Earlier this month, the teaching agency I work for sponsored a two-day English Camp at Wat Sri Sunthorn School in the Thalang Sub-District of Phuket. As are most camps of this type these days, this one revolved around the 2015 initiation of the Asian Economic Community (AEC) and so included plenty of quiz games in which the students had to demonstrate their knowledge of the ten ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) member countries. Originally, this was to include interviewing tourists on Surin Beach but it was decided it would be better to keep the kids at the school and have them do plenty of on-site role-plays.
I don’t really know. I’ve alternated between periods of extreme busyness and extreme laziness. Nothing new there.
But for some reason I haven’t felt compelled to write in quite some time. And that time really got away from me.
Six months passed in the blink of an eye. Half a year gone in an instant.
What did I do?
This has been one of my longest blog-silences for quite some time. I hope to put an end to that in the near future.
I had been quite busy with work throughout February and the summer slow-down has officially begun with the conclusion of a four-day English Camp on Sirae Island last week. I finished the school year substitute teaching Upper Primary and High School classes at Samkong School in Phuket Town, a gig I enjoyed so much that I may request a more permanent assignment there when the new term starts in May.
No, I haven’t forgotten about Asian Meanderings. I simply have been extremely busy lately. The number of my regular lessons each week at ECC has increased and I have also been doing a lot of fill-ins for ill and traveling teachers. Last night, I began teaching a series of thrice-weekly English Conversation lessons at Insight English School and I participated in a two-day English Camp … Continue reading Extremely Busy
I am a person of many interests and I belueve that my writings on Asian Meanderings, and elsewhere, reflects that. Lately, the focus on this blog has been on stamps and postcards with a few of our local Phuket festivals and activities sprinkled in. But I am also a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, something I haven’t written about here in over a year. I’m always happy to give pointers to newly-arrived teachers and do so as a matter of routine in my job. Most of these tips come under the category of “Survival’ — how to survive in the classroom (the Thai educational system is, well, weird) and how to survive as a long-term resident (the Thai bureaucracy is more than weird).
While I am still thinking of an interesting way to blog some of these tips, I do finally have a “new” educational experience to write about. I’ve been invited to lead my very first English Camp! Apart from helping with activities at various school open houses, graduations, and holiday parties over the years I have never even participated in an English camp before!
I haven’t been spending much time on my stamps or postcards recently. With the end of the long rainy season, November has been a real scorcher; hot and humid is not good philatelic weather! I have also been very busy teaching — I now have at least one two-hour lesson each and every day of the week. I’m much looking forward to an upcoming English camp at a Phang Nga resort; it’s still “teaching” but a fun change-of-pace from a classroom.
Still, a bit of mail does trickle in from time to time. This week, an “official” Postcrossing card arrived from Canada as well as a duplicate from Lithuania — I’d already registered a card with this number last month. My most recent eBay auction item also showed up — a nice mint stamp from France depicting the Eiffel Tower, picked up for a low winning bid of 0,34 Euros (approximately 13.5 Thai baht). This postal activity inspired me to print sheets of my two upcoming Muang Phuket Local Post stamp issues and prepare the requisite first day covers. More on those very soon…
2012: The Year That Was
For many reasons, 2012 was quite a good year for me although I didn’t seem to do much. Perhaps less really is more.
Both my writing and my reading took a significant dip. The lack of posts on this blog is one visible result of the former. The latter is surprising as 2012 was the year I got a Kindle and so have easy, portable access to even more books. Well, perhaps more is less after all.
But if you take into consideration how active I became on Facebook, you could say my writing and reading simply redirected. At the end of the day, I’d rather read more pages in (e)books than posts on Facebook.
I work for a teaching agency which operates the largest private language and computer school in Thailand with over 50 branches. They contract me out to a Thai school run by the municipal government. I work there during the daytime hours and also do some in-house work at the agency’s Phuket branch, located in the basement of a large shopping mall. I’ve been at both for a little over a year. Before that, I taught at a large privately-operated school in the center of the island for more than three-and-a-half years.
All three of my Thailand-based teaching jobs have been completely different from each other and all differ greatly from teaching in America and elsewhere. I’ve enjoyed each of these jobs and the varied experiences. True, there have been difficulties and annoyances along the way but I’ve learned from them and truly love what I do.
I am still alive and well in Thailand, believe it or not. It has become rather difficult for me to maintain much of an online presence without having my own computer; the majority or local internet cafes are either too expensive or their computers’ USB drives are disabled. I like to use portable apps on my thumb drives for a variety of reasons and no longer attempt to do any work if those aren’t working. The further I get behind on emails, etc., the more I dread even making the attempt to catch up. My current budget prevents me from spending hours online doing so at this time…
This week seemed to fly by really quickly! That’s a good thing as I’ll receive my first paycheck from the new job in another week. Hooray! But I am going to have to really stretch this cash as I need to use some for September rent and to start paying off a couple of loans (I’ll need to figure out how to put money in my PayPal account to accomplish the latter). I’m also planning to ask my agency to begin accumulating the paperwork I’ll need to obtain the Non-Immigrant (B) visa — the Royal Thai Embassy for Singapore lists nineteen separate documents now needed (I couldn’t access the Penang consulate’s site). If all goes well I can take care of that during the term-break holiday the latter part of next month.