So much going on...

Trip Start Jul 31, 2008
Trip End Jul 31, 2010

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

My week was pretty good.  A little stressful with things at home, but that'll be taken care of soon enough.  My students are still working on typing their biopoems, but here they are:
Loving, smart, artistic, friendly
Sister of Yau
Lover of Christin, family, and puppies
Happy when loving, happy when I move, and joyful on my birthday
Who gives kisses to my mommy, hugs, and books
Who fears to see bats, tigers, and ghosts
Who would like to see a grand piano, 1000 slices of pizza and Santa Claus
Who lives in America and Thailand

Brown haired, smart, funny, friendly
Sister of Bo
Lover of swimming, tennis, and puppies
Sad when someone doesn't play with me, happy on my birthday, and angry when somebody is mean
Who gives kisses, hugs,and books
Who fears dogs, real ghosts, and frogs (she doesn't fear fake ghosts though!  HAHA)
Who would like to see 100 slices of pizza, a river, and kittens
Who lives in Holland and Thailand

Short haired, tall, friendly, smart
Brother of Gracie
Lover of dinosaurs, swimming, and family
Excited when I try new things, happy on my birthday, and angry when somebody is hitting me
Who gives teddy bears to my sister, toys to my sister, and food to my sister (such a good brother- kinda like mine!)
Who fears tigers, cheetahs, and white sharks
Who would like to see an eagle, leprechauns, and dinosaurs
Who lives in the suburb and in Chiang Mai

Artistic, sweet, loving, friendly
Sister of Dean
Lover of Lucy, family, and piano
Happy with best friend, happy when playing piano, and happy with family
Who gives teddy bears, dolls, and books
Who fears scary books, sharks, and cheetahs
Who would like to see a grand piano, leprechauns, and ghosts
Who lives in the suburb

This week in honor of St. Patrick's Day, we wrote leprechaun stories.  We brainstormed and did a pre-writing together.  Then they did a draft, edited, rewrote, edited again, and then a final copy.  We were focusing on the story having a beginning, middle, and end as well as descriptive language.  I didn't do much in helping them with their ideas except ask a few questions and guide them to add some more descriptions.  Lucy didn't finish hers but I put in what she has so far.  I was very proud of them!
Lucy's story-  Grade one and mice and leprechaun live in Ireland and if you stay in Ireland you will see the pot of gold in the rainbow.  The leprechaun always pinch people and animals.

Bi's story- The Mice and the Leprechaun  In the rainforest the fat mice need cheese but the leprechaun is in the mice's way.  So the mice need to tickle the green leprechaun.  The leprechaun wiggles away.  The mice can get the milk cheese.
Christin's story-    Silly Leprechaun  In the beautiful garden I saw a silly leprechaun.  But the first grade class is scared of the leprechaun but not me.  I change into green clothes but rabbit doesn't change her clothes.  The leprechaun is always pinching the rabbit.  Then I give green clothes to the rabbit and leprechaun didn't pinch the rabbit.  Now we are going to the big school.
Green's story-   The Leprechaun and The Horrible Tiger  One day the leprechaun went to the zoo.  Then he saw the horrible tiger.  The tiger was trying to eat the leprechaun.  Leprechaun pinches the tiger so he will run away.  The tiger ran up to the tall tree because the tiger was scared of the leprechaun.
Pretty good huh?  We also had our science celebration this week.  All the elementary classes worked on putting together science experiments.  My class did one experiment as a class while the other grades had small groups.  We were able to go around to the different classes and listen to presentations about the different experiments.  The students were able to ask and answer questions as well.  They were very excited to share their learning and see all the things other people did.  There is a short video of my students presenting.  They did a great job.  We also just finished our science unit on matter so we made volcanoes.  They drew their volcanoes with crayon then painted a baking soda and water mixture on.  Then we splashed red vinegar to watch what would happen.   It was interesting and I think there should have been more baking soda, but it was fun nonetheless.

