Friday Five

2011’s Top Blog Posts- It’s that time of the (end of the) year! Expect five weeks of lists about this year.

Thai Perceptions of Beauty
A little post about what the heck the Thais like to see in a person.

‘The even more fascinating thing about Thais valuing the divergence in looks that a majority of people share is how much critical thought, the development of self, or encouraging individualism is not valued here. So you should try to not looklike a farmer, despite it being the occupation of over a third of the population, but you shouldn’t take part of a lifestyle that deviates from the norm. What a conundrum. I love how much Thais don’t make sense. Perhaps it’s this uniqueness that endears them so much to me.’

Get the rest here.

Why Outsiders have no place to judge the Peace Corps
I don’t think it says a lot about my writing if one of my top posts is an excerpt from someone else’s article. Here’s a piece.

‘Peace Corps volunteers are too old for Kristof, too young for Brown; they’re “parachuted” in but they stay too long. What is it about the organization that makes outsiders respond in totally different ways, and why, after nearly fifty years, does it remain so poorly understood?’

Get the rest here.

How I Teach My Students to Read
This is a little how-to, including pictures!

‘The methods that Thai teachers currently use in their classrooms to teach English are a bit, to put it kindly, dreadful. While Thai kids are better at memorizing things than American students (mostly because that’s how they learn EVERYTHING), this is no way to teach reading. Literacy, in any language, is something that I think is extremely fundamental to a person’s growth. As a child, books opened my mind to worlds I never heard of before. While reading is not something widely treasured in the rural areas of Thailand, I want my students to have a general understanding of Roman alphabet in hopes of them one day expanding their own world outside of our village.’

You know the drill, get the rest here.

Questions Facing a PCV
This was my first week at school and a WTF am I doing here moment? Tons of things were around in my head, including a list of these things I was asking myself.

‘The answer to all of those questions at the top? Smile. Smile awkwardly until it’s not quite so awkward.’

The questions are way better than the answer, see them here.

Drumroll please…

As a Female Farang in Thailand
I’ll say, this is one of my favorite posts that I’ve written.  Why? It talks about the backbone of Thai society, Thai women.

‘But I’m not. At all. I may have to surrender my ‘go where the wind blows me’ spirit, but in return I’m treated like the daughter, sister, or precious breakable porcelain doll of the people in my community. And I truly feel that way, for better and worse. I’ve never felt this deep level of connection with so many people caring about my well-being and happiness. I work side by side with my Thai ladies and get to be a part of a kinship that male Volunteers never see or will ever be able to fully understand.’

See what all the fuss is about here.

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