New Short Story: The King’s Mind

(Note: I’m not sure what to make of this story. Any constructive criticism is much appreciated.)

The King’s Mind

Once upon a time, in the land of Maniatania, there was a wise and benevolent king named Trelos. Good King Trelos was loved by all his subjects, and renowned for his wisdom, kindness, and mercy.

King Trelos’ life was above reproach, and he was so respected that his subjects patterned their lives after his. Whatever he ate, whatever he wore, whatever he did, everyone imitated, hoping that by doing so they would also receive a portion of the blessings bestowed on their king.

One day Trelos showed up in court with no garments on his nether parts. All the members of the court shed their nether garments without question, for there had to be a sensible reason for the public display of the private parts. The commoners, in imitation of their betters, followed their example. As it was against protocol, no one dared ask Trelos WHY the royal jewels were suddenly open for public inspection. Life continued on as usual.

The reason for the uncovering of the nether parts soon became apparent when Trelos took to masturbating incessantly, no matter the occasion. He yanked the royal frank wherever he went: Weddings, funerals, royal parades, state dinners, it made no difference. The royal courtiers and courtesans offered to perform this service for him, but he shooed them away, so that none should touch the sacred scepter.

Heretofore, self-gratification was only practiced in private, and considered to make one weak and feeble minded, or to suffer hairy palms and all sorts of debilitating effects. After Trelos’ broke this taboo, it was thought to bestow untold health benefits and wisdom upon the practitioner. Books were written extolling the virtues of wise King Trelos’ discovery, and secret societies arose to share his “secrets”. Liberal use was made of bread, fruits, vegetables, and anything that didn’t cause too much bodily harm.

Next, the benevolent monarch lost control of his bowels. This caused much head scratching as to what the benefit of this was. After much conferring, it was decided that holding in bowel movements caused harm and undue strain to the system, allowing poisons to circulate instead of being evacuated. Therefore, bowels were to be emptied whenever and wherever the urge to do so came. Public enemas became all the rage. All the upper class people practiced this, and swore that they never felt healthier or more vigorous. The commoners swore that they’d never been more disgusted.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, great King Trelos started throwing his feces at everyone, and growling like a bear. According to the experts, this was a way to bring deep inner feelings and hurts to the fore, so they could be dealt with. A new sport was born among the “in” set of the day, with shit fights held in every castle, manor, and chateau. These places were visited by the common people only when absolutely necessary, as they’d already taken enough shit from the upper classes.

King Trelos’ final act was to throw himself off the highest battement of the castle. Out of respect, for their late, beloved leader, the nobles and courtiers only threw themselves off the lower battlements. This was much to the enjoyment of the common people, who made a day of it, assigning numerical value to the degree of difficulty of each dive.

Their amusement was tempered by the realization that come tomorrow, there would be one heck of a mess to clean up.

Just a Quick Test

I want to start Blogging again, but right now I’m just a bit too worn out to start. According to WordPress, my entries will be sent to Facebook, so my friends can read them. I want to test it out to see what happens. Nothing to see here, keep moving on.

Personal Personality Archetypes

I have my own personality archetypes. These are different aspects of my personality, that function in different ways. They all have their job to do, both alone and in concert with the other aspects of my personality. Please understand that this does not mean that I have multiple personality disorder. On the contrary, all these aspects of my personality are fully integrated into who I am. They are complementary, and sometimes more than one is functioning at a time. Christians had to come up with the “Holy Trinity” to explain different aspects of God, but there is still just one God. (Please note: I am not comparing myself with God or saying I am God).

I just looked up the “Names of God and their meanings” on Google. One list has 600+ names! That doesn’t mean that there are 600 different Gods, just one God with 600+ different aspects to the Holy personage.

Freud came up with the Id, Ego, and Superego, to explain personality. He and Jung had differing views of the conscious or subconscious. Be it as it may, they didn’t see them as existing separate from each other, but integrated together and working together, and influencing each other in different ways. So it is with the different archetypes of my personality.

