Wednesday, August 31, 2005
many apologies for being so very scattered in my blogging. i have good intentions, but school computers have been to slow to keep up with my limited blogging time of late. so now i have a few moments and an agreeable computer.

another very nice weekend of relaxation. i did manage to go running and go swimming though. i even did some actual writing, though it's a bit short due to still no computer. i went to the movies as well. i saw 'stealth'. a fantastic flik full of everything a movie needs; action, drama, a little romance, comedy, and of course airplanes and a big boat. it was great, and it even had images of thailand. the shots are all from Phuket, a very resorty and high class tourist place that i'd love to visit, but don't think i will. maybe on a trip back later in life i will visit it because it does look rather beaufitul. but then again, much if thailand is rather beautiful.

work is good. classes are going, and the kids seems to be learning. i had my first observation done today. she said that i need to let the kids talk to each other more, which is true. and that i need to have a more upbeat sounding voice. i also agree. i feel bored with teaching at a low level because of the simplicity and repetition, and can even hear it in my own voice. and i am exhausted everyday because of the long commute. must try to get more sleep and find something to sound happy about! i am actually finished with teaching new matierial for the semester. from now until the final week of september when they have exams scheduledd, i will be doing review, meaning a lot of games and worksheets. it should be fun, and it will give me a chance to have more one on one time with each kid so that i can see where they are as individuals.

the sri racha tiger zoo was interesting. the animals were amazing! as always tigers proved to be stunningly beautiful. though they conditions were horrid. in one enclosure not nearly big enough for the numbers, there were thirteen tigers that i could count. and to boot, i could not see any clean water for them to drink. all they had was a mucky pond to wade in. poor animals. the kids had fun though, and even completed their worksheet with some out of the box thinking! they had to list the animals they saw, and one came up with ant and mosquito. pretty good for a third grader whose native language is thai.

it is odd to be not going back to school this week. i have not not gone to school in the fall since i was three or four. i can't even remember it was so very long ago! fall is clouded by the fact that it's still hotter than heck and humid like a shower here, and i am at school. it just feels weird to not be going to learn more at an institution and doing all of the kid stuff like parties, sporting events, and homework (though i do have my fare share because i have to complete my TEFL certificate by the first week of october, which means loads of busiwork). honestly, i actually feel sort of sad about it! a crazy thought because i was so ready to be finished with school, and now i may consider going back. what is the world coming to?!

later in the week i will be posting my first semi-article for those who feel like being a critic, please let me know what you think. i am excited about it, and it makes me laugh. hopefully soon there will a barage of such articles!
have a wonderful week!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2005
back at work after an absolutely fabulous weekend! i opted out of a trip to Ko Samet to have a much needed weekend to myself. two days of the house to myself and doing whatever i please, and not worrying baout somebody else. it was fantastic. friday was bar and night out on the town, saturday five hours at the gym and back to the town. sunday i went to the island of Ko Larn with the margaritaville crowd. i did some reading, went swimming and watched the kids play. this island is a twenty minute boat ride from Pattaya, so is full of people. it is a social looking glass! it's very interesting to sit around and watch the various types of people. you have thais with foreigners who tend to be less clothed, the thais who wear jeans to swim, the other asians who wear full bathing suits, and me who sunned in a bikini. then you have the numerous jet ski guys who sit out in the water with ski masks on to avoid the sun and constantly try to barter with you to ride their jet ski. not my cup of tea, but it's fun to watch all of the action. i could write pages, but haven't the time at the moment. i did a little birthday shopping (happy birthday dad) and got some ideas for christmas gifts. it was fun to actually think about that rather than just look at stuff and think 'oh that's neat'. having somebody in mind makes window shopping much more task oriented and fun. all in all it was a fabulous weekend.
the week has started well also. i finally have a full class load with me as the only foreign teacher. i will still have thai TA's in all the classes, which is great because they do the discipline stuff, and can translate if the kids really don't understand something. i did a lesson yesterday with some new grammer stuff, and they seemed to understand! this is exciting because i can see that they have actually learned when they run up with their finished workbook page and have all of the answers correct. 'awesome' i think and try to learn their name. which, of course is difficult. they have thai names that, even written in kareoke thai, are impossible to get right. then they all have a nickname that is used across the board. this is nice because most of them are single syllable and easy to remember. the difficult bit is remembering which name goes with which kid! ahh! there are the ones that stick out, and the ones that i don't really hear from much, so don't use their name as much. props to teachers who can remember three hundred kids' names! tough job that! today i am headed to the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo to help out one of the other foreign teachers. it means a day of casual wear (a luxury) and running around trying to help 120 little tyrants learn about nature, conserving nature, etc and not just looking at the beautiful tigers. should be fun! i have a camera now, so will take as many pictures as possible, of the tigers and of the kids. the kids are actually really wonderful. i have one girl, Dee, who says hi every morning and gave me a page out of her teddy bear notepad. she was happy that i put it in the front of my teacher's folder for everybody to see. she's adorable.
i have excellent news on the writing front! i am so stoked about this because i love to write. one of the people who works in the language corps office in bostonis very well connected with some online and print publishers who are very interested in writing from people such as myself that are living and working in foreign nations. i cannot wait to get started! last night i made a list of all the ideas i have had, and it's rather long. i'm sure you all will be getting tidbits or whole bits on this page so i can have feedback! so look forward to reading actual edited writing that makes more sense than these hurried blogs! :)
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Monday, August 15, 2005
i wrote a big ol blog last thursday, and it proptly got binned, so i gave up and went to lunch. sorry about that. it was an ok weekend. grocery shopping thursday, party friday. it went well despite the miscommunication about the intent. we wanted a casual few drink with people we feel closeish to, and it ended up being a drunken mayhem. we used the community pool, too. oh well, at least it gave me something to do on saturday. it was nice to have a bunch of people in the house though because it has a very empty feeling much of the time. it's a lot of space, and i am not really there that much. good news is that Rick likes it and wants to move, so will take over our lease whenever. other than that it was a slow weekend. lots of sleeping and movies amid meals (spaghetti!!), rain, and cleaning. i found an amazing starbucks. it's got a gorgeous view of Pattaya's bay. i think i will be frequenting more often to sit and read and enjoy the view with real coffee. it's on the third floor of a huge shopping mall on beach road and it's quite fantastic. i haven't strolled around Pattaya on my own until this weekend, and have realized i need to do this more often. it's nice just to wander around and see what i can find without the worry of boring another person. it's also interesting to watch the people and keep tabs on who i see. it's actually pretty slow right now because it's rainy season and there are about ten fewer tourists than during peak season.

