English competitions

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Apr 14, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  , Rayong,
Thursday, July 22, 2010

What a week it's been. Monday I judged the skits at Chon Chai School all day, and yesterday I accompanied my girls to the spelling bee in Rayong.  But tomorrow starts my 4 day weekend in Koh Phi Phi with friends and family, so it’s all good.  And, I got a care package from home today, so that was just amazing.  My kids will be so excited for all the new stickers I have to hand out.

The skits were entertaining, but 8 hours of skits is too much.  We watched the primary grades before we judged (we couldn’t judge the primary ones because there were kids from our school competing).  The skits were supposed to have themes and morals (my favorite theme was "love being Thai").  Some skits just didn’t make any sense though-like the one where the kids went to see a witch doctor and then sang that song.  There were also some where boys dressed up as girls in sequined dresses and red and blue wigs.  I missed most of that one, but did hear the moral: united we stand, divided we fall.

I know I’m biased, but I think our kids were the best.  They were the easiest to understand.  All the kids did well considering English is their second language, but our kids rocked it.

When it was time for us to judge, I was already sick of being there.  It was about 10 degrees in that room.  The judging table had a tablecloth on it and I used it like a blanket but was still covered in goose bumps.  Those skits were even more bizarre.  The first one was like a soap opera, there was a girl who claimed to be pregnant and broke up a couple and then ended up dying and came back as a ghost.  I was so lost during that one.  There were also a bunch of Thai pride ones that basically gave the message that you should never leave Thailand ever.  I get having pride for your country and wanting to support its economy and all, but I don’t think teaching kids to never see the world or other cultures is a good idea.

Yesterday I went to Rayong for the spelling bee and quiz competitions.  We packed 14 people into an 11 seat van-Thais don’t really care much for the whole “one to a seat” thing, they care much more about getting as many people in a vehicle as possible.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if the driver had remembered to turn on the air sooner than an hour into the drive.

We weren’t allowed to go into the competitions with the kids, we just had to sit outside (literally outside, in the heat) and wait for them to finish.  My poor girls, they didn’t do so well.  Apparently we were supposed to get a list of words for 4th, 5th, and 6th grades to study beforehand, but we only got 5th and 6th.  All the words in the competition were from the 4th grade list.  My girls would have been awesome if they had studied the right words.  They said the announcer was hard to understand too, so they weren’t sure what the words were.  The poor things were devastated.  I feel bad for them, but I’m a little glad I don’t have to coach them anymore.  Not that they’re bad girls at all, but 3 times a day for a month is too much.

I made a new best friend sitting outside though.  There’s a little boy, Pie, who’s in one of my 3rd grade conversation classes that competed in the quiz bowl.  He and another boy, Genius came in first.  Pie wanted to talk to me all day long.  I wish all the kids at Anubanchonburi were as confident in English as he is.  He struggles sometimes to find the right words, but he is not afraid to talk to anyone.  He talked to me for a good 15 minutes about some zombie computer game, he even sang a song about it.  He is adorable.

The next time I blog will be after Phi Phi when I can make you jealous of how I got to spend a long weekend at one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Until then, let me leave you with three funny tidbits from my day: walking down the hallway today, I saw one of the 3rd grade Thai teachers teaching another teacher the Cupid Shuffle.  Who knew that song was popular in Thailand?  Not me.  Also, while at gate duty this morning, the same little boy from before ran up and shook my hand, as well as the hands of the Thai teachers that were there.  One of the Thai teachers told another one who was passing by what happened.  That teacher responded, “Oh, farang, eh?” (oh, he thinks he’s white?).  Finally, also while at gate duty, I saw a dump truck driving down the road with 4 people sitting in the back.  People ride in the back of pickups all the time here, but that was the first I’d seen of people in a dump truck.  Always something surprising here…
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