The Unordinary Starts to Feel Ordinary
It’s been a while since I have blogged! The more I settle in, the less this life feels like something unordinary. At this point, it is hard imagining being anywhere else but here! Routine has really taken hold and that obviously comes with any person who works a job, especially teaching. Teaching has been absolutely wonderful. Ever since getting back from our vacation up in Northern Thailand and starting this half-term of school, things have been intense! There has been a lot to do and each week feels like its going faster and faster. Bedtime has become 9:00pm on weeknights. As much as I would like to say I do not take work home with me… I definitely do. It is truly just inevitable. Yes, I have a few planning periods at school but there is just never enough time in the teaching world. Any teacher could tell you that there is ALWAYS something else you could do or work on. You are never “finished”. I knew this going into the profession, but it is funny how it is the same all over the world! However, my kids are worth every second. Having such a tiny class size has allowed me to create incredibly authentic and meaningful relationships with each student. Being an international school, we were able to celebrate Halloween! The kids came dressed up in their costumes and I have to admit, they go ALL OUT with their costumes, they looked better than most people do in the States on Halloween! We had a costume parade, a jack-o-lantern competition and trick or treating around the school. It was an awesome day and it felt a little like being home.
Things are about to get even busier though…
Thailand requires schools to give three yearly examinations in each subject that is taught. We have approached our first examination time. That means I am responsible for creating exams for Literacy, Numeracy, Science, History and Geography. Not to mention I have to create several different levels of each exam. This is due to having a special needs student in my class as well as having another grade of students combined into my class for history and geography; there are not any standardized tests like there are in the United States. Then there is of course doing student reports and having them ready for parent/teacher conferences by the end of term. The next couple of weeks will be interesting!
The past month, Erica and myself have become more familiar with our city of Hatyai and the province it is in, Songkhla. Most people know we were a bit nervous coming down to the South of Thailand, but our experiences here so far have shown us that it is still like any other place in Thailand, if anything, just more culturally unique. I must say, I love being in a place where there are basically no Western tourists. It makes me feel much more immersed in the culture around me. We explored a popular park in the city, Hatyai Municipal Park. It was a lovely afternoon of checking out the stunning views of the city. There is also a mini lake with a large water fountain where people like to paddleboat on. Alongside of it, there are stands of numerous different sculptures that you can pick from and paint. Erica and I decided to take some time to relax a bit and paint a few adorable pieces! Luckily they had a “Hello Kitty” one for me and therefore, it was well worth it. I won’t show a picture of the aftermath though. Unfortunately the young girl working at the stand, who wrapped up our works of art, did so in newspaper, while they were still a tad wet. I don’t need to say more.
I also am excited to share with the world that this past week, Erica and myself have officially become proud motorbike owners! Like I’ve said before, you are not Thai unless you ride a motorbike. There is no doubt that having a motorbike has made life a little bit easier and not to mention, much more fun! We promise we will do everything in our power to be careful amongst the crazy Thai motorists.
Last night, we had a farewell dinner to a French teacher of ours. We rode our bikes to Ko Yo, Songkhla. It is a gorgeous island lake where there is lots of fishing. It is good to know that there are places like this so close to Hatyai. Sometimes, we need a little break from the hustle and bustle of the big city! We dined at Sunset Café. It is quite a deserving restaurant name. The enchanting views of the sunset over the water were breathtaking! Experiencing moments like this one makes me feel even luckier to be on this journey!