Monday, May 30, 2011

First Day of Classes

  Made it through the first day of classes in one piece! The teachers weren't kidding when they told us to go with the flow here. Schedules and information are ambiguous to say the least. It's natural for anyone from Loyola to become frustrated because we were used to very structured agendas in America. Already there have been so many dilemmas that complicate a daily routine. Not to complain, but just to give you an idea of how the school operates, I'll summarize the day. Woke up around 6:45am, visited pancake lady for breakfast, met my two co-teachers, went to my first two writing classes from 8:20-10:00am, had a break from 10:10-11:50am because of a schedule overlap with another Loyola teacher, lunch consisting of coagulated blood soup, classes from 12:50-3:30pm, look for teacher meeting, get lost, teacher meeting cancelled, sweating profusely. 
  This schedule seemed so strange to me because my day consisted of running around with my head cut off between moments of clarity and understanding. During classes today I mostly introduced myself and answered any questions that the students had about me or America. By American standards one would say that the students are both extremely respectful and extremely rude. They politely show their respect for teachers by kindly gesturing a slight bow upon greeting, answering a question, or interacting with a teacher. But during class most of them talk loudly, and mess around throughout the entire class time. The teacher usually has difficulty controlling them and much of class time is wasted by attempting to quiet them. The female teachers I shadowed today found a balance of kindness and seriousness, leaning toward a more casual learning experience because they know that they cannot make every student behave. The students near the front are more serious about academics, while the back few rows talk away. I think the male Thai teachers are more intimidating to the students. My last class today was instructed by a very strict male teacher who had complete control over the students. This dichotomy will be investigated further. 
  In other news, I willingly drank my first ice coffee and enjoyed it. I bought it from a street vendor for 30B. They use a sweet creamer that overpowers the charred coffee taste. Hopefully the school day tomorrow will be a bit less hectic!

Song of the Day:
Great video, great song.
The Black Keys - 'Tighten Up'

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