Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Education Corner

Today I have decided to write down a few fun facts I've learned while living in Thailand.  I'm sure you're all sick of hearing where I've been and where I'm going next - so now it's time for a little education.

First off - Thai Schools.  The reason I choose to cover schools first is because 1) that's where I work and 2) I've seen some interesting stuff in the past two days.

Thai schools are nothing like schools in America.  And don't fool yourself - the students aren't necessarily better and respect their teachers.  They're still like adolescents who find the need to be seen and heard...especially heard. Every time I start to go around the room checking process, there's a constant "Teacher Teacher" at my back.  Unfortunately, they do not understand the words "Just wait a minute!".  '

What is really different, is the way misbehavior is dealt with at a Thai school.  In America, if a child were to back talk a teacher, he/she would be forced to go to the principal's office and receive a warning that will undoubtedly do no good.  At my Thai school, there is a stick.  Yesterday I witnessed a group of students sitting quietly outside with two teachers standing in front. Since the school normally has some sort of event going on, my first thought was "I wonder what this group is performing?!".  Then slowly, one by one, a student would walk to the front of the group, turn around, and get a swift switch to the behind.  I then slowly walked away.  It wasn't until today that I saw this punishment first hand in my own classroom.  No, I wasn't the one hitting children (although I can't say I haven't thought about it), but this class was loud, disrespectful, and most certainly not learning a thing.  That's when the Thai teacher in the back found a broken off stick, told each student to hold out their hand, and she swatted it with quite a force.  I was taken aback for a moment until the Thai teacher saw that I had paused and said "Keep teaching".  So I kept teaching.  I don't think the students in that class will love me very much by the end of the term.

For the remainder of this education corner, I will leave you with a few quick facts (or random information I've learned/witnessed/think is true but could be false so think of this page as wikipedia and don't cite it for your research papers).

1. Cigarette packages are disgusting.  They show you true images of people who have suffered from smoking in order to deter you.  I don't smoke - but I most certainly don't want to start after seeing that image!



2. Most Thai marriages aren't real. They don't often sign the papers that legally bind them, but rather just throw a wedding.  Also, many men have mistresses. Many.

3. Thai people order a bunch of food and then pass it around the table.  You get to try everything.  Being a food connoisseur, this is one of my favorite customs.

4. It may be smaller than Texas, but it still takes forever to travel anywhere.  There's lots of transportation, but everyone is so slow!



It's bigger, trust me. 
5. Yes, you drive on the left hand side of the road.

6. You take your shoes off to enter most businesses and houses.  Feet are found to be very disgusting and it is incredibly rude to point them at someone.

Well folks, I've hope you've learned a thing or two today.  That's all for now.  I'll save any newly learned tidbits for a future date. Wishing you all well in the New Year!

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