Daily Phuket #65: 03 August 2021 – Going Home

I would say that this was the first really successful day since I began commuting to school in order to teach online. Not only did we beat the rain both coming and going but my three lessons went very well. Particularly the last one. P1/2 has now surpassed P4/2 and P4/1 as my favorite class that I have taught this school year. More on those darling kids in a bit.

I took a few photos throughout the day; nothing truly of interest or really unique to the day, however. My days largely consist of the exact same scenery. At least last year, when I was walking to school every morning, I had a bit more variety to choose from. I really hope that it isn’t raining the entire weekend so I can get out there and snap something you haven’t seen before. Look at me: it’s only Tuesday and I am already eagerly awaiting the weekend.

If I can survive Thursday with its five lessons and Friday with four, I will probably just go home and sleep into Saturday. The lessons at this school are each an hour long; I am used to the 50 minute classes at most other schools I have been at in the last few years. It doesn’t seem that bad in a “live” classroom, but this online stuff can be difficult to stretch into the full hour. Especially if none of the students reply to your questions.

My first lesson was about “Things in the Classroom” for P2/3 so I had plenty of realia (that is teacher-speak for real objects as opposed to flashcards) ready to hold up to the camera. In the background is the Chinese teacher.

I have yet to get anybody to respond to “What’s your name?” The Chinese teacher who sits near me each day seems to spend at least half of his lessons just reading the attendance roster, attempting to read the full Thai names of each student! I have attempted to get the students to tell me their names and have even asked them to write their nicknames on a piece of paper and hold it up to their cameras. Neither has brought any response at all. I certainly cannot use the majority of the names that display under their onscreen boxes as these are in Thai script. Oh, well. Hopefully they will not ask me who attended each online session.

As I mentioned, today’s classes went well. For one thing, none were cancelled. My first began at 13:00 followed by another at 14:00 and the last of the day an hour later. So, three hours in a row. I mentioned that P1/2 were absolutely awesome. Not only did they repeat each vocabulary word after I said it (a bit hit-and-miss in the preceding two lessons) but they also wrote each word in their notebooks and held those up to their cameras for me to see and “check”. It was going so well that it was time to say “Goodbye” before I knew it and I completely forgot to see if they could write their names for me. It was also the first class in which every kid individually told me “thank you”. I was on quite a high as I packed up the computer for the ride home.

I spent the morning before my first lesson preparing for next week’s classes. Since I am mainly a conversation teacher with sprinklings of grammar and vocabulary here and there, it is difficult to find much in the curriculum that adapts well to the online model. That difficulty increases for those lessons where the students simply will not talk to me. I was quite pleased to notice that an upcoming P5 lesson is to feature “rooms in the house” so I will do that for them next week. Easy to create flashcards for the different rooms as well as selected furniture and other objects. Homework can be for them to draw their own houses or a chosen room. I finished the lion’s share of those flashcards and even a couple of worksheets before noon.

Since my featured photo yesterday was one of me dressed for the ride to work, I thought I would share one of my going-home garb today. The skies were relatively clear in the afternoon (it rained heavily earlier) so I ditched the orange rain coat and wore my lighter jacket over my shirt and tie. It’s a warm-up jacket from the British progressive rock band Marillion that I have had since around 2004. It’s still in great shape and is a little big for me now as I have lost some weight since then. I remember wearing the jacket on my 40th birthday when I was invited to attend the band’s concert at The Forum in London. Anyway… The facemask is one of my designs — the logo for my Facebook group Pandemic Philately and also featured on several personalized stamps created by friends of mine (two from Turkey, one from Canada). The ballcap, of course, is my Kansas City Chiefs hat from when they won the Super Bowl two years ago.

I never eat breakfast and since the canteen at school is shut down I rarely eat lunch either. Thus, I am absolutely famished by the time I arrive home. Today, I bought two noodle dishes at 7-Eleven: Pad Thai for the first time (not that great) and my usual go-to, wide noodles and pork in gravy (two photos below). The latter is probably my favorite of all the 7-Eleven meals although the sweet basil and pork with rice is high up there as well if I have ketchup to douse it in. Washed down with a bottle of Miranda brand root beer and my belly is pretty happy for the night.

I watched the Russell Crowe movie “Unhinged” while eating my dinner tonight (what a rollercoaster of a film!) and will now read for a couple of hours. I just started the Brad Thor thriller Near Dark as a bit of a break from the histories I have been wading through lately. All in all, a pretty good day. I hope the rest of the week goes as well as the three lessons today. Now that I have shared photos of my food, my workspace, and my clothing the hardest part of the week will be trying to find something different to shoot. Wish me luck!

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