have a thick skin, but perhaps some newcomers deserve gentler treatment.
  9. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    Sorry - I don't think I made it clear that I was referring to the french snails comments on another thread, and Hippo, you are just an old softie of a pachyderm!
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, both the Captain and the Dude were witty and thoughtful posters, and true-blue gents the pair of them, as I know from meeting each of them more than once. Now one busy cultivating his vocal cords, the other in a new school.

    Yes, the days of Mainwaring and SMTDude - weren't those also the days of posters such as Tianjin Jim?


    Not all posters were witty, thoughtful and true-blue gents . . .

    Best wishes

  11. the3wordposter

    the3wordposter Occasional commenter

    Not guilty mate.
  12. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    It used to be a bit of fun on here. Everyone knew how to make certain posters "bite" and the place had a bit of edge about it

    Now too many tessers (spelling mistake) are running off to the mods at the merest hint of a slight
  13. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    You have been reported!
    Cantandmorecant likes this.
  14. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    Teaching overseas can sometimes be a stressful and sometimes lonely experience, even when surrounded by people, especially as one climbs the greasy pole.
    No matter how silly some posters can become, short of breaking the naming rule, is not too much to ask to give people some lee-way. Banning or restricting posters is too close to the despotic regimes some of us live with, and from which we turn away from for brief periods to expel bad air on here.
    Several regulars feel the mods have gone too far, again. I / We turn to you, Theo, to ask for you to use your influence moderate the mods, if you sympathise.
    Banning is a pointless experience, as HGF has repeatedly shown this week, and MM does all the time. If anything, banning leads to normal people ,like HGF, and abnormal like MM, returning with axes to grind.
    So please, avoid the pointless bans, send emails explaining why, but also allow a two way conversation. I presume the Mods were, hopefully, never teachers, or else they would understand better how to deal with unruly children. They use the methods on the convent school nuns to deal with poor behaviour, instead of using Positive Behaviour Management techniques. Dare I even say, that if the Mods were teachers, it may explain why they are no longer.
    As my namesake said: A person who has been punished is not less inclined to behave in a given way; at best, he learns how to avoid punishment. (yes I used this quote elsewhere on TOF recently - and now I can't turn the blue off ..)
    Cantandmorecant likes this.
  15. Cantandmorecant

    Cantandmorecant Lead commenter

    Is that a thread on this forum or another? Haven't seen any here but have seen a few on another forum. It seems some can get away with quite offensive posts while other can't. Do the moderators have their favourites? It's the only reason I can think of for the unequal treatment.
  16. the3wordposter

    the3wordposter Occasional commenter

    Nail on head.
  17. Cantandmorecant

    Cantandmorecant Lead commenter

    I would suggest that it's not so much the positive side of life which can only be reflected but the group think idea of life which can only be reflected. All other views are not tolerated. We live in very intolerant times.
  18. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Indeed, 'Ou sont les neiges d'antan?' as me bucko mate Captain Ananias Tuanjim plaintively enquired when we last chatted via the Ouija board interface of my laptop. (The old boy thinks debate's not robust unless there's a certain amount of disembowelling with a grappling hook). When do I very occasionally log in from the Auld Empty Barn up here beyond the sunset I'm impressed by the efficiency with which the mods have converted everything into Strictly-Come-Boring. Could Clovis or Colonel Oldgit ever survive on a diet of Instant Whip? Mind you, it was going that way even three or four years ago. There was a chap whose user name became shorthand for 'post pointlessly removed'. Now, I wonder how long it'll take Nanny to bibble this one.
    Cantandmorecant likes this.
  19. Principal-Skinner

    Principal-Skinner Occasional commenter

    Indeed we do, but to say as much will lead you to being permanently banned. A knock on your door in the middle of the night. You family never to see you again as you're driven away in a Trabant with darkened windows, number plates TES4KU

    Therefore, put on your prozac smile, blinkers and sunglasses: it's going to be a bumpy ride ahead.
    Cantandmorecant likes this.
  20. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Thanks to some of the above for kind words.

    Still visit regularly although following dramatic change of environment there remains a woeful backlog with former friends and obligations.

    However I am turning over a new leaf and will almost certainly send both wife and daughter a Christmas card this year.

    As for posting, the wonderful new school and country are oddly uptight about matters to do with online security, privacy and proper cyber-behaviour.

    Sober and cautious as ever, I've risked few posts here - veterans will recall that I was 'outed' quite early at the last place. Every other forum where once I ranted and trolled during working hours, hears from me no more.

    Even took the radical precaution of deleting all gambling, drugs, weapons, porne, music-piracy, far-right-extremism and Chelsea FC sites from the favourites bar on the school laptop...

    ...with the sad result that I now have nothing interesting to say. Remember what happened to Alex in 'Clockwork Orange' ?

    But let me quickly join those who maintain that liberal England is far from dead, and who find comparison with Saudi plain ridiculous.

    In this respect England is like the country where I work now : it firmly requires you to observe a few quaint rules and customs, but beyond those, there are few places on earth where the whole barmy range of human weirdness is so tolerated and celebrated, and where one can so easily be what-or-whomsoever one wants to be.

    I would prove this last point by uploading photos of my most recent tattoos, piercings, baseball caps and boyfriends - but would not want to be thought immodest.

    *written on a Primary School i-pad, from the free WiFi section in Subway*
    yasimum and Cantandmorecant like this.

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