Tag Archives: Bangkok

Quick poost from thee BKK aeroport!

Hi Everyone!

In the  BKK airport usin their groovy free-but-funky-da-kinne computer kiosks.

All’s well. Had a  graand timme in thee Krabi areea; heading now north to Chiang Mai . . . taking a 3-day, 2-night treek starting Tuesday . . .. to Karen and Hmong villages . . .. hikinng . . . sleepinng on the grouund .  .. riding elephants . . .. swimminng at the  base of waterfallss . . .  and then back to the  hoteel forr a HOT shower!

Life isgood.

No, I’m not drunk, Dan, just usinng a funky free-dakine.

Got lots of shots yeesterrday at thee faamouns beach froom  thee movie THE BEAACH.

Heard a German yell, “Ganz allein im Paradise!”
Had to laugh as he said he was alone in paraadise, and I had to practiccaally elbow my way to the beach. LOL :  )

kay den, time to look for my fliight . . . ALOHA from bkk . . . .

sj

p.s.lots of snakeshotstoo . . .. theree was a tiny snake on the beach! . . . with the trash :  (

p.s.s. I thiink this iss where the Dutch laanguage really  came from . . .. the futuree and funky freee airport kiosks!!!

There’s no time like the present . . .

Here are shots I took on Friday during a several hour bike tour around Bangkok (and across the river). Our guide was absolutely adorable! She bubbled over with laughter, stories, and a general joie de vivre.

You can read all about this tour company here: www.realasia.net; we took the afternoon tour.

See you in a few weeks!

What a difference some sun makes!

Here are an assortment of shots taken this past week when we were treated to blue skies.

The Rama VIII Bridge crosses the Chao Phraya River.
I was told that they weren’t racing but that it had to do with something spiritual.
I hoped off the boat for a little lunch.

The after shot. Not much of a difference was it?

Nice looking place

Interesting looking place

Respectful place. They love their king; he’s a good man.

Laundry day!

Waiting for the boat. They sounded American.

That’s Wat Arun on the other side of the river.

It’s hard to take only one shot.

It’s the wat with the porcelain pieces. Remember?

Boats are all over the place on this river!

Flowers for my friend

Such a great variety of orchids!

Didn’t make it to this museum.

But I liked the building.

Got my bracelet back! It’s fixed with ultra strong wire (I hope!).

See the BTS Skytrain?

Such a contrast from the river shots

Thought this was pretty cool looking (plus the blue sky is so wonderful!)

That’s all for now . . . next will be the shots from the bike tour I took yesterday. Was that ever exciting! I’m not bringing my computer with me though during the next two week adventure; I don’t want to have to “worry” about it going for a walkabout of its own. These things can walk on their own. Haven’t you seen those little retractable feet they have?

Okay den, until we meet again . . .

Wat Arun and then some


Here are the pictures I promised. These are from when I actually went to the temple. Later I’ll add some shots of when it was a blue sky day (but I was on the boat and not on land).

Enjoy!

A passenger

Waiting for the boat

The lay of the land

Elephants are a BIG part of Thailand.

C’est moi at Wat Arun.

Inside

Outside

I love flowers : )

You could make a donation for one of the tubs.

He sat down when it looked like there might be a donation; there wasn’t (at that particular moment).

Cool, isn’t it?

The porcelain was ballast for when the boats returned “empty.”

He’s working pretty  hard.

It was very, very steep.

Susan Jane wuz hir.

He kept smiling at me, and then he signed his name right next to mine!

Seems like a better option than writing directly on the building!  No! I wasn’t going to!

View from up top

I like the contrast.

Wat Arun is on the “other” side of the river.

I’m working on unintentional dreds.

Grand Palace, I believe.

Really steep stairs. Did I mention that?

Yeah, I like it too.

Yes, flowers make me smile too.

: )

Been decompressing and/or Happy early 4th of July . . .

