Tuesday, November 13, 2007

09 Nov: Things were getting a little out of hand for my Electronics students. One student refused to read when I asked him to cos "I don't know". Told him it's okie. Don't know then learn. Just learn slowly. Another student called him "a buffalo"...... No idea what that means but I guess it means stupid or something like that. Then that student said something angrily in Thai and left the class. Things happened so quickly and everyone was shocked including me. I felt that no point going after an angry man (or should I say teenager) and asked him to continue with my class. He needed some time to cool down. I gave the rest of the class a stern face (which was different from my usual friendly-Teacher-Yan look). After that, no one in the class dared to tell me "I don't know". The weaker ones even volunteered to read. Is it a good thing that this "bad" incident had happened? It's my turn to say I don't know..... I need to think on what to do next..... It's bothering me.

12 Nov: Had been thinking hard over the weekend. What if that student doesn't turn up for my class? I know. I'm going to give the rest of them a "heart-touching" lecture (Note: this speech will be expressed in Thai as the students most probably wouldn't understand too-difficult-English) on "Teamwork", "Cannot-say-stupid", "Cannot-laugh-at-others-when-the-English-is-incorrect", blah blah blah...... Then I'll instruct them to find that student back before they can have my class..... Together as ONE class...... Great! Seems perfect!
But things don't always turn out the way I expected them to be. Met that student on my way to class. I had to leave my pride somewhere and started a conversation with him...... I need to know if he's alright.
ME: Going for my class?
HE: No.....
ME: Why? U don't like me to teach?
HE: Yes.....
ME: (Sadly) Oh..... ok..... (I was about to say that I can help him to arrange to change class)
HE: No, no, no..... Teacher..... sorry..... I like.
ME: :-) Okie, see u in the classroom.
Phew! My "lecture" was still given to the class in Thai-lish style (i.e. in Thai and sometimes English when I don't know the word; Told them to check the dictionary when I gave them the English word). Whatever it is..... As long as they got my message. And of cos, I made myself clear that no one is to leave the class when I'm still teaching.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

07 November:
Me: Class, do this exercise as homework. Pls, no copying. Student: Teacher, we no copy. It's teamwork. I was taken aback for a while cos it's the first time the students had said such a thing. Normally, they will deny that they will copy. But feeling happy for them. Their 1.5 years of learning English in the school is not wasted. At least now they know this term "Teamwork". Me: [Laughs] Okie then. That would mean u can do more exercises. Do this piece too and hand in to me tomorrow. Hee hee hee.... I think I'm getting evil.

06 November:
Things that went NOT SO RIGHT on the first day of the new school term:

  • One classroom assigned to many different classes for the same timing. Time was wasted in sorting out with other teachers - Whoever did the plan needs more guidance on planning.
  • The tags on the classroom were taken off - How would we know which classroom is which?
  • Finally found my assigned classroom after my ex-student brought me there. But it was locked.
  • My new students were not waiting for me outside the locked classroom - Where had they gone?
  • Finally found them waiting in a classroom, together with other students from another class. Need to search for an empty classroom (that is not locked) to house my students.
  • Moving & arranging tables and cleaning the dusty tabletops became my responsibility - Luckily the students were very helpful.

Actually I should not be surprised that such things do happen.... Welcome to Amazing Thailand!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Trip to Khao Yai 03-04 Nov

Had travelled and eaten quite a lot these few weeks.

We went on a trip again over the last weekend.

First stop: Farm Chokchai, located in Nakhon Ratchasima Province. (It is about 2 hours drive away from Bangkok. Finally I know where this place is in Thailand. One of my students had told me that he came from this province but I simply have no idea where exactly it is).

As this farm is famous for its beef, we wanted to try the beef steak at its well-known steakhouse. However, the Q at the steakhouse was so long that we ended up in the nextdoor fastfood place selling beef burger. Not cheap for a beef burger (about S$4.50 for one with lettuce only and S$6 for one added with cheese and bacon). But it's quite delicious and hence, no regrets.

We paid 250baht (about S$11) each to get a guided tour of more than 2.5 hours – knowing the background of this huge farm, visiting the small tractors museum, watching staff milking the cows, seeing how Umm!... Milk (That's its brand) & ice-cream is produced, tasted a really small cup of ice-cream for free (YH ended up buying another bigger cup to fulfill his craving), played some shooting games @ 30baht for each game, watched a cowboy show, visited the small animals farm and watched a show, watched a dog show and then buying some mementos from the souvenir shop. Another glass of strawberry milk shake to go before we proceed up the mountain for checking-in to our hotel.

No pictures on this farm trip as we forgot to bring our camera from the car!

The next morning, we proceeded to the Khao Yai (meaning Big Mountain) National Park. It's BIG bcos it's situated across 4 provinces – Nakhon Ratchasima, SaraBuri, Nokhon Nayok and Prachin Buri, covering a total area of 2,168 square kilometers. Locals have to pay only 40baht while foreigners have to pay 10 times of that. Our frens reminded us to keep quiet when they were purchasing the tickets..... 720baht saved!

After lunch, we drove to PB Valley Khao Yai Winery. This place is located on the edge of the Khao Yai National Park. The scenery is breathtaking. Although we just finished lunch, we decided to order a pizza and some drinks at its restaurant to enjoy the view. The Ice Blended Grape Juice was very refreshing and we were delighted to find some grapes in the pizza that we ordered. 100 points for creativity! Before we go, we bought 2 bottles of its renowned wine, a bottle of grape juice and one little bottle of grape seeds body scrub.

I dunno and I don't want to know how many pounds have I gained after these few weeks of eating and "enjoying life"...... I'm feeling a bit guilty...... Maybe I should skip lunch for the next few days.