Phuket Weekly 2022 #4 (22-31 January)

Another wholly uneventful week, largely the same as the one previous with a couple of exceptions. First, the teachers returned to our school to continue our online lessons following a week spent doing the same from home. I suppose they got wind that we were actually enjoying working from home, free of the problems that working from school entails. So, once again, I had to contend with the other teacher (he’s from Tunisia, by the way) spending his day screaming at children for minor infractions while attempting to teach them English in a mix of Pidgin Thai, French, Arabic and heavily-accented English. My noise-cancelling headphones do not help in hearing my students any better.

Further noise pollution occurred in the form of construction noises and I often could not hear the students over the Tunisian teacher’s babblings and the sound of jack hammers and power drills. If that wasn’t bad enough, I resumed being the feast for a swarm of blood-thirsty mosquitoes. We all wondered why we weren’t allowed to continue teaching from our homes. At least I am getting some exercise once again during my walks to school; I am fond of taking a shortcut through one of the local temples.

The second change to the week(s) before was that we were finally informed of the anticipated return of real, live students in our classrooms. The secondary students are due to resume on-site learning on the 7th of February while the primary kids will be back a week later. I have two weeks in order to gather together materials such as flashcards and other props to use during my classes. This means that we will have just six or seven weeks of in-person classes before the end of the school year on 31 March. I was told to skip formal mid-term exams but will probably try to conduct some form of testing within the next couple of weeks.

We were also given Monday and Tuesday, the 31st of January and 1st of February, as holidays to celebrate the start of Lunar New Year. I had planned to sleep late a bit (after watching the loss of my beloved Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game in the wee hours of the morning) but the constant setting-off of fireworks from the many local shrines prevented that.

My evenings were spent once again reading and watching YouTube videos. I managed to complete three books this month but the first took a very long time despite it being a mystery novel. I managed to add a few entries to my Philatelic Pursuits website during downtime between classes during the week and began a long compilation of all of the stamps issued worldwide throughout January. I published part one yesterday and began work on part two this morning.

My old Lenovo laptop is still at the repair shop. A new motherboard was installed last week but there were still some remaining problems. It’s been Jnearly a month since I took it in. My new (refurbished) HP ProBook is humming along nicely and I am still awaiting the reopening of the Acer Service Center so I can get the all-in-one PC repaired.

And, that was my week…

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