Ok, here is what has been going on lately....Last weekend, I had to go to Bangkok for a "Thai Culture" class. It is supposed to be two weekends long, but we skated through the material pretty quick, so I should be able to finish it this Saturday. There are 11 of us in the class, and all of us have been here at least two years, so we don't need to ask many questions. The professor that teaches it is a funny old bird. He likes to throw in stories that usually have little to do with what we are talking about, but are a hoot none the less. We had a bit of Thai history and language already, so this last day, we will get to learn about cultural stuff like Thai dancing and all.
The best part of all this was that I get to stay in Bangkok by myself for a few nights. Once class was finished, it was off to the "Dubliner" for decent beer, sports, good food, and lots of English speaking people. Steve was in town that day, so he met me there. I got to meet a freelance journalist at the bar. It was very interesting talking to him. He writes for several publications, and pretty much just floats around southeast Asia and writes about whatever is happening wherever he happens to be. Sounds like a nice life. I will probably hit there again this weekend, after Saturday's class, and then come back early on Sunday. Now, I just have to figure out a way to explain this to Roong. Haaa!
Today was the first day back at school. I will be teaching 7th and 8th grade this year. That's cool, because I had all these little baboons last year, so I know what to expect, and so do they. My schedule kicks ass this year. Last year I had 26 hours a week, and had five different grade levels, plus those damn "activity" periods, that no one knew exactly what to do with. This year, I just have the two grade levels, and only about 21 hours. No activity classes! Yayyyyy! I finished my lesson plan a few days ago. I made a 45 page book for each level. It has the lessons, and activities all laid out. I used the basic design of them to teach my summer school kids at Nong Bua. To test it's effectiveness, I gave the kids a test on the first day of class, then I gave them the same test the last day. Their average score went from a 50% up to a 90%! I made a lot of changes, and expanded the content over the 2 weeks off I had. The boss, Roxanne, and teacher Aww looked it over and were very positive about it. They are going to print and issue them to the kids for their subject book this year. I am pretty damned pleased with myself today!
Roong and I have to go to Authaya tomorrow, to get my new visa. Normally we go to Bangkok, but Authaya is a little closer, and is supposed to be able to get the visa stamping and all finished in one day. That would save us an extra trip. We are hoping to get the visa and my work permit all finished in one day. Cross your fingers.