Is Thailand Really As Bad As “They” Say? Or Is It The Foreigners Who Come Here With Bad Intentions?

There’s really no other way to explain what I just read by just showing you what I just read – all credit to Ajarn.com, the place where apparently “men” go to lose their feelings and talk about how bad life is here in Thailand.

As an African American, I’m completely appalled at the fact that so many people, of a completely favorable skin-tone, can complain about this country.  I mean, I was turned away at immigration and treated badly at the main dog house in the heart of Bangkok five years ago, I was looked down upon at the border crossing (Sadow) where a family before me went to the window and the lady gave them a proper “why”; however, when I approached the window, she gave me a disparaging look as if I was the worst drug-dealer on the face of planet Earth.  Does this happen to “anglos” here? Absolutely not.

I’m pointing out ethnicities simply because this is what I’ve talked about all long.  Those “whiny bitch parties.”

Without further ado, there’s a little entry thingy on this particular website called the “great escape.”  The man, who doesn’t even need to be mentioned, is the creator of this – telling Native English Speaking teachers who have left Thailand to write an entry on why they left.

This is one of those cases…..

I wasn’t qualified enough as a teacher and the ESL industry in Thailand doesn’t allow for any sort of nurturing or learning of teaching abilities, except in a really cruel and counter-productive manner to the actual idea of teaching.

The way Thailand immigration and work laws are set up simply doesn’t allow for any sort of real growth in teaching or for students learning ESL. I wish I had done my research better and I had more realistic expectations to start with, because it really didn’t end well.

The first job, I got sacked from a high rotation agency for little reason and extremely roughly in a way that went directly against the contract I signed.

Second job was for a school that was little more than a prison for rich boys with an unbelievably toxic bully culture – and they had no curriculum, exam papers or even textbooks. I resigned from that one.

Even the international school I applied for was super wrong. They couldn’t even arrange a demonstration class for me properly and got me to travel back and forth three times before they threw me into a science class to demonstrate an English class I had prepared. Of course I didn’t get the job and I now understand I was set up to look incompetent because they couldn’t be bothered to manage things right.

My self-esteem plummeted and I guess I must have “lost face” with my own partner, with whom I’d arranged to marry after the school year ended. I told her I didn’t believe I was qualified enough (to be honest I don’t think anyone is except for local teachers) to teach in Thailand. We couldn’t realistically keep the same date for marriage so I suggested postponing. She kicked me out – taking my bike and leaving me in a hotel with only what luggage I could carry (after a 3-year relationship).

It’s a terminal issue that goes way beyond me. I met other teachers who were either alcoholics drowning their issues into oblivion, losers, sex pests using the local women for their man-ventures, people running away from their own countries for whatever reason, ditzy backpackers or gap year folk looking for a working holiday (probably the best way to do things), actual teachers who were extremely bitter (for good reason), or good folk who were stuck in relationship quagmires like me. The long-termers all seemed stuck in a toxic situation and all seemed miserable.

I realised that I was contributing to a more ingrained pattern of a toxic education system that is highly budgeted but highly ineffective in teaching English.

I got burnout from teaching and got treated badly by immigration and country in record time, and then everything I had built just fell apart. That could have been a good thing because it could have gotten worse. I saved money from the dowry (for a relationship gone bust) and I have that to get me by back at home.

First of all, how could you rely on immigration to help you with your personal and professional development as a teacher? I mean that’s what “schools” are suppose to provide, right? I mean I’m working at a language center which has declined rapidly because they don’t have development curriculums and classes that teachers can take to improve their teaching capabilities in a particular subject.  This is all because the foreign coordinator — and has nothing to do with the Thai system, immigration, or Thai culture.

The second school he was at where he detailed, “no curriculum, no textbooks, no nothing” is a reasonable find, but I’ve been through those, too.  However, can I just back up the Thais on this one? How about China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia…etc….do they have the same problems? The Australians and British within Thailand always love comparing saying, “back home in England we have such an unbelievable system that prepares students – BLAH BLAH BLAH!” Yeah, and they also have men shoving Africans off subway trains while spewing racial rhetoric.  This “I’m from England; therefore, I’m the greatest man on the planet” nonsense has to stop.

Him losing self-esteem is not because of what he went through, but because he allowed it to happen.  I lost my self-esteem when Thai women shouted racial comments at me on social media.  However, I got it back by taking personal development into my own hands. When he told his partner this, I can tell almost immediately that she was a bargirl.  No girl would kick a man to the curb, take his stuff, and leave him at a hotel.  My guess is again, he was a 40-70-year-old man like I’ve told you about a many of times.

If your is in the wrong place, you’re going to lose the game.  Those foreigners that come here winning the 1st and 2nd quarters will end up losing the game.  I can assure you that.