Dear Friends,

In the past week I’ve been decompressing.
“Decompressing? What do you mean by that?”
Well, kind of like a diver, who’s been under high pressure, has to slowly return to the “top,” I too have been rising step-by-step, a few feet at a time, heading to that place called “normalcy.”
“What the heck is *normalcy?” I have no clue. But I can feel that I’m just about there. I think it’ll hit me upside the head when my friend for over 30-years shows up this evening at her own doorstep. (Remember, I’ve been crashing at her beautiful Bangkok pad while she’s been slaving away at her demanding job in Singapore.) She’s practically a sister (even though it’s been almost 9-years since I last saw her in the flesh). Anyone who backpacks across Europe together and uses each other’s feet as pillows while sleeping on a train (in order to save the cost of a hostel so that there’d be money for food) is family. And family has a way of bringing you back into “normalcy.” Yeah, you get it now. I can see it on your faces. (don’t ask me how, but I can) : )
So what have been the decompression stages? (oh, that rings just too, too similarly to “and what are the lesson plan stages?”)
Well, first there was celebrating with friends. You saw the shot of me with my renegade certificate. You saw the glow of relief on my face. Here’s another shot from a birthday party the following day with my new ex-pat friends.
The beautiful blonde woman’s husband was celebrating his 50th.

Yeah, pretty cool “Miami/Bangkok Vice” bday cake.
And somewhere in there was: watching movies. What movies? I have no idea. That wasn’t really the point now was it?
And lots of meditating. “Meditating?” Yes, meditating. If that word makes you uncomfortable, just plug in “praying” instead. And if that makes you uncomfortable, just plug in “sitting or lying quietly and giving thanks.” ‘Cause I gave lots of thanks that the intensive course was over and that I passed. And yes, of course I gave thanks for plenty more than that . . . but that was the first item which bubbled up to the top.
And then there was shopping. Yes, shopping. I went to the huge and legendary Chatuchak market at the end of the BTS line. I didn’t follow the advice of the guidebooks and go early. It was about 1 p.m. on Sunday when I arrived. “It’ll be too hot and crowded!” all the guidebooks state with such confidence. It didn’t deter me one bit from having fun.
My first stop was at a massage place just by the art area. For 150 BHT (remember, a dollar is worth about 30 BHT) I had a foot and leg massage; it was heavenly. And I sat right next to the fan, so the temperature was pleasant.
I had a rough sketch of a shopping list imprinted in my head: rubber slippers, a skirt that goes past my knees (for when I teach in Cambodia, it’s one of their rules), and white clothes for Kundalini yoga .
(which btw are currently pink and hopefully less so as they wash again with lots of bleach added! Being the tomboy that I am, I threw in my fav red t-shirt I got for my birthday from my big sis–it says on it: “Not all who wander are lost.” Tolkien said that apparently; yeah, I like it too. I’ve had the shirt for over 6-months. I didn’t think it’d do its thing! But it did, not too heavily, but still. You’re supposed to wear white when you do Kundalini yoga. Is slightly not white but slightly pink okay? I’ll let you know what I find out.)
Somehow I managed to maneuver my way through that massive, massive market and return to my “starting point,” find the route to the BTS and head on back home. It was a grand day.
“What’d I see at the market?” You name it. And I’m serious. Fine art to cheesy crap. (Literally, this woman was throwing down these amazing plastic things, which would almost immediately reconstitute themselves into their original shape. And yes, one of them was, um excuse me, crap!)
There was clothing of every style, shape, color . . . things for dogs, puppies, lots and lots of puppies, yes, live puppies . . . beads, jewelry, food booths . . . musicians, a boy bouncing a soccer ball almost non-stop on his head, knees and feet . . . this is your chance to plug in a n y t h i n g . . . I betcha it was there!
And then came the yoga (in the then white clothes). I managed to go several times this past week; it was very, very enjoyable. It’s nice to have met some more people who live here. “Where are they from?” you ask. The teacher is originally from Canada, several ladies are Thai, one lady moved here from Korea, another from the U.S., another from France, and one lady is passing through who is from Austria. She graciously offered to put me up if I visit Vienna; sounds like a wonderful gesture, doesn’t it?!

