1.) Reconnect starts tomorrow! Or PST 2 as they like to call it, but I don’t. It’s similar to telling me I graduated from high school, they gave me a diploma, and sent me out into the world only to pull the reins back way hard three months later. I like to think of it as subjecting myself to working six days a week again and full days of government meetings. Hey, at least it’ll be in English. We’re going to Suphanburi province, which is luckily only a little over an hour van ride for me. It’s enough of a distance that I can be a regular person (but still not drink alcohol, elections are this week and Thailand has a law that prohibits the sale throughout the time, sigh), but not actually be too put out from traveling. I’m really looking forward to convenient means to pizza/other farang food, air conditioning, and hot showers for two weeks. Oh yeah, and hanging out with the rest of group 123. I guess they’re alright.
2.) Gay marriage was legalized in the state of New York this past week. Holy cow. It doesn’t matter if you’re for or against it, but this is a defining moment in American history. As a history and political science major concentrating in the United States, it’s kind of killing me inside to not be there to experience it for myself and get a feel for what people think. According to this article, with the passage of this law, we’ll be able to better understand what it would mean economically, socially, and legally if we adopted legislation across the United States. It’s times like this that I wonder what I’ll be missing out on in America during the next two years in Thailand and after if I don’t go back.
3.) Friends come to visit!! With Reconnect coming up, I had two of my friends come to visit me at site this past weekend and we had some pretty good adventures. It’s amazing how much my community members took to them and genuinely love them, almost as much, if not more, than me. Grand times were had swapping stories about our experiences and relating to each other. It was so good to hear that I’m not the only one with my doubts and struggles. I’m looking forward to more of that at Reconnect. It’s amazing how easily we’ve all become like family in such a short period of time.
4.) Life after reconnect and a lack of writing. There hasn’t been much going on with here or in the journal lately. I was hoping to get a lot of posts written this month, which I started, but nothing has quite finished itself yet. I’ve been putting off a lot of stuff, like writing more, until after reconnect. I’ll write about this after reconnect. I’ll start running after reconnect. I’ll talk to my teachers about not translating in class after reconnect. I’m going to get a Thai tutor after reconnect. Can you sense the pattern here?
5.) In the past three weeks, since I started officially teaching instead of just observing, my one school close to my house, has had me grace them with my presence just three and a half days of teaching. Between the educational supervisor coming to visit (and rescheduling on us), teacher day, my coteacher being sick, a teacher wide meeting in my area, and the natural schedule of our project (two days at one school, two days at another), there hasn’t been much ‘student-centered’ English learning going on. They didn’t remember any of the vocabulary words that I taught them and we’re struggling through phonics. The sad thing is, my fourth graders at the other school that have never studied English before this year are more advanced than the sixth graders at this school. This is something else that I’m going to be dealing with after reconnect. Well how to deal with the immense differences between the schools/classes, the whole ‘figuring out how to work within the Thai education system’ thing, working within the Peace Corps’ project, but also, doing what is best for my students, coteachers, and community.