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/is-thailand-really-as-bad-as-they-say-or

Darren Hardy: Don’t Drink Dirty Water

I worked for a dental office on a temp contract 6 years ago in Coburn (town north of North Sydney, if I’m not mistaken), and this man (the dentist) would look at me crazy and say, “did you drink your water? Arsenio, you must drink your water. The average being needs to consume X AMOUNT everyday.  If you don’t, your body can’t function.”

You get in life what you create. – Darren Hardy

Whatever you’re allowing yourself to hear and see is what you’re creating.  For the people out there who are literal thinkers, they’ll continue recreating the same life every day, week, month, year, and life.  The best part of this is once you realize that you are the creator – it’s life transforming.

Look at your life like a glass.  Your glass if filled with whatever you put it in.  For instance, I had a very uneventful weekend featuring disorganization and people who wanted to see me fail – but I didn’t fail.  Am I going to go home knocking what happened? Absolutely not.  Everything that happened – happened the exact way it was suppose to.

Media Diet

From the tabloids screaming at you in the stores, to CNN being on in the airport and even at the gyms – there’s no running from it.  However, you can cancel the subscriptions and stay away from the news all together.

Just this morning I was running on the treadmill and there were the older folks, walking and staring at the T.V. – all while watching a building burn.  Shortly after that segment, there was a homicide (of some sort) showing the dead body.  I didn’t necessarily see anything, but it didn’t phase me whatsoever because I had a motivational talk in my ear and cardio to do.

What is it with people who just find the need to slow down in traffic, too.  I’m talking about those who slow down to look at the carnage on the road.  Here in Thailand….they take photos.  That’s right.  The literally take photos of all the body parts – which ended up being splattered all over the place so they can gain social media likes.

This is why I go on a Newsfeed purge.  My friend, who I had dinner with last night, was completely against my purge.  She said, “how do you know how your friends are doing?”  I retorted, “they can tell me if it’s great news!”  I stopped following virtually all my Asian friends, especially after seeing one of my Vietnamese friends sharing a video involving a deceased young boy in an ice-chest.

The empathy; the heart; the sympathy and compassion of people, especially in Asia, has gone out the window.  Am I saying everyone? No….but my goal is to see inspirational messages and people doing great things.  My goal is to comment on photos that draw a lot of good attention.

There needs to be a “positive news” channel.  A news channel that just shows how you can overcome the senseless bigotry that’s peddled all over the news.  I can preach right now that there’s so much more good happening in the world than bad.  It’s just an issue because the news outlets broadcast things that can sell.  Good news doesn’t sell.  People don’t want to be happy.  People want to bitch.  You know this – and I know this.

Create A Personal Junk Filter

The majority of news doesn’t have a bearing on your goals, dreams or aspirations anyway.  Can you stop what’s happening in Myanmar? In the Middle East? I remember Joe Vitale saying on ‘the secret’: “maybe you have to be informed, but you don’t have to be inundated.”

Bottomline, things are happening all around the world that we have no control over.  Just like Tim Ferris’ Low Information Diet, Darren Hardy has the same thing, too.

I don’t want to pour mud into a clean glass of water.

Enroll In Drive-Time U

In the morning when I get out of bed, I have a podcast app on my phone ready to go.  Gary Vee locked in.  Also, Hodgetwins….the meaning to laugh, regardless of how ridiculous it is, is essential.  So, I’m standing on the platform in tears of laughter before heading into the train.  When I get inside, that’s when I get to work for the next 35 minutes.  I’m posting things on Instagram, Weibo, Twitter, FB, sharing things, writing things on my notepad.

Some people are probably driving.  Ok, if you drive to work, set yourself up a nice audio the night before.  I would seriously recommend Lisa Nichols, Gary Vee, Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Impact Theory (I love Wyclef Jean’s Story), and so many other videos.  Seriously…drill your mind relentlessly and you’ll be amazed how fast your paradigm shifts.

Podcast

Rhythms of Life + Power of Consistency

“I don’t want you thinking of the rhythms you can do for this week, month, or even the next ninety days; I want you to think about what you can do for the rest of your life. The Compound Effect—the positive results you want to experience in your life—will be the result of smart choices (and actions) repeated consistently over time. You win when you take the right steps day in and day out. But you set yourself up for failure by doing too much too soon.”

This is in regards to the last blog/podcast.  When you’re in marriage, you’re going to have to do things way outside the box.  Do things that you would have never done before.  Surprise him/her.  Buy those plane tickets to a utopia.  If you don’t do these things, relationships become stagnant.  The two individuals begin dying rather than growing together.