This was followed by hanging at the pool with other CELTA trainee women. We had a lovely afternoon flipping through stacks of English language women’s magazines, which were in the apartment when my new friend moved in. We visited and ate lychee, chips and rambutan—followed by lunch at a local Thai place.
About this time I decided to take my role as a tourist much more seriously and go explore Bangkok! Wednesday I headed first to the Jim Thompson museum followed by a stroll along the adjacent canal. (That was how one used to enter Mr.-former-CIA-agent-turned-entrepreneur-who-single-handedly-brought-Thailand’s-sinking-silk-market-back-to-life’s home during its hey day. Boats still travel along the canal at amazingly HIGH speeds!)
Then I went on a search for a jewelry shop that would fix my turquoise/citrine bracelet that I had broken (for the 2nd time!). A new friend and savvy shopper told me to just keep walking down the same street where the school is and I’d find a place; I did. They gave me their card and the receipt showing the deposit I made, but I also took a picture of the store and street signs . . . just in case. One way or another, I’ll find my way back to this very same store! (BKK is really, really big, if you haven’t been here before, but yes, of course it has street names and numbers like anywhere else . . . ).
Then I hopped in a tuk tuk and got taken, uh, I mean I driven around town.
First stop was a “friend’s” store, second stop was the Golden Buddha,
third stop was another “friend’s” store, and the fourth stop was the pier, where I hopped on a boat (which runs like a bus going from stop to stop).
***This was the highlight of my non-school portion of the trip thus far! I paid 19 BHT (remember $1-30BHT) for a “round-trip” ticket, i.e. I got on where the BTS stop is and went to the end of the line and back for 19 BHT (it’s normally all of 14 for a “normal” ride one-way). From 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. I sat, listened to music and enjoyed being on the water. It is so very, very healing to be on the water—even if it is full of trash and is “chocolate.” It was still very soothing. I did have to hop off at the “first” end (along with a large group of Chinese kids who rode both ways as well) and get on another boat for the return trip. We had so much fun watching a storm come in, complete with thunder and lightning. Fortunately we didn’t get too wet before the side-walls were lowered.
You could see through them, but I chose to stand in the back where I had an even more clear view as the rain continued to fall and the sky slowly darkened. It was sooo much fun. A group of kids from Germany happened to stand next to me, and being the responsible people that they are, they kindly told me the names of some of the wat (temples) along the way.
Yesterday I continued to take my role as tourist seriously and headed to the National Museum for one of the two English speaking tours of the week. It was interesting . . . my Mom’s code word for alright . . . a way to be polite in her genteel Southern style.
 The kind tour guide from Brooklyn certainly loved to talk and had lots of stories. On the tour I also met a young Swedish gal who’s heading to Burma for a month where she’s working on her master’s thesis on the Karen people. Now that was really interesting.
Next, I went wandering past the Grand Palace (just wasn’t up for another tour) and made my way to pier #8 and the ferry across the Chao Phraya River to Wat Arun. This was another big-time highlight for me. It was so much fun climbing the steep stairs on the outside of the temple up and up to two different levels. There’s ceramic all around the temple that I was told by a friend was part of the ballast added to ships (which were returning home empty after having shipped other items to China). You can read all about this temple here: http://www.watarun.org/index_en.html. I took a zillion pictures here, so I’ll do a post with just pictures from there.

