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Max's Mistakes

Page history last edited by Michael Woo 9 years, 10 months ago

      Red meens delete.


President of the United States. Born Barack Hussein Obama on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii,Obama's mother Ann Dunham grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where his father worked on oil rigs during the Depression. After the Japanese attacked on Pearl Harbor, Dunham's father, Stanley, enlisted in the service and marched across Europe in Patton's army. Dunham's mother, Madelyn, went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, the couple studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through the Federal Housing Program and, after several moves, landed in Hawaii.

Obama's father, Barack Obama, Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. The elder Obama grew up herding goats in Africa, eventually earning a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya and pursue his dreams of college in Hawaii. While studying at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, Obama, Sr. met fellow student, Ann Dunham. They married on February 2, 1961. Barack was born six months later.

Obama's parents separated when he was two years old, later divorcing. Obama, Sr. went on to Harvard to pursue Ph.D. studies, and then returned to Kenya in 1965. In 1966, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, another East–West Center student from Indonesia. A year later, the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama's half-sister Maya Soetoro Ng was born. Several incident in Indonesia left Dunham afraid for her son's safety and education so, at the age of 10, Barack was sent back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents. His mother and sister later joined them.

While living with his grandparents, Obama enrolled in the Esteemed Punahou Academy, excelling in basketball and graduating with academic honors in 1979. As one of only three black students at the school, Obama became conscious of racism and what it meant to be African-American. He later described how he struggled to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage with his own sense of self. "I began to notice there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog...and that Santa was a white man, he said. "I went to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror with all my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking the way I had always looked, and wondered if something was wrong with me."

Obama also struggled with the absence of his father, who he saw only once more after his parents divorced, in a brief 1971 visit. "[My father] had left paradise, and nothing that my mother or grandparents told me could obviate that single, unassailable fact," he later reflected. "They couldn't describe what it might have been like had he stayed." Obama, Sr. eventually lost his legs in an automobile accident, also losing his job as a result. In 1982, he died in yet another car accident while traveling in Nairobi. Obama, Sr. was 22 years old when he received the news of his father's passing. "At the time of his death, my father remained a myth to me," Obama said, "both more and less than a man."







from quite an early age I thought I would become a teacher. I think it all started when I was about fourteen years old. At that time I was a county squash player who enjoyed coaching youngsters on a Saturday morning, under the guidance of the club coach. I felt I had a good rapport with the children and enjoyed the teaching and learning experience.



A few years later a weird thing happened. Living in a seaside town in the south of  England, I was always subject to busy, touristy summers. Quite surprisingly, whilst walking along the seafront, my mother went to see a fortune teller. The fortune teller explained that one of her sons would move abroad and be a success in his chosen profession. At that time, my brother was a very successful squash player and my mother presumed that it would be him. Little did she know that it would be her elder son who would pack his bags and begin international teaching in Saudi Arabia. Thinking back, the signs were there.



Graduating University College Chester with 2:1 Honours in 1998


I began my teaching career in the north of England, close to my university and my girlfriend. After three rewarding years at Woodlands School , my new wife and I ventured to Saudi Arabia as naïve ex-pat teachers. There is where our roller-coaster ride began!


Living and working in Saudi had many benefits, but also many inhibitors, which we soon learned about. This experience was really learning about different lifestyles, cultures and religion. The school was great, well resourced and with a supportive staff. We had two enjoyable years there, before a horrific bombing took place on the compound we lived on. After a traumatic night or two, we left Saudi under ‘force majure,’ our home wrecked and our possessions in boxes.



All the teachers left together, there was safety in numbers. The school was daaged in the bombing and no-one was guaranteed to return. my wife, Sally, and I spent a long time reflecting on what had happened and with the support of our colleagues and friends, returned to Riyad for one final year. We wanted to rebuild the school, both in terms of structure and organisation, but also in pupil numbers. We wanted to leave Saudi arabia on our terms, not anyone elses.



The final year was difficult when we were told not to leave our compound for what seemed like weeks on end – prisoners in our own homes, surrounded by tanks and soldiers. This was no way to live our young lives together.


after leaving a country where we couldn’t read or speak the language, we moved to South Korea, where the same isues arose. However, we found the Korean people much friendlier and we soon began to feel at home. Although the two Koreas are still officially at war, we felt safe, supported and looked forward to the challenges which lay ahead


During our second year in Korea , the British school, one quarter of Seoul Foreign School (SFS) were going to move to a brand new campus on the other side of the city. This was going to bring about exciting and challenging times – setting up a new school! At the last minute, plans changed and we were told the move was off. Again, a roller-coaster year emotionally, as so many plans had been made, only to be scuppered. I felt drained and looked forward to a summer at home. 


At the end of the year, the Key Stage 2 Leaders position was advertised – this really appealed to me as a new challenge and different experiences would beckon. I wanted to develop professionally and continue to be a life-long learner. I was the successful applicant, but knew that the Head and deputy were leaving. I had a major part to play in the development of the school and felt up to the task.


After two years in the role, I have learnt a great deal on a daily basis and appreciated the constructive feedback from colleagues on ways I can improve. I have also learnt a great deal on leadership on the courses I have had the opportunity to attend.



Now I have the biggest challenge any man can face….a baby!



Nick Corben, November 2007


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