Story of Richard In The Podcast

The Power of Consistency

I looked back on my blogs from last year, and I noticed that were was a stray of days that I didn’t do a blog.  My numbers suffered; viewers disengaged; and the Big Mo was gone.  Not only that, but when you fall out of that consistency “frequency,” it’s even harder to get back in as you’ve heard in Richard’s story.

People, at the beginning of the year, hire a personal trainer to bust their ass, and they ultimately fall into that same bad habit.

Another example would be students here in Thailand.  I’ve seen students who have an insane amount of discipline, and I’ve seen others who study English for the sake of learning the language.  That’s the wrong way to do it.

For example, let’s say I had a student by the name of Note.  Note was very good at conversation and I asked him, “how did you learn conversation?” He said, “I repeated everything I heard in movies and I talk to myself in the mirror.”

About 99% of the human population wouldn’t do that because they’re scared of what “others” might think of them.

Example number 2 — Kim Kim.  Kim Kim, at the age of 15, spoke better than most Asians all across Asia.  Her accent is sound and she has very few grammatical errors while speaking.  How did she learn? Just like my companion 11-years-ago by the name of Ezra Goings did — surround yourself with the language.

“I love English.  English is life.  I breathe it. I love it so much.  I hate Thai.”

That’s what she said. She hates her own language.  She actually even speaks to children and others in the community in English, which is funny because she says “excuse me” with a stern voice.  What are the reactions? Looks of awe.

I hope you understand what point I’m trying to make here.  Through consistency, riding the Big Mo, and unrelenting determination can come some of the greatest lessons and learning experiences in life.  It’s not always about taking a massive jump and pushing down on the pump as quick as possible.  Look at rowers — you know — the people who pedal like hell in lakes while sitting in canoes.  Could you imagine if they went as fast as possible at the beginning of the race? They would die down.

Other examples could be like the “beauty pill,” which is sold here in Thailand.  Women, of all walks of life, take this pill (which is extremely dangerous) so they can lose weight.  They don’t want to put in the work in the gym…they just want to “become” slim.  Discipline is the lesson.

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/rhythms-of-life-power-of-consistency

 

TOEFL: Part A – Part I – Incomplete Independent Clauses

For all of my students around the world tuning in to my  YouTube channel and blogs for test preparation help, here’s one on TOEFL.

I know a lot of people view my blogs for a number of things; whether it’s health related articles or personal development.  However, this particular blog is for several PhD students who have asked me to break down the TOEFL (which is widely known test for NES students who are trying to learn abroad) grammar section into small steps.

Because grammar in TOEFL is the same as ACT and SAT (or very near), I’m going to break down each category individually to help you understand the very basics in understanding Structure.

Introduction

This part of the test consists of fifteen incomplete sentences.  Some portion of each sentence has been replaced by a blank, so it’s up to you to figure out which one completes the sentence grammatically and logically.

On top of this, there are five main points tested.

Sentence Structure

  • Incomplete Independent Clauses
  • Independent Adjective clauses
  • Missing Participial Phrases
  • Missing Appositives
  • Adverb Clauses
  • Noun Clauses
  • Missing Prepositional Phrases

The other testing points consist of: word order, verbs & verbals, proper style, and word choice.

In the PDF down below I go over the basic simple, compound and complex sentence structuring along with independent clauses and a couple of examples.  I don’t want too much information overload on the first TOEFL blog, so stay updated for more coming this week. Consider this a warm-up.

TOEFL Part A – Incomplete Independent Clauses

Taking A Leap Can Transform Your Life

Chanthaburi, Thailand was a place that left me exasperated by the end of everyday because of the mistreatment not only at my school, but also around the entire town.  The grotesque stares from Thai people which was soul-crushing, the boss who threatened to fire me at any given time because she was power hungry, the colleague who made up stories of him being with university students to make me jealous (46 year old irishman with 3 teeth) among so many other things that culminated over the 5 month period.

There was a lady by the name of Tina in the deep south of Thailand who told me, “hey, I’ve been seeing your Facebook posts lately about not liking your job.  You should come down here! There are plenty of jobs!”  Thailand 4 years ago was just slightly acceptable to accepting African Americans as teachers versus the next-to-none nowadays.

So, one day I booked a minivan trip (3 hour ride with strangers) to Bangkok and took a flight from there to Nakhon Si Thammarat.  My friend, who I met for the first time, was at the airport to pick me up.  After getting settled in, we visited a man who apparently was the one with all the “power” in the province.  He greeted me with open arms and said, “So AJ (nickname), you need a job? Ok.”  He got on his phone and made a call to his wife who I later spoke to.

The conversation was put like this, “ok, when can you move here? October 10th? We will see you then.”

Accepted.

I had to tip-toe my way out of the school and Chanthaburi because the parents plead for me to stay there long term.

