Surprisingly, my roommate Andy, Jim, Nick and Bob were all musically inclined. They started jamming, with Andy playing his own music and covering some random songs, Jim playing the blues, Nick playing the guitar randomly and Bob throwing his voice into the fun. It was pretty cool to see these guys I just recently met show off their musical skills. Unfortunately, it really wasn’t my favorite genre of music, and, although I could see they had musical prowess, I got bored a little too quickly. We eventually headed over to a reggae place, but I wasn’t feeling that music very much either, so I ended up heading back to the hotel. Plus at home was “The Sex Lives of Cannibals” which is hilarious and I wanted to finish the book. It is a travelogue about Kirabati in the Pacific and I would highly recommend it to those who love travelogues.
Wednesday morning was a fantastic class. We talked about music in the classroom and were told to come up with our own little ditties to teach English. My group was trying to teach young learners about giraffes, so we created a giraffe out of our bodies with Katie on my shoulders, Kong the body, and Andie the tail.
We also had to make a song about the pet store and we set it to the Spice Girls:
So I’ll tell you what I want what I really want, so tell me what you want what you really, really want, I want a dog, I want a cat, I want a fish, I want a rat, I really really really want to buy a pet ah. If you want to go to the pet store, you’ll definitely find a friend. Make it last forever, petship never ends.
And on and on. After lunch we had a grammar and phonology test, which I, in my infinite nerdiness, thought was really fun and interesting. After the test, we had to prepare for Thursday’s class. My topic was ‘New Year Celebrations’, and I had to spend some time getting the materials all ready. Lesson planning is a little time consuming, but also fun. And you get to play games all the time in language classes! I’m going to have the best job ever. After class it was some fun pool time as well as a new book. Sam, the New York gal, has loaned “Caves of Steel’ by Asimov to me and I am completely enthralled. I thought I was over the science fiction stage of life, but apparently I am not. He is a great author, so regardless of the genre I am having a great time.
Thursday class went amazingly well. I loved the students, the lesson had great flow, and I had a blast. They were 14-15 years old, and I think this is the age and English ability I would enjoy teaching. They know enough that you can use some English to command them and they are at an age where they are past the stilting awkwardness of 6th grade. For a warmer, we played ‘remote control’, in which I draw a remote control on the board and give verbs to the buttons such as jump, spin, swim, etc. The students perform the actions, and then one or two brave souls can press the buttons. For a snack at the school, which is about a half an hour away from the city, they gave us this sticky rice in banana leaves with bean curd in the center. Interesting and full of flavors, yes, but they were almost too weird for my palate.
Because we love Anderson so much, we ended up giving him a second last hurrah.
Anderson and Andie. Great people.Thursday evening we headed back to the area we went to on Tuesday night. The boys played some more music and then we went to the reggae bar where a band with brass instruments was playing some pretty good music. We also saw a Thai jam-band, but they pretty much solely played covers of western songs. The few Thai songs we do here out, however, tend to be really good, and I wish they played their own stuff more often. We ended up at Spicy to dance at the end of the night, but I eventually wanted to get home so I could get some sleep before the last teacher practice lesson on Friday. As I was walking a lady-boy actually tried to pick me up on her motorbike. I wasn’t interested, but (s)he ended up driving me back to the hotel for twenty baht, which saved me some energy. (S)he was very congenial, but definitely not something I’m looking for.
Friday morning was our last teacher practice lesson. My lesson was on sports, which was an incredibly easy context to elicit. The students I thought had a really good time during my lesson, and I got through the whole thing, which was remarkable because it was a receptive listening lesson. The methodology requires that the students answer the questions of a pre-recorded dialogue even if you have to play the tape seven times for one question. The students were really smart, however, and I only had to play the tape about 5 times for the 5 questions. When we got back to the hotel we had this little graduation ceremony. My 120 hour course is over, and hopefully this will end up in me having a really cool job. I’ll let you know as soon as I get my visa, which hopefully is before the 23rd, when I fly to South Korea for orientation. Everything is really last minute here, which I guess is pretty Thai. They are not good at punctuality at all, everything runs in Thai time. Not very efficient.
I had dinner last night at a restaurant that was obviously geared toward tourists, but we couldn’t help ourselves. The pictures were beautiful of the food, and they had iced coffee. And that sounded like heaven. I ended up getting this green curried rice wrapped in an omelet that was fantastic, even though it costed three dollars. Which is a lot for Thailand. But we had to treat ourselves, we just got our certificates! After the certificates, we went to this roof-top bar where a magician was performing. He was just sitting next to me and all of a sudden he did some great tricks. These were Michael Blainesque, and we could not figure them out. At one point he definitely stabbed a twenty baht bill all the way through with a pen, but it didn’t rip. And it was a real pen. He also wrote something on his hand, asked us to say a number from one to three. Three of us gave different numbers from one to three, but then Andy, being who he is, said seven. And the guy had written a seven on his hand. Mad. Afterward, we wanted to go dancing, but not at Spicy. We asked a tuk tuk driver, and he brought us out of this city. When we got there, we realized it was definitely a place to get hookers, which was not what we were out looking for. So, we piled back into a song tao and did end up going to Spicy. It was nice for our group to go to our club one last time before all heading out our separate ways. It will be a little sad to leave all these people. Some are going to Seoul, but others will be in other parts of Korea, and a couple are going to other countries. Happy to graduate and move on, but sad to part ways with all of these new, wonderful people.