I followed that with a delightful lunch at a local dive right on the water and adjacent to the ferry; the food was very good. I heard lots of different languages while I ate (besides Thai). I met South Africans and heard Scandinavians.
Then I wandered through the flower market where I was obviously too late for purchasing flowers. It was still intriguing to look at though. The sheer number of stalls and wares sold throughout Bangkok is mind boggling, well, at least for this Kaua‘i-girl, it is.
From there I managed to find the pier by the Memorial Bridge and head on back by boat to the BTS (skytrain) stop and home.
As I’ve done my meandering through this charmingly chaotic city over the past 5-weeks, I’ve stopped and snapped a shot whenever something caught my interest. What interests me (really interests me) isn’t exactly the type of shots that they want to show you in guidebooks. Also, I’ve noticed that with all the pollution here (i.e. lack of blue sky and unobstructed sunshine) that it’s more of a challenge to take a picture that isn’t swallowed up into a harsh lack of contrast. I’ve done my best to include only pictures that I imagine will have a semblance of appeal for you. Some were very obviously taken just for me; those are the ones that you’ll shake your head over and say, “What the?”
Next to follow will be loads and loads of pictures . . .
Best wishes for a great Fourth of July weekend! To my friends kayaking to Miloli‘i, I wish I was there also. If you feel me in the breeze, stop and say hello! In the body, I’m heading to the River Kwai with my gal pal; we’re taking a jungle raft adventure trip (even staying on a floating raft for the 2-nights). Should be fun; I hear it’s beautiful! Looking forward to breathing some none city air : )
Aloha All!
sj
* per the dictionary in my computer: Normalcy has been criticized as an uneducated alternative to normality, but actually is a common American usage and can be taken as standard: : we are anticipating a return to normalcy.

I made it!

C’est moi! Fini!

Hi Everyone,

The CELTA course is officially over, and I made it! Fortunately, I ended on a high note with my best practice teaching session ever. I decided that I really wanted to have fun, and I did. I still prepared a lesson plan, still had an idea of what I was going to do and what I needed to cover in order to help the students clearly distinguish the difference between present simple and present continuous (I jump every day. Is this a habit? Yes. So it’s . . . present simple. I am jumping. Am I doing this now? Yes. So it’s . . . present continuous), and still met my aim . . . but THIS time, I had fun!

And I think they did too.

One of my fellow trainees told me, “You had me too; I had to watch to see what was going to happen next.” : )

Now that makes me smile.

“So what’s next?” you ask.

I’m not sure exactly.

I have 4-weeks “free” in Thailand before I report to an *orphanage in Cambodia where I’m going to volunteer teach for 8-weeks. They’ve asked me to teach two classes a day: one with Elementary level students and one with Pre-Intermediate students. “The ages of the students?” I’ve been told that the ages will range from 11 to 17. “The class size?” I’ve been told that it might be with 15-20 students or 35 and more. So . . . your guess is as good as mine.

I’m to supplement their regular classes with a curriculum focusing on speaking and writing. My rough sketch is to have a theme for each week, a collection of practical things that they can really use. I’ll take what I learned this last week at CELTA and put it into action. “What are those things?” you ask. Well, for starters, I’ve been told that the students like a rhythm, a pattern, so that they know Wednesday is “story” day and Tuesday is “games” day, etc. Friday will be the “review” day. I think I can use the same theme for each class; I’ll just grade my language (do my best to make it match their level) and adapt the activities for the two different levels.

So, this is where YOU come in! I have already made a very, very rough sketch of what those 8 themes will be, BUT I’d love to hear from you. Get your opinions on what YOU think they should be. I’ll keep you posted on what comes in and what I decide to do.

I’ve got a collection of shots from yesterday’s party. Have fun checking out who I’ve been hanging out with for these past 4-weeks. And you’ll notice me with two other students holding official-looking certificates. The fun gal-pal–fellow-trainee who hosted the barbeque two weeks ago surprised us at the “unofficial” but “real” party after at a Mexican restaurant called “Coyote.” (“Mexican?” Yes, I know. There’s e v e r y t h i n g here! “The food?” It was good, but of course it doesn’t even come close to Marcie’s! No place or person could!) The “winners” of the certificates were selected in a fun happenstance kind of way immediately after she pulled them out of her bag. When you read the label on mine, you’ll see that it essentially says, “Biggest Nerd.” : ) Yep, that’s me. And happily so.

Okay then, time to sign off and enjoy the day as a carefree student who’s just “graduated.” What will I do? Not sure. I may go to that HUGE market at the end of the BTS line that a friend on Kaua‘i told me about just a couple of nights before I left, just a few weeks ago really . . . that seems like ages ago!

