Phrae for Thanks

I think I may have gotten a bit lost in the struggle of all of this.

And I am all about owning your emotions and allowing yourself to be sad…

But at a certain point you got to start looking on the damn bright side. 

And when we went around like cliche Americans yesterday and said what we’re thankful for, I said I’m thankful for this holiday. Because like most things in my life, it came at exactly the perfect time.

So, teaching is hard. Let’s get that out there and then move on to the part where I talk about kind of loving what I’m doing and feeling happy.

I’m thankful for: this week’s pledge to be a mediocre teacher.

This could have been the best decision I’ve made in my teaching career so far. It’s such a waste of energy to obsess over being perfect, especially with teaching, where I’m 99% positive perfection doesn’t exist in any form, regardless of whether I’m in America or Thailand.

And I think my students really noticed that I was aiming for mediocre.


I’m thankful for: these god damn farangs.

I’m not apologizing for one second for bailing on lesson plans on Tuesday to go get a two-hour Thai massage with Charlotte (though the two-hour part was actually on accident, and after the second hour we were forced to conclude that it is probably twice as long as necessary for a Thai massage).

I’m not apologizing for driving all the way into town to get cashew chicken and big Changs with Kim and Alex. I believe the inspiration being my own craving for cashew chicken and Kim’s need of Changs after being told “fuck you teacher” by a student, and thus being reduced to tears.

We’ve all been there. 

I’m not apologizing for inviting a huge group of farangs to our place Thursday night to have a truly magical Thanksgiving feast.

Bri and I personally killed with the green bean casserole. The dinner also featured enough mac and cheese to feed an entire class of ravenous 3rd graders, three rotisserie chickens-subsituting-for-turkeys, questionable sweet potatoes, stuffing which looked questionable but tasted delicious, a freaking salad, and enough wine to last the whole night.


I’m thankful for: the banes of my existence.

I had never been a teacher before this last month. And while it may not be my calling. I do think maybe I’m starting to get it.

Thanksgiving was a good day. I made turkey hats with all my classes, which was fun, albeit a bit stressful, considering that it was almost impossible to finish in a class period so all of my classes ran over and I was just frantically stapling these things together.

I even had a good moment with Pooh my problem child. He didn’t get a chance to finish his hat in my 3rd grade period so he came and found me during lunch and brought me to the classroom so we could finish his hat and I stapled his hat and that little fucker just looked up at me from under this huge turkey hat just beaming and even Pooh wasn’t a monster for a second.

Of course, mere minutes later he was back to terrorizing all his classmates.

You can’t win them all I guess. 

And I don’t want to play favorites…but my fourth grade is definitely my favorite.

And on top of my casual day of crafting, I also got to spend an entire period watching the kids rehearsing for their Christmas performance, which was arguably the greatest thing that could happen. Watching a few dozen 2-4th graders all dance and sing to “Go Tell It On The Mountain” can warm even the most pissed off thai-teacher’s heart.

I’m thankful for: ranch dressing.

As if my day couldn’t get any better. My own personal Thanksgiving miracle came in the form of a very batter package from my dad. Which included (in totally no preferential order) board games, tooth paste, milanos, snacks, and ranch dressing!!!

Could life get better?

I submit that I could not. 

My current plan is that I will bring said Ranch to Lampang with me this weekend and eat it with pizza.

It’s the little things. 

I’m thankful for: being so god damn terrified of failing at life that I opted instead to flee and move to a place where I seem to be constantly failing.

Except today. Today was a win.

And you really only need one. 


One thought on “Phrae for Thanks

  1. My love…you will remember that good day forever,,,and how you brought yourself out of a funk…I would just tell myself about what you did…MSYBE the school will learn about your theatre experiences and trade you a kindergartner clas or whatever for a class teaching drama!! Your father was do pleased that you got his package,,,and at the right time!! If you send me your address. Maybe you could get another package…any special wants…besides ranch dressing!! We love you dearly.

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