I have had an impossibly long stretch of days without a single holiday. In fact, my single day off in February was the day my hometown team won the Super Bowl (I do not count the day on which my company’s management staff spent on a catamaran sailing to an island some distance from Phuket). Yes, I am exhausted and frustrated. No, this will NOT be an exhaustive monthly wrap-up article. I will keep it brief as I am rather ill today.
I actually was sent home early today, Leap Day. All it took was to cough in front of the boss to which she immediately commanded me to be quiet out of fear a parent would hear me. After a lot of back-and-forth, I managed to convince them to call my afternoon students to cancel their class but still had to teach the morning lesson after being given a surgical face mask. My student couldn’t hear me at all through the mask and I had to repeatedly lower it (she, nor her parents wore masks and I could hear her father coughing while he sat in the lobby during the lesson). A number of other teachers’ classes have cancelled their lessons for tomorrow as fear of the Corona virus (AKA Covid-19) spreads. Still, I must work….
I may have set a personal record in the number of different schools I had to fill-in at in a single month. I spent the first week (as I had the last week of January) commuting for 2-3 hours every day to cover for an absent teacher at Wat Suwan Kiri Khit School in Karon along with my regular in-house classes at the language school in Central Festival. This was followed by two weeks at Piboon Sawasdee School in Phuket Town (one week full-time, the next just mornings while helping move our offices in the afternoons). Sprinkled in there were one-day covers at Wat Kajorn Rangsen and a English camp at Sam Kong School, both in Phuket Town. There was also an hour-long fill-in at Muang Phuket Municipal School and kindergarten entrance exams given at Pluk Panya Municipal School. I may be missing one or two there (my time-sheet for the month will be a nightmare).
My goal of taking at least one photo every day of 2020 lasted until February 23 when I failed to take even an out-of-focus selfie. The 24th and 26th are similarly undocumented. The only thing certain is that I worked on all three of those days.
Due to the long, consecutive days working and not feeling my best I often arrived home completely spent physically and mentally. I did manage to read nearly 1700 pages (a far cry from last month’s 5225). I finished two books (three in January). Blogging was similarly down — I only managed one entry each on Asian Meanderings (THIS article), Postcards to Phuket and A Stamp A Day. I did find time to do 75 on Philatelic Pursuits so far this month and will probably finish another three or four this evening but even that is down from the 107 I did in January. And I am falling farther behind.
I did watch a few TV series episodes scattered throughout the month with “Survivor” and “Star Trek Picard” being those I try to remember to watch each week. Others include “Criminal Minds” “Modern Family”, “Young Sheldon”, “Grey’s Anatomy” and a few others but those are sporadic and I often fall asleep before the installment is finished. I haven’t yet found the time to view the History Channel’s “Washington” but look forward to tackling the three episodes fairly soon.
I purchased very few stamps during February: just the single Symbol of Love stamp sheet and first day cover released by Thailand as well a copy of Vietnam’s first-ever Valentine’s Day stamp. There are a few others that I would like to obtain in the near future but I haven’t gotten around to do so yet.
That wraps up my summary of February. I hope I have more time to devote to this, and my other blogs, in the month to come.