I talked to Lucy's dad this week.  Her last day will be May 15th.  She'll miss the last two weeks of school to start at her Thai school.  However, her new school is a bilingual Thai/English school, but most of her studying will be in Thai.  Her reading and writing in Thai is very minimal so in order for her to not fall too far behind in May when she starts, she is going to the Thai summer school (their summer is now through May) two days a week.  She will be in my class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  She'll be at the Thai school on Tuesday and Thursday.   It should be interesting how her learning is affected and how much she learns at her Thai school.
Since our school is more of a business and about the money more than about the students, we offer an intensive English program for students who go to Thai schools and are on summer break.  All it is is more work for the teachers and a way to try to attract those students to stay for the full school year.  I will be getting a new student next week.  She has been at the school for intensive the past two years so she should know some English, but not quite sure exactly what they are supposed to get as part of the program since we don't give grades and I've heard mixed talk about homework.  Who knows!
We are working on our WASC accreditation. I'm on the report card redesign committee.  Since no one wanted to volunteer, Debra and I are co-chairs for that committee.  I also have been in contact with the woman I met at the Bangkok Teacher's conference about the masters program.  One of her purposes was to see if there was a Bangkok school willing to host a masters cohort. Part of the program is online and the other part is in a classroom setting.  I sent it on to Bonnie to see what she thought.  She thought it was a great idea, but she didn't want to coordinate it.  If I wanted to, I now I'm in more communication with them to try to see if this program would work.  We need 15 people for it to run and they can be from anywhere as long as they can get to Bangkok on the days we'd have the class courses.  The perks are being able to have a local cohort of people involved with the program and there is a HUGE tuition discount.
This week there was no art.  The art teacher was doing a taping and couldn't make it.  There won't be art again this week coming up since Valerie and Sarah can't afford it.  It's a big bummer when you have to depend on other people for classes to happen, but it's ok...just be happy when I do get to paint! 
There was also no volleyball this week.  There was a gymnastic competition this weekend and they needed to start setting up for it.  Again, a bummer, but be happy and enjoy it when we get to play.  So instead, Debra, Gail and I went to see Seven Pounds.  Yes, it did just come out here.  I really enjoyed it.  We all want to go see it again and see if we can notice things we didn't catch the first time through.  I thought it was very well done and enjoyable.
This weekend was had to go to Ayutthaya for the rest of our Thai Language and culture course.  Debra, Sarah, Kat and I went up Friday after school.  Kat and Sarah stayed at a nice hotel while Debra and I stayed at a comfortable guesthouse.  Debra and I got settled in our place then went back to where Kat and Sarah were staying.  We ordered pizza and got some drinks. We spent the evening talking and enjoying each other's company.  Our conversation was a little philosophical, but it got me thinking about a lot of different things, especially about what is making me really happy and what I'm just doing to be nice or go through the motions.  Don't get me wrong though.  I am happy and I am enjoying the experiences I'm having, but there are some things that just seem to be missing.
There was really no point in going to Ayutthaya, as they didn't do much in letting us see the city.  We sat in a room for two hours and went through some power point presentations.  Then we went downstairs for a buffet lunch.  The food was good except there were a couple other groups there and we all had lunch at the same time so food ran out quickly.  By the time they replenished most people were done.  Then we went to a temple, saw some elephants, and went to some of the old ruins.  A few of us ran over to some of the old ruins so we could see the Buddha head carved into the tree roots.  After that, we headed back to Bangkok.
Debra came up to see the apartment and hang out so she didn't have to drive back home right away.  Jessica came home while she was there and it was very awkward, forced conversation.  Mind you, Jess wasn't really home at all last week and didn't really talk to me all week.  It was kind of the final straw in wanted to move out.  After Debra left, Jess told me what was going on.  She was having some family problems, which explained her distance last week, but still doesn't explain being rude and not saying anything to me.  I thought more about wanting to move out and I realize that I still want to move.  While my initial thought was because we are living in an uncomfortable situation where we aren't getting along as well as we used to in the roommate factor of things, I want to move for me.  I want to be closer to town.  I want to be able to go to a gym and work out.  I want to have the conveniences that are there.  I want to be able to go out in Bangkok more often, go play volleyball in the park more often, go do things in general.  I'm not doing anything in Thana City because there isn't much to do and I don't usually want to spend an hour getting into town and the hour home.  I think it'll also be a good trial run to see if Debra and I should live together next year or if I should find my own place nearby.  I'm not trying to be selfish, but just realizing I need to do things that are going to make me happier and with my happiness I'll be able pass that along to other people.  If you are planning on sending me anything please use the school address.  I know there are few things I'm expecting and I'll keep checking at the apartment, or have Jess bring it to school for me.
Sunday was my veg day.  I was going to move today, but didn't want to without talking to Jess first.  So I made my pancake breakfast and talked to mom for almost 3 hours.  It was great!  Then I went to read by the pool and for a swim.  The rest of the afternoon I just hung out and was able to talk to some people from home online.  It was nice to not have to do anything.  It was also nice to get away for a little bit this weekend, but still have time to relax.  One more full week of school, then parent conferences with a half-day Friday and a no school Monday, then a four-day week with testing, then SPRING BREAK! YAY!!!  I'm not counting down or anything...Have a great week!
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