The Week That Was #2019-02

Wow! Posts two weeks in a row….

The week of January 7-13, 2019, was fairly active in my little world extending between my home in the heart of Old Town Phuket, Thailand, and a bit west to my office in the bowels of the Central Festival mall smack dab in the center of the island with frequent stops approximately halfway between those two locations on those days that I teach high school in the huge Plukpanya Municipal School. I rarely venture outside of this rather narrow band.

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The Week That Was #2019-01

At long last, the silence has been broken! Honestly, I start too many entries in a similar fashion on this blog. The last period of activity stretched from the end of July 2018 until i posted my New Year’s Eve shaky-cam video earlier this week. I haven’t checked but I believe it to have been the longest gap in the history of Asian Meanderings and perhaps going back as far as ‘Burque Blog. Does anybody remember that incarnation?

As the end of 2018 approached, I thought that the best way to rejuvenate what was once my one and only blog was by taking a look at the year that was. I began sorting through photos taken and journal entries written each day in attempts to find something interesting to highlight. There were quite a few blog-worthy happenings throughout the year but I quickly bored of trying to find them and put them into a form that people would actually enjoy reading! I got as far as mid-March before I abandoned the project.

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Writing Final Exams

Teacher Mark grading notebooks in P6/1.At my previous school – dare I say it’s name? (Kajonkietsuksa – one of the top three schools on Phuket in terms of popularity and success) – I became somewhat of an expert at creating exams.  For the mid-term and final exams we had a definite timeline for writing these, going through a rigorous approval process.  I almost always had my exams approved on the first or second submission; they wanted several different sections in several different formats (short answers, multiple choice, matching, etc.) which gave the students a real fighting chance at doing well.

My current school doesn’t bother with mid-term exams (at least for the English classes) and the final exams fall in September and February.  Last year, I created a term one exam based on those I’d written at Kajonkietsuksa but simplified as it was the first year they’d had a foreign-language teacher at Piboonsawasdee.  There were an average of ten to fifteen questions on the different grades’ exams and I had to handwrite each student’s long Thai name, student number, and nickname on each paper as the kids themselves couldn’t do this themselves!  Marking over five hundred exams were a real bitch and the majority of kids just didn’t try at all – if they wrote anything at all it was complete gibberish.

In addition to the exam score, I need to compute points based on behavior, attendance, participation, etc.  With more than thirty kids in each class – some approaching fifty – it was difficult trying to match the exam with the individual (I gave up long ago trying to keep the names straight; some classes have four or five kids all nicknamed “May”).  The result was that I had a huge pile of papers nobody seemed to care about and I eventually threw away.  The scores were dismal.

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