Well, it’s Sunday night and I haven’t written anything in a few days. Time to do several recaps. This one is about Friday 4th of July.
At the morning’s opening ceremony I realised that the school doesn’t have one set uniform, rather several uniforms with one used for each day. Yesterday that had been the scout uniforms in line with the ceremonies that take place on thursday, and today everyone was wearing white, and the ceremony itself consisted of silent prayer rather than the songs and dances that had taken place earlier in the week (since I constantly seem to get roped into doing these, I wasn’t really complaining). I also managed to get some photos for the first time, and Pilot also got hold of my camera and started shooting at various places around the school, as well as what looked like the back of a student’s head but I later found out to be the logo on the back of his shirt (perspective is everything.)
Once again I was also shoved in front of the crowd to make a speech, as well as being told that Pilot now wanted me to speak at the ceremony every morning. This is to only consist of a simple ‘hello, how are you today?’ bit of small talk which is a slight relief, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if in a weeks time I’m expected to recite Shakespeare or explain why England haven’t won a World Cup since 1966.
My lessons were fairly standard after that, more going through what was in the workbook for different classes and their respective levels of learning. I did some more signalling out of the kids to answer questions in front of everyone too, and I can kind of understand now why teachers do this so much. Not so much in a learning way, but more that it’s quite fun putting people on the spot. Man, I’m sadistic.
Also notable is that we started playing hopscotch in classes today, and although I was supposed to be dictating everything I haven’t played the game since I was about 7. This led to me completely forgetting what the rules were and inadvertently helping some of the groups cheat. Despite that they seemed to enjoy it, and it seems like something that is easy to set up and play again, so it’s something I have for future reference.
More praying ocurred in the afternoon, this time in the main hall before english camp. I still don’t really think I know much about many of the religious ceremonies yet, but from this I’d gather that Friday is a pretty important time for it. My mentor Bubpha and her family are Christian, and appear to be in the minority compared to those who practice Buddhism, so she wasn’t involved in most of these ceremonies. Again, this seems to be another contrast between here and England- maybe this is a bit of a sweeping statement, but we generally seem to have it the other way around.
After that was a fairly un-notable english camp, which marked the end of my first week of teaching. It can be challenging and frustrating at times, particularly when it’s always so hot, but I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it so hopefully I can improve further over the coming weeks. This sounds like an extremely lame thing to say, but I think one of the factors stopping me from being homesick at the moment is that I don’t particularly know where ‘home’ is in England at the moment. By the end of this project I will have spent more of 2014 in Thailand than at my home in Ipswich, and although I’ve spent plenty of time at my uni house I’ll be heading into a new one in September that I haven’t even seen yet. But obviously this is all just pointless musing, and there’s a great deal more to homesickness than your current place of residence. And I’ll admit that it would be nice to be in a country that doesn’t always feel like it’s trying to boil me alive.