Monday, September 30, 2013

9-28-13 An Update of An Uneventful Week

     Class the first week seemed very long, but now, during the weekend, I’m surprised that 1 out of the 3 weeks is already over. We learned 2 teaching techniques focusing on different levels: the young learner and basic language learner methods. On Friday, we were paired with a partner and peer-taught a lesson we prepared throughout Thursday. Unlike preparing a lesson in the states, this was a lot more intensive; I had to practice my actions and my rate of speech. (We also had to create all our illustrations which probably took an hour...) We forget that when teaching English to children who rarely hear it means that they have no idea probably 90% of the time of what we are saying, unless we demonstrate what we wish them to do.
     Now, my speech probably sounds very slow, monotonous, and robotic, but because we were taught a few Thai phrases that way, I can see why we have to repeat ourselves 5 times over and over again slowly--it guides the students to enunciate and pronounce their words correctly. That actually leads me to the thought of our instructor, Whittney. She is amazing at showing us how to teach, as opposed to just telling us. With her examples, which we then detail back to her so that she can explain each step, we develop as stronger teachers. She will even ask questions such as, “Did I look at you, the students, when I was doing this step?” She asks us so that we pay particular attention to her actions and the way that it should be done to maximize the learners’ potentials.
     I believe sometimes I make it sound that I speak very quickly, but in reality, I generally speak slowly. I have always loved working with young children, so I have always slowed down my speech. However, hearing the speech I use now is EVEN slower, if you can believe that. 

Me on my friend's scooter

Sunday, September 29, 2013

9-22-13 Settling In (For the Next 3 Weeks)

     Wow, in one day, I already spent about $72! Hopefully I won’t spend too much after this. I’m going to be sure to spend less on food, definitely. (All costs were legit spendings though, like food, photocopies, the hotel deposit which was $33 of those dollars, etc.)

     Anyway, I love the random cats and dogs that wander the streets and our hotel. I even pet a black cat with yellowish-greenish eyes! :) We’re surrounded by a lot of pretty shrubbery and flowers which attract many very beautiful butterflies. Sometimes, I almost feel like I’m going to be attacked by some because they’re so large and they fly so close. I also saw a wasp go after a monarch butterfly; thankfully, the butterfly escaped.

Beautifully-scented flower

A butterfly alighting upon a flower

Saturday, September 21, 2013

9-20-13 & 9-21: The Journey to Phuket

   Alright, because I haven’t been able to sleep for even like 10% of the flight so far, I’m just going to sit here and type about it. 
     I’ve never been a fan of long lines or airplane rides, no matter how short they are. I think I had one that was only 45 minutes once. That wasn’t too bad, but I’d still rather not have anything to do with it.
     Anyway, I left Chicago on 9/20/13 around 12:35 PM and am going to arrive in Seoul, Korea in a little less than 3 hours. After a heart-wrenching farewell with all my friends the week before and seeing Nick every day for at least an hour, I thought I’d be more prepared for how I’d feel when saying goodbye for 6 months. My parents and Nick waited with me outside in the international airport before I walked to my gate; I took a tiny walk with Nick and I teared up (maniacally, if that makes sense... I was literally laughing and smiling while holding back tears). As I was giving hugs and kisses to everyone though, some ladies shooed us out of the area because it was for travelers only. Okay, first of all, we look harmless--relax!!! Second, it’s 6 months that we won’t be seeing each other! Give us a break. :)
     Then, when I went in, I smelled like fried food, which by the way, is a perfume I wish not to be adorned with. I found a friend who’s also going on the trip and I think I out-crazied myself and scared him off. Great! Wonderful start to my next 6 months, right? :)