It is Saturday morning and I’m up at sunrise, enjoying one of my favorite times of the week. Spending so much time getting to know myself whist I’ve been living here had led me to understand a lot more about what actually makes me happy.
I’ve always thought that I was the opposite of a morning person, because I am not fun to deal with in the mornings. Very much hungry Janet and sleepy Marge merging together to form one grumpy morning Teacher Boo. So anyway, my solution to this problem was always to avoid waking up for as long as possible but I’ve come to the realization that I actually need more time in the morning to wake up slowly.
I’ve decided my ideal would be to have about 3 hours of leisure in the morning. Start with a coffee and a piece of toast. And then go back for second breakfast an hour or so later. And then I will be totally happy and ready to do productive things!
The moral of the story is that Brenna is finally getting to know myself and being healthy about it.
ALRIGHT BRENNA GET OT THE POINT.
And that is that I am awake and ready to write about the latest fun event at Thepnaree Bilingual School and that is:
Yes that was a dinosaur construction/art project made by the high school students. Impressive barely begins to cover it.
So the English Program of Thepnaree had been diligently working on preparing for English Competitions, and happily all of our students did really well! But (like typical Thai school life) there was a rapid turnaround for us to prepare for science day.
This involved Bri–who is the science teacher now, if I hadn’t explained–getting her science projects together and me using all my art classes with grades 3-6 to make poster boards to talk about their projects.
Grade 3: Terarrium. Grade 4: Bean Sprout plants. Grade 5: Volcanos. Grade 6: Catapults. (The latter 2 being joint project Bri and I organized during our Friday afternoon STEM class) Am I painting an accurate enough picture of how freaking legit our lives are?
Let me break it down then: every single friday we have to be in charge of STEM class for 3 grades (that’s about 40 students). STEM meaning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. And we had them build their own catapults. And then construct their own volcanos. That’s 40 students with clay, paper mache, and paint.
And then after spending all of our free time for about 3 weeks preparing students for an English Competition (literally the final week I didn’t teach at all and instead played scrabble with the competitors to prepare). Then we still had to use all our measly classroom time to build/craft poster boards for this science day (in true Thai fashion it had to be beautiful).
And it turned out pretty freaking fantastic.
The volcano board. The best volcano–in my opinion–being the blue one in the middle which was (surprisingly) created by the fourth grade boys. I say ‘surprising’ because they are hands down the most rowdy and badly behaved group of boys in the English program.
Bri took a lot of pride in the plant projects being a nature-loving hippie. She even has the third graders preaching “reduce, reuse, and recycle”.
Science day was actually legit af.
The high school students had games and activities. People were making food. The kids got tickets to go into the booths and play Disney games, trivia games, dye their own fabrics, win prizes. There was even a science show involving a witch and cool chemical experiments on the stage (and of course a ladyboy)
The kids were freaking out.
The highlight for me was getting to dye my own indigo handkerchief, and watching one of my favorite first graders Im just kill it by herself all day.
The Grade 6 catapults was a hit. I had the spur of the moment idea on Friday to construct a target. The sixth graders brought in candy prizes and were surprisingly totally into monitoring the catapult attempts. This was probably the most entertaining part of our booth.
The grumpy-faced kid in the front is Maki from Grade 1 and is comically moody all the time. Completely surrounded by kids freaking out to watch the Science Day show, Maki has his arms crossed and is pouting.
This is Jiki and Pat, two of my favorite 4th graders. Jiki being one of my favorite students in general. Favorite quote from her being: “Today, like usual, the sun is not shining”. But in addition to being a pessimist, she was also so excited about the science project and particularly enjoyed rearranging Bri’s rocks on the presentation table.
Kim is one of the most prime third Graders. He can not finish any work in class, but has absolutely no problem speaking English. He also waits for Bri and I after school every day so he can walk out of school with us.
And finally, teacher Bee and teacher Boo killing the game. This semester has been much more time together because we’ve been busier and spending a lot more time at home. Honestly I don’t think I’ve even really thought about how grateful I am to have her around. We have been making each other better people and I think it’s really special to have people in your life who make you a better a version of yourself.
The moral of the story is thus: Science Day was the definition of what this semester has been. Way too much responsibly put on one (or two) young girl who is totally unqualified for this job, way too many hours put into getting all the shit together, but in the end everything turns out spectacularly. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. My job is so legit, but how often do you get to make volcanos explode with a bunch of Thai 5th Graders? Yeah it’s hard, but who every said life was supposed to be easy.