I wouldn’t have gotten paid for 60 days and my savings account was depleting.  I wanted to do traveling but I had only 1000$ USD left in my name, so I needed to hurry and get out of the school who paid me 66$ less because I was African American versus the two other caucasian teachers (from America and Ireland).

After experiencing the large increase in the new province in terms of salary, I was content, but then the racism began to burrow down on me like a 100 lb weight. When I was approaching the last months of Nakhon Si Thammarat, I hit rock bottom in courage, self-esteem, and self confidence.

I recall applying for 60 jobs one morning and got one reply from a gentleman who’s school was in a remote town near the historical Ayutthaya.  Well, I took another leap.

The school, being right in the middle of a marsh, had some of the worst energy I’ve ever experienced in my life.  By that time, I knew what was good and what wasn’t in this country; therefore, after 3 job interviews that plummeted viciously whereas I walked out of one because they didn’t call my name.  Conversely, whilst enduring all that pain, I continued to fight and ultimately got a job in Bangkok.

4 years on…my life has changed completely after the transgressions.  That leap of faith.  A lot of people would say on twitter, “why are you still here then?” Ignore senseless questions like that.  These people, just like some of the colleagues I’ve worked with in the present and past, will try demoralize you and make you believe that you’re just a speck in the world.

I’m not here for a wife, a girlfriend, or to retire….I’m here to become the best version of myself and changed the lives of thousands all over the world.

Look what has happened to me in spite of the rejections, the no’s, the people not talking to me, the racial comments, the job prospects asking if I’m black…..how was I able to change it around?

After taking all those leaps, I reached a plateau in which I was very content with my life, but still didn’t have a life purpose statement.  I was shooting blanks in life hoping to hit something, but wasn’t.

Then I picked up a book that changed my life.  I’m telling you to take that leap.  To do research.  Find out the life purpose and what you’re really after.  What legacy do you want to leave in life?

It all comes with taking the gigantic leap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Canfield – Unleash The Power of Goal-Setting

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” – Andrew Carnegie

Once you determine your life purpose, your mission, your vision, and clarify what your true needs and desires are, you have to convert them into specific, measurable goals and objectives – then then act on them with the certainty that you will achieve them.

There was a goal-setting study done at Yale in which only 3% of the graduating class had written specific goals for their future.  Twenty years later, those 4% were found to be earning an astounding 10 times more than the group that had no clear goals.

Let’s break this down even more.

A total of 267 participants ranging in age from 23-72 were involved in a study.  I’m talking from USA, Europe, Australia, Asia and a variety of different people which included entrepreneurs, educators, health care professionals, artists, attorneys, bankers, marketers, human services providers, managers….etc.

Group 1 was simply asked to think deeply about their goals – what they wanted to accomplish over the next four weeks – but not to write them down.

Groups 2, 3, 4, & 5 were asked to write down their goals.

Group 3 was asked to also formulate a list of action commitments.

Group 4 was asked to formulate a list of action commitments and then send their list of goals and action commitments to a supportive friend.

Group 5 was asked to do all of the above, and provide a weekly progress report to a friend.

In the end, Group 1  had a 43% success rate, while the middle groups increased between 13-21%.  Group 5 had an astonishing 76% success rate in the end.

This study provides empirical evidence for the important and effectiveness of three essential success principles: (1) writing down your gaol; (2) making a public declaration of your goals; and (3) being accountable to another person – such as a coach, an accountability partner, or a mastermind group – for achievement of your goals. – Jack Canfield

Podcast – https://www.spreaker.com/episode/8451281

Could Humanity Share The Same Vision And Coexist With One Another?

Children of all sizes, color, ages, religions, and backgrounds shared a common area in what I was observing just two days ago.  I saw students sharing the same laughs, doing the same things, and speaking the same way without any hateful rhetoric.

How come they understand but the rest of the world doesn’t?

I’m going to deep-dive (my new favorite word) into what could possibly work in terms of ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, & Laos) accepting each other for who they are and living amongst each other.

First and foremost, I respect what Angelina Jolie and Praya Lundberg are doing in terms of working with the United Nations.  They could be huge activists in pushing what this could be.

If you look at the countries I listed above, could an organisation be developed so that students from different countries can study in other countries?

I’m not talking about agencies who are after the pockets of beings, I’m talking about the governments of all countries choosing a good 1,000 of their highest, most prestigious achievers (or even those with learning disabilities – doesn’t matter) to get a plane ticket and go to another school that works in accordance with the organization?

How about getting schools to work with one another in a collaborative effort (non-international) to send students to and from their schools?

See, these little things – brainstorming ways you could blend with other cultures and coexist could make a massive difference in your town, community, school, state, country, and world.

What I saw just a couple of days ago restored my faith in humanity and gave me a vast array of ideas that could help benefit society.

Podcast – https://www.spreaker.com/episode/11299867