I’m having my kids watch a movie this week so they can hear some faster, more realistic speech than the slow, dumbed-down English that I use in the classroom. It’s nice for a few reasons. One, it gives me time to work on getting attendance sheets up to date in class. Two, it gives me free time to do things like blog.
So I think last night I was blogging before dinner, tutoring, etc, so I may as well fill y’all in. After getting a bunch of work done, I went with A. Chai (Ajarn Chai, Ajarn means teacher but it’s a title of rank like Mr. or Dr. is in the States), my friend from a few years ago, to Central Bang Na – It’s the nearest Central department store and mall near the Bang Na ABAC campus that I was staying at last night. We went with many purposes, the first of which was to get to the bank for A. Chai. We got there right before the bank closed and Chai got his banking done which was good so his mother didn’t get mad at him ahaha! Then we wandered around looking for something to eat. My first inclination was to head right for some sushi but my better judgement got a hold of me and we hit up the Thai food market in the mall. It’s funny, in the middle of a modern super-mall, bigger than most malls I’ve ever seen in the States, there’s a little food court of independent Thai food cooks and vendors. Chai guided me through the chaos and we ended up getting some deep fried Chinese crab sausage, some spicey northern Thai sausage, some sweetened and pressed Mango, some fermented pork pocket things, and a few bags of these strange pretzel like chips that I’m still snacking on as we speak. All in all, it cost mabye 200 baht in total – not bad at all but pricey for Thai. As of Monday I’m on a new personal budget of 200 baht a day ($6 USD) so I split it with Chai and we moved on to get some more substantial food.
One of the interesting things about Thailand is that you can bring outside food and drink into almost any place and it’s not a problem at all! So, instead of eating that market food on the run, we found a Japanese noodle resturant and brought our food in there to enjoy with our second meal. The noodle house was good and the Thai nibbles even better – all in all it cost me a little over my budget of 200 baht to eat like a king. It’s one of the reasons I love this place.
So we got back from dinner just in time for me to get to tutoring. I got there and we made copies of the Gettysburg Address and I had a few kids read it. They read it surprisingly well but we picked out a few things to work on including pronunciations of ‘fan’ and ‘van’ and ‘wan’ (they all sound the same when Thai’s say them) and it easily took up an hour. The rest of the time, more kids voluntarily tried reading the speech and everyone got much better at it. By the end of the class, I had students asking me what common English idioms meant (‘raining cats and dogs’ for example) and what my favorite TV shows are. It really was quite fun and it session lasted much longer than I had planned for! I didn’t end up back in my room until 1AM. Then I skyped with work at Loyola and a few friends until about 3AM and got to bed. It was a long day.
I think my favorite part of the whole deal was this morning right at the end of my first class. I had just let out my Basic English Conversation class and I hear ‘Ajarn Will!’ It was one of my students, not from a regular class, but from my extra tutoring session last night. They came up to me and started talking about things we learned last night and asking what I was up to today. There was just something about that, them actually wanting to learn, that was so much more rewarding than anything else that I’ve experienced in the past three weeks of teaching. So, it’s good to know that I might get some satisfaction from my teaching this year! It’s just funny that it will most likely come from the one extra class that I’m not getting paid too teach! ahaha
So, other than that, I was up early and into school as usual. And it’s perfect timing, my clip from Shawshank is just about done. So, until next time, adios!