Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Teacher's Day 2008

We had Teacher's day last week. We all go over to the Wat, and the kids show their appreciation to their teachers by giving them flowers. That's nice and all, but if they really want to raise that grade a bit, buy me a damn beer and let me go home early. Or at least stay in your seat and be quiet for a change! Haaa! That's Roxanne sitting next to me, right in front of you. Jan went to the earlier ceremony with the younger students. There are 2700 kids, so they divided them up into 3 groups.

Anyway, the kids shuffle up on their knees and present the blessed flowers to all the teachers. This was a hoot, because that sweet looking young girl that is giving me the flowers is a disaster waiting to happen. She causes more trouble than any 10 kids I have. She is exceptionally smart, and pretty, and realizes that the boys her age are about as sharp as a box of rocks, and will do whatever she wants them to. We tried to look serious during the ceremony, but we both couldn't help but laugh later in class at the absurdity of her giving me the flowers that is basically a promise of their intent to be good students in the coming year.

Side note - my boss has decided that we have to have a meeting every Friday at 0720. This sucks for 2 reasons. First, I don't have class until 1020 on Fridays, so I would rather sleep late, and get some work done at home in the air conditioning, than do nothing but sweat my ass off in that hell hole of an office. And secondly, he says he wants to have these meetings so he can review our teaching record books. That's fine, but HE CAN'T READ ENGLISH! He is also going to ask us if there are any problems...does he mean like the same problems that we told him about all last year, and he did nothing about? I can hardly fucking wait. :P
Side note 2 - The guy in Lopburi finally got enough kids for 2 classes. I am supposed to start teaching this saturday for 2 two hour classes. One is four 1st and 2nd graders, the other is two 3rd and 4th graders. This should be an adventure. The 3rd and 4th graders I can handle, because I have had them before, but I had to talk with Roxanne a bit to get an idea of what to do with the younger ones. It looks like 2 hours of ABC's every Saturday.....*le sigh*

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I got culture!!!

I just got this in an e-mail from the instructor that taught our Thai culture class. They showed me how to dance, and explained that elephants were a good thing, and that Thailand grows a lot of rice. I don't remember them actually answering any of our more pointblank questions concerning things like what their Government is up too, and what REALLY did happen to King 8. Other than that, it was an excuse to goof off in Bangkok for a few days. Christ, I am still fat. You'd think that with living on rice and yard clipping, and perpetually perspiring, I'd lose a few kilos. Go figure.

*Note to mom.... King 4 was the king from "The King and I" story. I always thought it was King 5. Sorry about that.

Just Stuff

Not much going on that is out of the ordinary here. So I am just putting up a few pics that I had on my cell phone. Oh, I did start teaching a class one day a week at our daughter's school. I am teaching an English class that preps them for their University entrance exam. Most of it is just going over basic grammar. It's interesting for me because I am now teaching 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. They are a lot easier to communicate with, especially since this is a voluntary class and they want to be there.

This is a shot of one of my 7th grade classes actually being quiet and sitting in their chairs. This is kind of like a solar eclipse, it doesn't happen often, and you have to be quick to get a good photo of it. You see the little guy that is sitting in the third seat back on the left? His name is Tay. This is the second year I have had him in one of my classes, and to date I have yet to hear him say anything. Not just in English, I mean in Thai either. I have heard him laugh, but I honestly can't remember ever hearing him utter even one word. That might sound strange, as I am supposed to be teaching him English, but things are a bit different here. Thailand seems to have a full integration policy when it comes to school. We have children that should normally be in a special school, but I am not sure if Thailand has them. If they do, they must be too expensive for most families. So we just kind of go with the flow as to what we actually make the kids do. I am not happy with that, but I could spend an entire hour trying to get Tay to say "Hi", and only succeed in wasting an hour for 35 other kids.

These are some of the people that work at "Good View". That's where I hang out on Friday nights when Roong is at class. I have to kill four hours, and they have live music and take pretty good care of me. I drop Roong off at 5pm, so it's usually just me in there for a few hours. I like that, because it's nice and quiet. They have pretty good seafood there too. Going to a Thai restaurant early is interesting. When you walk in, everyone is doing one of two things. Either they are all sitting together eating, or the girls are all sitting together chatting and putting on their "night faces". Sometimes they are doing both. Sometimes the boys are putting on their "night faces" too. You never know.