Friday, December 24, 2010

KGIC Keepsakes and Memories part 1

Even after typically ruthlessly discarding "keepsakes" like brochures from faraway lands I've visited, or Christmas and birthday cards, there's still quite a bit of stuff left over.

As you may know, I'm "spring cleaning" in preparation for finally moving into a place of my own. Subjects were removed on the offer to purchase on December 10th, but possession isn't till the end of February, with the possibility of renting it out in March to the existing owner.

The latest batch is from my days as a teaching assistant / conversation assistant at King George International College (KGIC) in Surrey, BC.

I honestly can't remember when I was with the Surrey campus of King George International College. All I remember was that I had Christmas and Valentines with them, and was possibly downsized around March 2003 because the SARS crisis had blacklisted Canada and business plummetted. At least that was the official reason. Based on seniority and LIFO ("last in, first out"), I was laid off.

I know it had to have been at least November of 2001 when I started, because I had some really long days when I'd man the distress lines with the Vancouver Crisis Centre on the graveyard shift, then go straight to work in the morning. I didn't start with them till November 2001, so it may have been that I was there in 2002-2003.

Staff has changed a lot since my time there. The director used to be Ian Carson, who always struck me as a nice and upright sort of fellow who was lots overworked and stressed out by staff politics between the Surrey campus and the downtown ones. Our ESL school was also quite unusual in that we had sizable classes of teens and pre-teens.
The teens were pretty "typical" disinterested don't-really-want-to-be-there types, while the pre-teens were generally really bright and well-spoken little-to-no-accent kids.

One of my fondest memories was being surprised by the pre-teen classes on Valentines. They just heaped candy on teachers and assistants, and for some reason everyone thought I got a particularly big haul. And I only spent part of my days with them!

Teachers may be overworked and underpaid, but there can be a lot of love there to make up for it.

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