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

Maybe More Interesting Stuff
     Anyway, going to what happened during the week. I rode on the back of my friend’s motorbike as he took me through town to search for Lek Express, a printing shop. I might be hearing from my placement company soon and finding out where I’ll be teaching! I’m so excited, I’m using contractions in my sentences for the first time in this dreadful piece of writing! (Also, if you analyze the usage of my exclamation marks... well, you get the point--or points. !!!)
     On the way to visiting Karon View Point, we saw elephant camps, which are adorable! I love those giant friendly animals--well, maybe except for the mommy elephant that stomped on her baby. :( At the View Point, I took a few pictures. It was a pretty view of Kata Beach, where my friend’s fiancee is staying for the time being.

At Karon View Point

At the beach in the morning before the puppies (see pic below)

Puppies that loved me as a chew toy (see story below)

     Also, one morning as I went to the beach to take pictures, I pet one of the puppies and was attacked by adorableness! Actually, I had a towel, my drawstring bag, and expensive camera hanging off of my body, and of course, as soon as I pet one puppy, his friend came and they both started using me as a giant chew toy. (With extra bonus chewing things, which also included my butt!) Very soon, my legs were covered with scratch and tiny chew marks as well as a rash. I escaped them and went swimming in a pool. So basically, my legs are now covered with grotesque lines, bumps, and markings of every kind. (Did I mention my 8 giant red mosquito bites?) Beautiful! I have not worn shorts in several days for fear of others thinking that I may be disease-ridden. Yay for tripping over my maxi skirts every few minutes in class!
     Yesterday, I took a walk with another friend into town and we looked for bikes with motors. No, not motorbikes because that would be a safety hazard for everyone else on the road, but bicycles with motors on them to help you ascend uphill roads. Unfortunately, I keep missing them or maybe walking right past them. Today, I hope to find them and hopefully rent one for a cheaper price than 200 baht per day (a little under 7 dollars per day, which is actually quite pricey. Imagine, we complain when food is 90 baht = $3 a meal because we know we can purchase cheaper food!) Yesterday night, I was not as hungry and I bought a drumstick and sticky rice for only 20 baht total, which is almost equivalent to 67 cents.

Normally, my days have been looking like this:

  • 6:40 AM Get up from bed and brush teeth... and at the same time, don’t forget to clumsily knock over a few things so my roommate can wake up too

  • 6:50 AM Go to tiny isolated swimming pool to avoid other people and continue living a very antisocial life

The small pool

  • 7:00 AM Start swimming

  • 7:20 AM Wonder why my alarm is taking so long to ring because I am tired of attempting to swim back and forth 

  • 7:25 YES! Alarm finally rings so now I have a good excuse to return to the ro

  • 7:28 Begin hard boiling eggs in coffee maker like a poor college student 
My lovely breakfast almost every morning
  • 7:30 Hop into the shower and stare at black spider in one of the corners in the bathroom

  • 7:42 Try on outfits and look in the mirror critically...

  • 7:50 Take out over-hardboiled eggs and continue narrowing my eyes at my outfit in the mirror

  • 7:55 Peel the egg and eat it with 2 slices of wheat bread

  • 8:10 Clean up, sit around, talk with my roommate, try to Skype by the pool

  • 8:45 Head to class and start deteriorating mentally and physically

  • 9:00-4:45 Class (and in between, little breaks and an hour lunch during which a tuk tuk driver says hi to me)
  • 5:00 Do some other isolated activity on my own

  • 7:00 Maybe see a friend or two and grab a dinner

  • The rest of the evening: Sit around and try to use the internet without being annoyed at being constantly disconnected

     However, thankfully, this weekend, there are several groups leaving our area of Phuket to explore different areas. I have a similar plan of exploring, but I may actually rent a bicycle and explore the town, taking pictures of everything and seeing if I can maybe make it to different view points on my own. (They are focusing on partying it up and/or scuba diving, the latter of which I would join, except for the painful idea of joining a large group of people.) I am particularly interested in biking to see the sunrise at Phromthep Cape (although it is raining today so hopefully tomorrow will dawn on a “better” morning), the elephants again, and the Big Buddha for the sunset. I may also want to bike to Rawai Beach, if there is an easy way to remember how to get there. Everything seems to be within 2-5 miles, so I think that I can make it to a few points each day, as long as I have consumed some vittles and rubbed enough deodorant into my armpits to not have stinky fume wisps escaping my body. 
     We’ll see how the day goes--I can’t wait to finally see more of this place I’ve been living in. I definitely feel stranded, not using any form of transportation and being super lazy as to walking into town for a short 15-20 minute walk. 
     Well, maybe if I can get out of bed first...

     Ooh, did I also forget to mention that I look like a model now? That is, anorexic and malnourished? Yep. Don’t worry--it’s not on purpose. I think the heat’s getting to me... Although I guess once I return to the U.S. and my body responds to a highly-probable snow blizzard in April, I’ll just gain everything back. :)

The fried rice and pad see eiw stand by our hotel

My friend waiting for the food to finish cooking

With my pad see eiw

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