Posts by Brooks Eakin

Writer, traveler, and enthusiast from Texas living in China.

Weird Scout Motto, Oath, and Salute

The motto of the Weird Scouts of America is “expect anything,” and the designated tattoo of a weird scout is a copyrighted design depicting a single suspicious eye peering to the left.  Continue reading →

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13 Points of Weird Scout Law

A weird scout is curious. Curiosity is what sets enterprising young girls, boys, and shadow-children apart from the grey and blistered masses that huddle silently in the wastes. The tendency to ask questions, to seek answers, and to fail to accept most of the first several answers received may annoy those whom you encounter, but will aid you in your survival and ascension to divinity. Continue reading →

A Message from the Chief Scout

A MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF SCOUT

To the Weird Scouts of America:

There was once a boy who lived in a desolate and remote region of the Farian Wastes. Blighted creatures ran amok, and although he had learned to rein in his fear of this ghoulish menagerie of desiccated and ethereal beasts to reasonable levels, he never forgot the wonder he felt when he first spotted the glowing ambulatory mushrooms in the distance. At night, despite the faraway wailing of the misery trees, he would listen for the chirps of bookish crickets, hoping to learn some of their wizened language, and he would stare up at all eleven stars, wishing that he knew their names. He was wild with the love of the grey and spotted outdoors: the mist-trees, the talking herbs, the spell-singers, and the living things that left their nightly tracks in the dust by his reinforced hovel. Continue reading →

Lessons Teaching Teaches

(Note: As of summer 2016, I am no longer an English teacher. The lessons below still apply.)

I have worked as an English teacher in Taiwan for two years. While I enjoy teaching, it was never my intention to become a career teacher. Many of the people reading this post will be in a similar situation: you wanted to move abroad, to learn a new language, to meet new people, and the best way to find work in the meantime was to teach English.

Fine. But while teaching may not be your end goal, I caution against viewing it flippantly, as a means to an end. This attitude damages your impact on your students, and on a more self-centered note, it often deprives you of an opportunity for self-development. Teaching a language requires you to sharpen so many skills that are often neglected at a ‘normal’ job back home.

Employers often question why a candidate “took time off” to teach abroad, and many teachers themselves also frame the experience this way. But it isn’t a vacation, and if you pay attention, work hard, and try to understand what you are doing, you’ll find that teaching can be as personally rewarding as it is enjoyable.

Continue reading →