And, I’m lucky enough to have been invited to a “Bangkok Vice” party tonight to celebrate the 50th birthday of a new friend’s husband. I’m supposed to “dress to impress—Miami Vice style!” Fortunately, I already have one cool top . . . I’m wearing it in the shot at the top of the page. : ) Thanks to my buddies from the retreat I attended back in February on Kaua‘i, I stepped out of my normal realm of dressing and tried on a “different” looking top from the sales rack at Roots. And this is what I found; I love it!

And I love you too.

Thanks dear friends for coming along with me on this journey. I have a feeling that it’s just getting started.

With warm aloha,

SJ

* http://www.flo-cambodia.org/

It just so “happens” that a group from the Honolulu rotary club will be there for part of the time that I’m also there! Ends up they sponsor or help out this orphanage. Yes, small, small world.

Shots from the closing day . . .
International House staff
iH Teachers
Ditto
The “official” party
Party group shot
New friends . . .
More new friends . . .
And more new friends!
Moi and a new student friend
Trainees and students
CELTA pod THREE plus one
Party grinds. Notice the mangosteen and rambutan?
Class “action” shot 1
Class “action” shot 2
(I was acting out what it is to be a detective . . . it made sense at the time : )
Can you tell that we’re having fun?!?!?
Da certificate close-up . . . I think my smiley face was contagious . . . : )

I’ve hit the CELTA wall . . .

You know that “wall” they talk about in marathons. That place where your legs supposedly turn to jelly and you just want to sit down and call it quits? It’s supposed to happen around mile 20. Twenty divided by 26.2 = .76. Or, think of it as you’ve run 76% of the race and have 24% more to go. The percentage is similar for little ole me sitting here at my desk in Bangkok. 20 days of school; I’ve just completed day 13. Thirteen divided by 20 = .65. There’s only 35% more to go. And there’s a hill facing me. A hill with two bumps in the shape of a lesson plan and written assignment. I hadn’t realized that this moment might come. But just google “marathon wall,” and you’ll see how much has been written about it.

What the heck are you doing, Susan Jane, comparing an English teaching course to a marathon? You’ve got to be kidding!

Well, I’m not. That’s how it feels. I’m at that point where I just want to lie on my bed and watch one Lucy show after another. (I just watched one but somehow managed to kick myself out of bed and up into this chair.)

But we thought you wanted to do this course?

I did. I do. I just gotta find the will to keep going.

What do all those blogs say about getting over the marathon wall?

Essentially, stop thinking about it, and just keep going. Ignore the fatigue. Take one step and then another. One step and then another. Until you’ve distracted yourself and forgotten that you were tired, until you find you’re almost there and can sigh a huge sigh of relief.

sigh

(yes, I’m indulging myself and calling my “sigh” card now)

And with that, I’m going to get back to work.

It tasted as good as it looked . . . and the roses smelled delicious too!

Hi Everyone,

It’s 7:01 p.m. on the 12th day out of 20 at this most wonderful CELTA course in Bangkok, Thailand.

Whew! It’s downhill from here on out! (I think : )

I was on my way home from yet another action-packed day (complete with practice teaching, today it was #5 out of 8).

So how is it? I can hear a chorus of you yelling across the byways, highways and seas.

Well, it’s intense.

Duh, it IS an intensive course I hear the teachers saying.

Yep, it is.

But it’s good. The people involved are absolutely wonderful. The teachers are very knowledgeable and caring. The students (who we’re teaching) are excited to be in the class and participate (mostly) fully with an excitement that can be contagious. And my cohorts are absolutely darling people, from the collection of beautiful and smart young ladies from Australia, England, and the U.S. to the varied men of all ages and nationalities.

We’re all here for different and similar reasons. To be with a sister who works and lives here. To be with boyfriends who work and live here. To be with Thai wives who work and live here. To be able to go back home and work (home being Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines). To gain experience before starting a business in Thailand based around language schools. I’m sure there are even more reasons, but those are the ones who raised their hands and said, “Pick me! Pick me!”

What’s a typical day like? I think I mentioned before that the mornings are generally devoted to learning about all (and I do mean ALL) the different types of lesson plans. The below picture I took today during our one-and-only review session with all three teachers present at once.