I have identified ten different personality archetypes that make me what I am. They are, in no particular order:

  1. The Clown
  2. The Warrior
  3. The Scholar
  4. The Loner
  5. The Artist
  6. The Rebel
  7. The Scared Child
  8. The Stud
  9. The Moralist
  10. The Mystic

The Clown: He is the one who likes to make jokes and have fun. He is playful, and likes to make people laugh, especially in tense situations. This love of humor comes out of a deep sense of hurt, and not wanting others to suffer the pain he has gone through. He has to be careful that his humor does not come from anger and act as a weapon, especially in conjunction with the Warrior aspect. Being around a Warrior Clown is not a comfortable place to be.

The Warrior: This is the protective, but also assertive part of my personality. Maybe this archetype is not readily apparent, but it is definitely there. It’s always in the background, watching things. Sometimes it acts aggressively, to plow ahead through life’s obstacles, and to take on new challenges. Sometimes it acts as a source of strength to get me through life’s changes and struggles. Sometimes it acts in concert with other aspects of my personality to cause surprises- pleasant and otherwise.

The Scholar: My Intellect, ever seeking and wanting to know the workings and the reasons behind everything, and I do mean Everything. Ever since I was a very young boy, maybe no older than three or four, it’s been my belief that when I die, the secrets of Everything will be made known to me. That all I will have to do is ask a question, and it will be answered. Like:

What happened to Judge Crater?

How do volcanoes really work?

What is the link between Newtonian Physics and Quantum Mechanics?

It gets obsessed about some things, and refuses to get interested in others. Get him interested in something and it can keep me awake for days.

The Loner: He just wants to be left alone. He seeks solitude. This comes mostly from a deep sense of hurt, and from being all too aware of being different, and an outsider. People have hurt me, so The Loner is cautious when approaching or being approached by other people. Because of this aspect, I was very shy, and kept to myself all the time. I purposely isolated myself from others, so I wouldn’t get hurt again. It made me say no to love and friendship, so I had to consciously struggle against this aspect. However, it also helps me, because it knows when it is time to get away, just to recharge the batteries.

The Artist: The creative urge. He is a very strong aspect of my personality. He is always there in the background, usually mixing with the other archetypes, or trying to dominate them. Try to ignore him, and he makes his presence known. He will bust out at times, and keep going until I wear out. He is always looking for new ways to try to express himself, whether through singing, writing, drawing, playing with the kids, putting together presentations, acting, getting in front of a classroom and teaching, telling stories, and many other ways.

The Rebel: The contrary part of my personality. He’s not going to go along with anything, or anyone, because people don’t know anything. When he mixes with the Artist or the Clown Archetypes, watch out. If he and the Warrior become friends (there have been only a few times this has happened), prepare for a nuclear explosion.

The Scared Child: This is where all the hurt and pain from the past resides. He is timid, afraid to move on and try anything new. He takes comfort in routine, and in familiar things and surroundings. He is scared of change or new things and routines. For many years he worked alongside the Loner or the Rebel Archetype, sometimes both, putting me in a bad place.

The Stud: This is where the sexual energy and sexuality lives. He is closely related to the Artist, because when that Archetype comes to the fore, the Stud comes calling also. The Stud demands to have his appetites fed, but has to be kept under control.

The Moralist: This Archetype has the ideal of a perfect world, a utopia, and is greatly disappointed when things don’t turn out that way or hold up to the high standard he has for things. He is a perfectionist, and causes me to always try to be the best at something. What I do, and others do, has to be perfect. He clucks his tongue and wags his finger when people and things fall short. He is a great help, though, in keeping the Stud Archetype under control.

The Mystic: This is my Spiritual side, the part of me that was wondering at four years old about the nature of God, who created God, and realized at that tender age that someday I am going to die. This is the part of me that seeks union with the divine, that wants to experience the true nature of God and the creation, who wants his Spirit to soar among the clouds with the Angels, instead of being stuck in a mundane body tied to the earth. He is one that knows Spirituality is a unique personal thing, and that no religion or teaching can shoehorn you into a reality other than the one valid for you, that you are uniquely enabled, and able to experience and handle. He also works along with the Moralist to keep the stud under control, or with the Artist to create moments of personal joy no one else can understand.

