I’d say I’m sorry but; really, I’m not. Being MIA (which I have for 2 1/2 months) means ‘missing in ACTION.’ So yes, I’ve been busy and here is a recap of the first 5 weeks! -Take out your calendars-
1. May 16-19: My first week back to school: teaching 10 classes of seniors in high school (in America’s standards) for 18 hours a week.
2. May 20-22: No Class FRIDAY! Yeaup. First week back and no class on a Friday. A 3 day weekend where I had a FULL HOUSE of Fulbrighters. Crystal, Ia, Dee, Mimi, and my Sukhothai buddy Edie all came to my house and had a fun Sukhothai weekend. We borrowed my gracious host teachers car and toured my province for 2 1/2 days. Truthfully, it was a lot of eating, talking, and sweating.
3. May 23-June 1: Work Work Work…(Think of Rihanna’s song yet?) After slightly tying to figure out my students level of English (because they are all new students for me) I went ahead and taught my old lesson of synonyms where I act out about 36 new vocabulary so they can really understand the difference between each synonym. It’s a lot of fun and I get mocked a lot but they learned it. Oh & they LOVE ‘Heads Up 7 Up.’Also my new American co-worker stayed over for the weekend and I showed her around Sawankhalok.
4. June 2-5: Look for a new Fulbright School. Well news is out: unfortunately another Fulbrighter will not be coming to SawanAnan Wittaya School (my host school) next year. It seems that I am the last and the show must go on. If you want my honest opinion, I think there are other schools that NEED a Fulbrighter much more than this school. SAW already has the budget for 4 other foreign teachers when other schools can’t even afford 1. Although conveniently located with a bus stop, airport and many many good local finds less than 15 mins away, it’s not about the comfort of the Fulbrighter but the mission s/he is tending to…IN MY OPINION.
- So my Fulbright P’s -anyone older than me- came to Sukhothai, picked Edie and me up and toured other schools in Sukhothai. It was a lot of fun rating the schools and trying to give reasons why we think they would or wouldn’t be a good match for Fulbright. Later I too went to Edie’s house for the weekend and lounged with her at various coffee shops.
5. June 6-15:
- Work wise I was teaching conversations on how to help give directions like buying tickets or putting things together. I did this so they could verbally practice First, next, then. My students are really good and they have a lot of support on behalf of the well budgeted school. Only thing is that they don’t get to practice verbally so just a little 411. I also taught small talk conversations about jobs and goals by having them write and share long and short term goals they have for themselves. Finally I left it at giving directions using Thailand’s BTS (metro) system and giving them a script to help each other get to different points on the map (they had A LOT of fun with this one)
- Wai Kru Ceremony: June 9th was the schools ‘Wai Kru Ceremony’ they are held in each school on different days of the beginning of June. They are held to establish the relationship between the teacher and student and for the students to wai-bow- to show they are ready to learn. The students also give flowers to the teachers all symbolizing different things but very deep if you asked me. My thoughts: This in America; never.
- KAYAKING! Later that day I went on my first Kayaking adventure in Thailand down a river in my small town and I swear I hadn’t felt so genuinely happy and care free as I did for a while.
- Weekend! My fellow Fulbrighter-friend Crystal stationed in Lampang (3 hrs away) and her friend from America came to Sawankhalok for some small town fun which included Kayaking (yes I went again), coffee shops, ice cream, and food. It was a lot of fun and really cool to meet one of my friends friends from ‘Merica.
On the 15th I could barely sleep I was so excited. Yes, after ALL of the 5 weeks mentioned above: teaching and every weekend booked I had something even more exciting coming the next day! Read here: https://elainewanderlusts2.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/surprise-mae/
Hope that answered 1/2 of your ‘Where’s Elaine?’ question. I’ll try to be better about writing,