We (okay, mostly me) were trying to get a handle on all the different types and their particular stages (sections, really, chapters. Pick a word, any word; I bet it’ll fit).

Then we meet with our tutor of the week and go over our plan to see what we’re going to do and if the tutor thinks it’ll work. Gradually, we’re becoming more and more responsible for the exact structure of the lesson.

Then, some people go out for lunch for a hot and spicy 30 BHT soup (30 BHT = $1). Some run downstairs to the British ex-pat who makes a mean tuna fish sandwich for 35 BHT (and a cookie’s only 15BHT), salads are around 80BHT. Some go to the Subway downstairs (haven’t gotten one, so I don’t know the cost). Regardless what they eat, they’re sure to not run out of choices. I’ve never seen so many food vendors in my life.

The mango smoothie in the shot at the top of the page? 30BHT. The veggie spring rolls that I ate (but didn’t photograph) were 100BHT. The going rate for a smoothie is between 30 (watermelon one, yum!) to this high-end mango one for all of 60BHT. I suppose the extra 10BHT are to pay for the wonderful ambience of this little tropical paradise in the midst of Bangkok madness. I feel a bit of Kauai-ness here, AND they have wi-fi. Can’t beat that!

When I left school this evening (around 6:15 p.m.—I generally arrive at 8 a.m. so that I have an hour to get my head on straight, papers in order, copies made, etc.), I thought I was going to grab a quick bite and then head straight home to start in on Written Assignment #3 out of 4. Well, I do still have plans to do the assignment tonight (or at least make major headway, it’s due Thursday by 6 p.m.), but this pleasant outdoor Thai café called out to me. “Susan Jane! Here’s where you want to have dinner. Remember that wonderful smoothie you had last week; you can get pupus too. And there’s wi-fi. And beautiful roses that smell wonderful too.”

Who could resist such a seductive call? Not moi, that’s for sure. So here I sit and type. It’s now 7:24 p.m., the smoothie is just about pau (finished for non-Hawaiians/Kauaians), and the spring rolls are long gone. And the assignment sits in my heavy backpack saying, “Ah, I won’t be too hard on you. Just a little this and that about writing lesson plans on reading, using skimming, scanning, detailed reading . . . it’ll be easy!”

Ha! I’ve heard that mischevious call before. Just last week it came from Written Assignment #2. The assignment that somehow turned into the exercise from *:#(! It just didn’t want to end, couldn’t say goodbye, wanted just one more peck on my cheek before it turned its back on me and found another. But end it did. Just in time for me to be free and go for a pint with all my fellow students at Molly Malone’s. An Irish Pub in Bangkok, you ask? You’ve got to be kidding! That seems so ordinary compared to: Bei Otto, a German restaurant; Chela, a Swiss restaurant; suchandsuch, a Mexican restaurant; somethingother, a Scandinavian restaurant; ad infinitum. You get the picture. There’s EVERYTHING here in Bangkok.

Okay, so there are lots of restaurants, Susan Jane. But what about the teaching? What’s that like?

Well, you know how you got ready for your first date? Did you hair (alright guys, this relates to you just as well as girls!) and nails. Took days to pick out the right outfit. Which shoes to wear? Should I bring that purse or the other one? Should we go to a movie? Do we get pizza first or after? And what if she/he doesn’t like pizza? What if we don’t have anything to talk about? What’s the best move to get my arm around her? Or hold her hand? (And with that: How can I get him to move his arm? Hand?) . . . okay, you get the picture. Remember????

It’s kind of like that. You plan and plan, but somehow it all falls part. Or, the pizza is served cold. Or, something gets caught in your braces and you don’t realize it’s been hanging out of your mouth all night. Or, you reach over to kiss her and you butt heads; your glasses get tangled in hers/his. Stop! Stop! I hear you all calling out! (It’s amazing how you’re all able to speak in unison from all parts of the world. : ) We get the picture; it’s painful!

Yes, it can be painful.

