Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Evolve: The Way Things Work Out

New country.  New language.  New job. New life.  

I came to Bangkok with many expectations, as well as many goals.  I wanted to acquire at least a small sum of the language.  I want to learn how to be patient.  I want to figure out what I really want to do for... well the rest of my life.  Err.... at least the next few years.  Or months.  Or days.  

Or just day.  Day by day is my life right now.  Which is actually exhausting.  Every night: lesson plan, grading, mental sanity.  Granted, I am plenty spoiled with massages, eating out, and my new membership to "California Wow!"  (a local health gym...).  Since I really have been taking each day by day, I didn't realize the natural evolution that has already played-out.  

Teaching.  The entire day my feelings are spiraling around, and somehow manage to at least once reach each of these peaks.  I don't know how, and strangely... sometimes they coincide.

1. Happiness : usually occurs early in the morning when I first greet my students.  They "wai" me and say, "Hi M'am."  Also frequently occurs when my students respond correctly to my questions, as well as when they are enthused.  Occasionally happens when my students make funny jokes during class... and then I have to remind myself, I am the teacher... am I supposed to be laughing along too?

2. Confusion : usually occurs when I ask questions and I cannot understand students.  Ex. vegetarian is now "wedgitarian."  Also occurs when my Spanish students ask me how do you say, "insert crazy sentence I have never heard in Spanish." *Daily occurs when I daily forget to plan worship... some of my best improv moments.  

3. Frustration : usually occurs when I do not understand schedules.  Do I need to include "this" to follow curriculum?  Oh wait... I have to make a "course outline" for administration?  What is that again?  Also occurs when students will not be quiet and I have to continually call on them, make them switch seats, and try to "trick" them into participation.  High school... 

4.  Serenity : usually occurs at the very end of the day when I can sit in my classroom... alone... with all of the lights turned off and replay the day in my head.  Also occurs when classes are running smoothly and I realize that my students are interested... and are learning. 

My visitor, Dr. Daniel Schlieder.  I had heard he was coming to visit... but somehow when I saw him, it was surreal.  Here I am, had already started my new job, in a new country, completely on the other-side of the world, and I am sitting here with my friend since sixth grade.  Whom I went to middle school with, high school, and college in a completely different state.  
It was definitely exciting, and my view on Bangkok continually evolved during our time together.  I got to see other parts of town and experience different reactions from Thais.  What a comfort, having Dan here, that I was not used to having in BKK.  

I am a lioness.  Straight from "The Lion King"--- possibly friends with Zimba.
Humidity is not my friend.  Nay, it is my arch nemesis! My hair will not remain straight.  Even if I blow dry it.  Even if I flat iron it.  Even if I use a whole bottle of hairspray and some crazy product I bought (which was a lot of Baht) and is called, "Straight Sexy Hair."  Lies, all lies.   Each day my hair grows bigger... and bigger... soon my face will be lost, as well as my true identity... Grr!


Emily Star said...

hahah you are killing me. it's funny because i can totally hear your voice in your writing. it's nice. I'm glad to have gotten to talk to you tonight. horray skype! You are probably an excellent teacher. I can see it. :)

Jess said...

Sorry it's been a while! GPA is keeping me busy and disconnected; horrible cell service and undependable internet service.

Sounds like you're having a blast! I'm glad. Hopefully we can catch up soon. Much love.

P.S. With the curly hair thing, welcome to my world! Word of advice, no product will do what it says it will do. Trust me, I've tried the ALL!