My New WikiHow Article

How to Get a Job Teaching English in Asia

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
Asia is a continent with an exciting mixture of peoples and cultures. Teaching English in Asia gives you a chance to actually live among the different peoples of Asia, and experience their cultures. So how can you get a job teaching English in Asia? Let’s take a look.

Steps

  1. The first thing to do is make sure you have the proper qualifications to teach. Just being a native speaker of the language is enough to get you a job at some schools. However, these will be the bottom of the barrel “backpacker” type of schools, that will hire anyone with a white face that speaks English. The pay will be very low, you’ll have large classes of unruly kids with no supervision, and academic support or materials will be few or non-existent, There will be no work visa, and indeed, if the school doesn’t want to pay you, they may even report you to the local authorities for working without a permit, and have you deported. If these kind of working conditions appeal to you, go ahead, pack up your backpack, and ignore the rest of this article. For the rest of you, there are certain qualifications that will make it easier to find a decent job.
  2. In Asia, qualifications are everything.You need to have the paper if you want to get a job. First thing you need is a college degree. It can be in any subject, but one in education, English, linguistics, or something similar is a plus. If you have qualified or certified teacher status, then great. You’ll start off even higher on the pay scale. Masters in any subject? You’re qualified for the higher paying jobs at universities, International schools, government jobs, or in the Gulf countries. You will find that rare few that are teaching without a college degree. They’ve had to pay their dues, and start on the lower end of the scale, at backpacker level or near it, with the same type of pay and conditions.
  3. You have a degree? Great! Do you have qualified or certified teacher status? If so, skip to the next step. If not, then you’ll need a teaching certificate. Sure, as a native speaker with a college degree, you may be able to find a teaching job, but it won’t be one you’ll want to tell your friends and family about. So invest your time and money in a proper certificate course, either a CELTA or a Trinity College TESOL certificate.(See warning below). At the very least, you will be a candidate for a decent teaching position, instead of someone a school will look at only if no one better qualified applies.
  4. Next piece of paper you’ll need is a CV. Write it up in Word format. Highlight any pertinent experience you may have had, especially if you are new to teaching. Remember, in Asia, qualifications are everything, so highlight any seminars attended, presentations given, certificates, awards, etc. As for references, just put down “supplied upon request”, and then have at least three ready when they are requested.
  5. If you can, have a couple of letters of recommendation handy from someone other than family or close relatives. You have professional references? Don’t leave home without them.
  6. Most countries now ask for a police clearance in order for you to get a work visa. This makes sense, because wouldn’t you want to know who it is coming in to your country to teach your children? Ask your employer exactly what they need for a police clearance, and get it before you leave your country. Believe me, they can be extremely difficult to get when you are overseas. Save yourself a bunch of headaches, and get it before you leave. For those more adventurous types who will look for a job once they reach their destination of choice, see what is required before you leave, and bring it with you.
  7. Do some research on whatever country you are interested in before applying. What is the political and economical situation? Are they stable? Is the country prone to earthquakes and natural disasters? What is the general standard of living in the country? At the very least least check out the CIA World Factbook for an overview. Go to daveseslcafe, (eslcafe.com) and read the postings on the “International Job Forums”, and post any questions you may have there.
  8. Search the Internet for job openings. The most popular site is probably daveseslcafe, at eslcafe.com. There is also tefl.com, eslteachersboard.com, esljobfeed.com, and many others you can find through Google.
  9. If you are adventurous, fly out to your country of interest. Find a cheap hostel or guesthouse to stay. Then hit the pavement, stop in at schools, and hand out your CV. More than a few paople have found jobs this way. The advantage to this is you get an instant read as to what the school and students are like. If you are taking this route, see if you can observe a class before you sign a contract. Also, they may ask you to do a demo lesson, so be prepared to show your best.

Tips

  • Be prepared for culture shock. It’s a different country with a different culture you are going to. Things aren’t going to be like home. The language , the food, everything will be different. How different will depend on which country you go to, and where you live. So keep an open mind, try different things, meet some locals,and don’t be one of the crowd of expats sitting in a bar whinging about how things suck.

