Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A time for change. Maybe?

So we have been a bit unhappy with parts of our situation here in Thailand (read past blog post if you have no idea what im talking about) but in no way do we want to give up and go home. So what options does that leave us? Well, we could suck it up and just deal, or we can try and find our selves a better situation.

We have decided to do the latter, to improve and be happy, not just deal with it. About a month ago me, Jeff and Smash took a trip to this little beach town about three hours south of Bangkok called Hua Hin. It was AWESOME. This town was what we were hoping all along out time in Thailand would be like. A sleepy little Thai town right on the beach surrounded by jungle. This are beautiful sandy beaches, good food, about a 30 min ride from the jungles, and lots of other farangs to talk to in the city. As soon as we got back Smash found her self a job there and has since moved there. We have decided to follow suite. We emailed our resumes out to as many schools as we could find. Until last weekend we hadn't heard anything. I was getting a little worried that this wasn't going to happen, that we were just going to have to deal.

Last weekend Jeff, me, and our new friend Resa took a trip down to visit Smash. The trip was so much fun! Smash knew of a near by farang bar with a bunch of other farang teachers who we ended up staying out all night with (till 6am). We also learned of this awesome little Mexican food restaurant owned by REAL MEXICANS! So excited. Jeff and I have really been missing the food from back home. The next night we went to the restaurant and the food was AMAZING. Hand made corn tortillas with shrimp rancheros. So good. After dinner we went next door to the farang bar from the night before. While there, more and more farang teachers showed up, it was a blast to meet new people and have good conversations. While there a friend of Smash's asks her "do you know of anyone looking for a teaching job? We have three positions open." When she told me this I started to hope again. To hope that we really would get to move and start to really enjoy our time here.

Sunday night when we got back to the Chach we emailed Smash our resumes and the next day she dropped them off for us. Wednesday morning we got a call from a teacher at the school asking when we could come in for an interview!

Now I know we could still not get the jobs, but I have allowed my self to really hope that this is going to happen. We leave tonight to go back down to Hua Hin for an interview tomorrow. Send good thoughts our way!

    Hua Hin beach

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Ever been walking around and a smell gets to you? Makes you remember something from you past? This winter that has been happening to me a lot. For some reason the air in the mornings here have been reminding me of southern California and my grandpa. The air has had that feel of "its gonna be a hot one" while its still a bit on the cooler side. All the palm trees are help set the mood that im in SoCal. The air has has that fresh morning smell, the one SoCal gets in the morning when its still cool out before the smog takes over. There is a pool at our school and the smell from the pool with the air really reminds me of my grandpas house, he had a pool too. Thats probably why I still love going down to SoCal, it reminds me of my grandpa.
This smell in the mornings has been putting me in a good mood, makes horrible students much easier to deal with. At the same time however it really makes me miss my grandpa and our family trips down to California to see him.
Kind of rambly I know,  but I'm not sure how else to describe it.

No copy teacher?

It has been almost three weeks since our students have taken their mid-terms, but the process here makes it seem like they were only a few days ago. Like we have said before students can NOT fail, no matter what they do or how hard they try to. Because of this the students who did fail the mid-term have to be giving a chance to take the mid-term again, or do a make-up assignment. This process to get all students to pass has been the most time consuming and frustrating process. Trying to communicate to the students that they did not pass and must take the test again is almost impossible. They do not understand what I am trying to say to them, a perfect example of why they failed the test in the first place! I have to bring over a Thai teacher to translate to them what they have to do to make up the points. I have also reached the point where as long as they do something I am going to give them the points to pass. Its horrible and I feel like im giving up but I dont know what else to do. The whole system makes you want to give up, trying to make a difference and do things the right way, in accordance with my values,  is impossible.
I tell my students "no copy" all the time, but they do not really understand because it is a completely acceptable thing over here. I had three boys "go to the bathroom" and when they got back they handed in a photo copy of the night's home work! It was on different colored paper than what I had handed out and even had their friends name up in the top corner covered with whiteout with their name written over it! Now that is even a form of coping the Thai teachers would have had a problem with. These kids feel that because I am white and dont speak Thai that I must be stupid! yes, kids I can tell the difference between a photocopy and your own work, I'm not dumb.
We have asked our teachers over and over again about it and they say, "but they did a good job, yes?" they dont care as long as the students turn in something, even if they copy from the internet. Its can be kind of funny when the kids do this because they are reading the words but have no idea what they are saying. Really, an eclectic art deco decor? hmmm can you tell me what that means? All I get back is  "alleway?" That means "huh?" Its pretty frustrating, but what can you do? When in every other class its ok.
I guess the best we can do is keep making them do it over and over again by themselves even if we have to make them come to the office and do it on their own time and watch them do it themselves. But there are just to many students to do this unfortunately I'm getting tired of fighting with them and I'm leaning towards not caring. Its sad but at the same time its not health to bang your head against a wall that is never going to move.