well monday has rolled around again. a new week and new things to do. i am giving oral exams today. the fourth grade is being tested on their memory of occupations and their ability to speak. it's going to be interesting. some of them will do very well and others will not say a word. i can't tell if it's because they are shy or because they don't know what to say. it will be nice to have one on one time with many of them though. it's difficult to know where each student is when they are singing something or listening and answering questions in a book.

hope you all had a great week and weekend. i see that the waters in Escanaba were very calm. waterskiing aplenty i hope!
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Monday, August 08, 2005
a very slow and relaxed weekend. out to see our band on friday night. it was excellent, they are ever broadening their repituor (spelling?). Rick, Da, and Noi even came, it was a total blast! slept in saturday, went to a wat to say a prayer and be given good luck, shopped a bit (rather unsuccessfully), and home for running and dinner. bar time for a bit and them home. upon arriving home i quickly armed for battle with six cockroaches making their disgustingly noisy way about the kitchen. i managed to kill all of them and get to bed without vomiting. sunday was another slow day with running and relaxing. a very wonderful thai barbeque for dinner. it's basically a soup pot with a grill in the middle for cooking meat over charcol. it was amazing, and i can't wait to have it again, or buy my own pot, though captain rick says it must be done over natural flame and not electric. we shall see. food is so wonderful.
i actually taught this morning. i will be team teaching english with a phillipino for awhile, probably until the end of term, because the kids have already had three teachers this term and they don't want to totally change it up again. this makes sense to me except that her english skills are somewhat gappy. this is not a good thing for the kids. i also learned that i must, apparently, teach computers. not a good thing becuase the kids are learning photoshop, logo, and powerpoint. i have a grasp of these programs, but don't know how to use them well, and there is not book to teach me. and the Thai teacher who is meant to help me speaks NO english. it should be a rather fun and patience testing experience. (my english in this blog is terrible!) i am so much more conscious of what i say now.
ok time for lunch before my stomach implodes. ciao ciao.
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Friday, August 05, 2005
my day: i get up at 5.30, shower, and pack for the day. the same driver takes me by motorbike taxi to the bus stop every morning. the bus ride is about an hour, arriving in Bang Sean around 7.30 where another motorbike taxi takes me to the school, where i sign in and walk to my building. on wednesdays i will be responsible of 4/4 (grade four, class four) for homeroom. and i must be at the morning assembly. i will be teaching grade four english, two different classes for four periods a week. i will also teach those same classes computers (with the help of university students much of the time) and the fifth grade computers. the syllabus is straight forward; excell, power point, etc. the projects the students must complete will be fun. i teach 17 hours a week hand have the remainder of the forty for planning. i head home at about four and arrive around five. then a short run, another shower, dinner of some sort, reading etc., laundry on occassion (all hand washing!), and then bed. we are the only foreigners on the bus everyday and the taxi drivers know exactly where we want to go without us saying a word. it's sorta nice. there is also a daily romp with the resident cockroach, for whom we will be purchasing spray this weekend. this should prove to be a rewarding experience, killing a cockroach i mean. i am looking forward to a weekend. dinner at margaritaville tonight, then out to see our band, and probably to the beach or a wat(Buddhist temple) tomorrow. there will probably also be some homework thrown in there and hopefully some writing on my newly erased and reset computer. yipee!!! hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
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Monday, August 01, 2005
so many things to write and so little time. spent the weekend on ko chang, otherwise known as elephant island. it was overcast and a little chilly, which for time at the beach is not good. however it was nice to sit and be cold. the group went elephant riding, but i decided to stay behind and test every type of chocolate rick and i had found between pattaya and trat. also on account of some medical hiccups. we had a great italian dinner though and went night swimming in the pool surrounded by spitting dolphins. on sunday we hiked up to a waterfall and went swimming with the nibbling fishes. it was raining somewhat, but incredibly beautiful nonetheless. it reminded me very much of canyoning in the dominican republic. the place is a national park and the pool at the bottom of the falls has a lifeguard guy, lifejackets for people to use, and even life rings attatched to ropes of you are so inclined to bob around. it's really quite awesome. we swam and got wet and saw some sort of snake that had fallen down the falls. he was struggling to get himself out of the water, unlike all of the people who scrambled for shore when he turned up. we then toured the island in our vans and stopeed for a walk and group photo on a rather picturesque beach. (it was covered with trash though). all in all it was an entirely fabulous weekend. some relaxing, some outdoors stuff, and just seeing more of Thailand. got home far to late last night to be up at 5.45 this morning to catch the bus up to the school where we are currently having our first day of work. it's going to be a rather interesting few months working here at Burapha. i will update further on the work situation at a later time. when i have a better idea of what it is that i am actually doing! ok. off to watch the kids do their sports, cheer them on, and then home!!! (for sleep and meds)
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