Warnings

  • Don’t bother with getting online teaching certificates, or ones that you get from a twenty hour weekend workshop. They are a waste of time and money. Any reputable school will tell you that you need a CELTA or a Trinity College TESOL certificate. Any worthwhile certificate course will have: At least 120 hours of training Classroom observation of experienced teachers A minimum 6 hours of observed teaching practice with real language learners Several written assignments
  • Any course offering anything less than the above, is a scam.
  • If a school is constantly advertising for teachers, it is not a good sign. Be extra cautious when applying to such a school, and do your homework.
  • Approach any jobs in Korea with extreme caution. While some have had enjoyable experiences teaching there, most of us have not. The money is good, and you should be able to save a decent amount, but everything you have to go through to get it hardly makes it seem worthwhile. Check out this page on the US Embassy website for what they say about teaching there: http://search.state.gov/search?site=emb_eap_seoul&client=emb_en_seoul&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=emb_en_seoul&ie=utf8&oe=utf8&lr=lang_en&filter=0&q=teaching+english&Submit.x=45&Submit.y=1
  • For the real horror stories about teaching in Korea, read the postings on DavesESLCafe Korean Job Forum: http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/
  • “Summer Camp” teaching jobs in Korea? Don’t even think about it! That’s where some of the worst horror stories come from. They will tell you that you’ll get paid an exorbitant salary, live in a beautiful place, all visas will be taken care of, etc., etc.. Then when you get there you find it’s across the way from a pig farm, and you are told you will only get your full salary at the end of camp. Then what happens is the day before camp ends the owner calls his buddies in immigration, and they raid the camp. Surprise! You’ve been teaching without a work visa, and you get deported without getting paid a single Won. (True story. I read it a few years back on DavesESLCafe when I was looking into teaching in Korea. It was one of the jobs I was offered, but didn’t take. I found out this was how it went.). Nice, huh?
  • Thinking of going to Asia to teach after you retire? Be aware that retirement ages are lower here than in other places in the world. In Many countries, they can’t or won’t hire you after their retirement age. Besides, fresh young faces are always in vogue in Asia. Better a young handsome guy or pretty girl just starting out, than a creaky oldster with all the knowledge and experience in the world.
  • Persons of color can find it difficult to find teaching jobs, no matter how much experience you have or how well qualified you are. The owner of a school I was in charge of told me straight out that. “Parents want white faces”. The sad truth is owners rather have a mediocre white teacher, than a fantastic teacher of color. The same goes for those of Asian extraction looking to teach in Asia. I know some fantastic Filipino teachers I would have loved to hire for my schools in China, but I was always told no. Still while it is difficult to get hired, it is not impossible. You have to try a lot harder than the white people do.
  • Get ready to be stared at. You will be an object of curiosity to the locals. They don’t mean to be rude. They’re just curious, that’s all.

Things You’ll Need

  • A bunch of passport sized photos on the proper colored background for visas, and whatnot.
  • Enough money to last you for the first couple of months, at least until you get your first paycheck, and get settled into your new life. You may have to buy necessaries such as kitchen utensils, furniture, pay the deposit on an apartment or for Internet service, etc. Don’t think you’re going to be able to go to Asia to teach without any cash, and that everything is going to be all right. It won’t.
  • A good attitude. Just because you’re a native speaking westerner doesn’t mean that you are in any way superior to the locals. It’s quite the opposite. It’s their country, and their culture, so they have the advantage over you.
  • To be respectful of local customs and culture. Do some research before you land in the country to see what’s OK and what’s taboo. (Such as patting children on the head in Thailand. A definite no-no, no matter how cute they are.)
  • To know that every girl you meet will not find you attractive or instantly want to sleep with you, just because you are a Caucasian from a western country.
  • Realize that teaching English is not just something you do to make money to support your interests or vices, but a career.

Sources and Citations

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Get a Job Teaching English in Asia. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

The Dishwasher

I used to wash dishes for a living. I was good at it, and to tell the truth, I liked it too. Why? Because there is a certain Zen to washing dishes. You set up your system, especially if you are doing it alone, and go with the flow. Once you are into it, it’s like doing a dance routine. It was, very relaxing, because I could concentrate on staying in the rhythm, let my mind go, and just be one with the dishes, the garbage can, and the machine. Freeing my mind, and supplying the line and wait staff with clean plates, glasses, silverware, and any other miscellaneous items.