But it can be pleasant too. Remember when you looked over at him/her and exchanged the most precious smile? When you held hands and that warm palpitation rose up your entire body and made your cheeks glow?

Well, it can be like that too. In the midst of the uncertainty, the doubt, the worry. Sweet little moments rise up and say, “Keep going; it’ll be alright. Just smile. A smile goes a long way.”

So with that, my friends, I shall bid you adieu. Yes, the date bells are ringing that it’s time for my next rendezvous.

I wish you all well and thank you so very much for your little notes of encouragement. They mean a lot. Like that timid smile, they’re just what’s needed when you’re painfully aware that you’re in new territory, and the course is unclear.

Aloha,

SJ

p.s. photo collection from the past week . . .

Friday watching out the window . . .

What’s all the fuss?

That’s what. A election campaign parade. They’re the same the world over.

Then it was time to head to Molly’s somethingorother Irish Pub.

This was the first time we all got together to blow off steam. End of week two.

Yahoo!!!

It was Howard’s birthday too!

I managed to find a grocery store on my own, and then celebrated (e v e r y t h i n g: end of week 2, being healthy, being in BKK, having wonderful friends, family . . . yes, everything!) with a delicious café latte and chocolate cup of something yummy.

Yep, this is his hang.

Saturday afternoon/evening some of us gathered at one of the student’s beautiful home; she had graciously invited us over for a barbecue and dip in the pool!

And on the way home from the party, I saw yet another political rally. Nope, I didn’t linger. Good night ya’ll!

So much has happened . . . !

But there’s just not time now to write about it all. I completed my third of eight practice teaching sessions this afternoon. Today’s was definitely the best. : ) I turned in my first written assignment this past Monday and am looking at a 13-page document that is the second written assignment; it’s due this Friday.

A rhythm to the school day has slowly emerged. Eighteen people are in the group. Morning sessions run from 9 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. with one of the three teachers presenting information regarding lesson plans, language systems, etc. They somehow manage to do it in an interesting way. Generally, they’re using the teaching methods that they want us to use.

Then, every afternoon around 1:45 p.m. the students begin to arrive. They come from all parts of the world: Thailand, Japan, Pakistan, Somalia, you name it! The 18 split up into three groups of 6. Two groups are currently teaching students at the intermediate level; one group is teaching more elementary level students. Next week we’ll switch so that we all have an opportunity to experience both levels. We’re each teaching two 40-minute classes per week (the first three weeks). The fourth and last week we’ll each teach two 60-minute classes. (I’m down to teach on the last day, Friday the 24th. Talk about coming down to the wire!)

So, that’s the deal pickle. I’m enjoying it, but I’ll admit that when we came across the sentence, “She’s looking forward to the end of the course” in one of our exercises the other day*, I had to chuckle to myself and say, “Well, yes, I too am enjoying it, but I’m also looking forward to the end of it.” What’s the saying? It’s not the destination; it’s the journey? Fortunately, this girl IS enjoying the journey.

Love to you all. Below are some shots of Bangkok life, which the school accurately calls “the charming chaos of your new environment.”

Aloha,

SJ

*We were making CCQs (concept checking questions) to see if they students understand the meaning of the underlined portion. This statement’s CCQs were: “Will she be happy when it is finished?” (Yes), “Is the course finished?” (No), “Does she often think about the end of the course?” (Yes is the “official” answer, but from where I’m sitting, there’s not time to think about anything but the course! : )

The dog days of Bangkok

Do you see what I see?

Found a park about 10-minutes away (by foot) from where I’m staying. : )

Soccer-like Volleyball (really fun to watch!)

A nice place to hang-out

Plenty to look at . . .

There are construction sites everywhere!

View from Sky train when enroute to school one day

Thank God for flowers !

First time to practice teach is today . . .

Assignment:

Vocabulary: phrasal verbs connect to family

grew up

look after

tell off (hah!)

carry on

get on with (we say get along in America . . .)

look up to

take after

Wish me luck!

Danke sehr, mahalo, merci bien, kapu kah (how it’s pronounced, don’t know how it’s spelled ; ~ )

-sj