It is the entry-level job in any kitchen, the worst job you can imagine, and no one wants to do it. If you can do it well, then you will get moved up to something higher and better paid. The only way to get one of the line cooks, back up prep people, or anyone else (Who in all likelihood probably started off washing dishes), to do it is either through extreme duress, or threats of gross bodily harm.

You spend eight hours plus scraping leftover food into fifty gallon trash cans, get soaking wet with steam, sweat, dirty water, food, and cleaning fluid. You have to watch out for broken glass, knives, and other sharp objects in bus tubs, (I still have the scars), and are constantly having dirty plates and silverware thrown at you by the busy or frustrated wait staff.

The worst part of the job is the garbage run, or g-run for short. This is where the manager unlocks the back door, and you take all the daily or nightly detritus out to the dumpster. There are cardboard boxes to break down, expired raw food from the walk in to get rid of, and of course, a whole convoy of fifty gallon trash cans filled to the top with wet garbage. If you had a helper during the busy days, then the two of you did the g-run. If not, then some poor soul from the kitchen, whoever was lowest in the pecking order or was found standing around,  was the chosen one. If things went totally apeshit during what was supposed to be a slow week night, then the lowest level management type might get to do the honors with you, but not before removing their jacket and tie, and sheathing themselves in plastic. Then, clad in their improvised Hazmat suit,

they usually only helped to heft only the heaviest of the cans, lest they get a spot of rotting coleslaw on their Hushpuppies, before running back inside to take care of more pertinent matters. Something like a cigarette break, or sitting at the bar chatting up a waitress. Sometimes no one could be found, and you had to go it alone. Then strength, use of leverage, and knowledge of angles, came into play.

After you finished the g-run, you had to rinse out the cans in the slop sink built into the floor by the backdoor. If a can had a particularly nasty smell, then you poured in some bleach or ammonia, and slopped it around before pouring it out. The slop sink, of course, was always getting stopped up with all sorts of unmentionable and unhealthy types of goo, ooze, and solids. Since you were the dirtiest and smelliest in the kitchen, you had to clean it out. Usually a good drain cleaning and vigorous plunging was enough to do the job. If not, you then shoved the hose as far down the drain as you could, turned it on full force, and saw what kind of toxic muck came geysering out, a veritable “Old Faithful” of all things rotten. If it was a particularly monstrous clog, that couldn’t be cleared by normal means, then more drastic measures were needed. The final solution for drain clogs was to pour a half-gallon of bleach or ammonia down the drain, and wait. You repeated the process until it melted away the clog, or you ran out of bleach or ammonia. Getting a plumber was never an option.

One time, there was one such type of humongous drain killer while I was doing one of my various other jobs in the kitchen. (See, I also moved up the line). The unwritten checklist was followed, to no great use. The grill guy came in, and saw the slop sink was still clogged, and poured a half-gallon of bleach down the drain. A few minutes later, the back up prep guy came in from helping with the g-run, saw it was still clogged, and poured a half-gallon of ammonia down the drain. Anyone who knows basic chemistry knows that this is definitely one of the things you don’t want to try at home. The result was a cloud of noxious (and highly toxic) gas and potentially explosive, bubbling liquid.  The back up prep guy, being closer to the scene of the disaster, wrapped a wet towel around his face and body slammed the back door open. He propped it open, and the grill guy set up a floor fan to blow the toxic smoke into the parking lot, the better to poison our customers, if the food hadn’t already done the job.

Even worse than the above mentioned incident, is the fact that you had to clean the bathrooms. Let’s just say there were times when I think I would have preferred breathing in nothing but the toxic smoke to what I had to clean, and leave it at that.

Still, because of the Zen of the job, the craziness, and the fact that no one rightfully wanted to get near you, I enjoyed washing dishes. Not as a long-term career move, mind you, but as one of a string of jobs leading to where I am now. Which isn’t a bad place at all.

I’m Back

It’s been too long since I’ve blogged. I enjoyed it, but got out of the habit. My brother said that my previous blog was a great way of knowing what was happening in my life. Yeah, now there is Facebook, and everyone has it, but it only allows little “tweets”. Here I can let as much of my mental detritus flow as I want, and no one can put any limits on it.