Let’s Go Places: Thailand (Prologue)

I decided to create this for two reasons. The first, is to help give future EFL instructors first-hand accounts from my perspective teaching in the areas I am going. This idea came about when I was researching the region and school I am assigned to in Thailand. There was surprisingly little in terms of first-hand accounts of experiences here. The most in-depth experience of teaching in the Sakon Nakhon area came from a blog that I will link here (because we all need more than one perspective):

Part I: http://ryanrobert7.blogspot.com/2015/12/welcome-to-sakolrajwittayanukul-school.html

Part II: http://ryanrobert7.blogspot.com/2015/12/welcome-to-sakolrajwittayanukul-school_11.html

Dilemma: http://ryanrobert7.blogspot.com/2016/02/could-do-versus-should-do.html

Grading: http://ryanrobert7.blogspot.com/2016/03/schools-final-day.html

The second is to remember my own EFL adventure to Thailand. Today I had a tutoring session with an ELL student. We were talking about where I was going to teach in Thailand and I wrote down the name of the school I would be teaching at (because I cannot say it to save my life). Sakolrajwittayanukul. Her eyes got wide and she started to laugh. “That’s not a name, that’s a whole sentence! It’s so long!” I must say, I completely agree with her.

I hope that I can keep up with this blog and I hope that it will be useful to anyone looking for information about teaching in the regions I end up. I imagine that, in the future, this will end up as a travel blog, ultimately. However, my track record for upkeeping such sites is less than stellar. I’m optimistic now, but let’s give it a minute to evolve into something realistic. Are you ready for this?

Geronimo!

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Pause A Moment: Target Retales

doge free domainTARGET RETALES:

Here is a tumblr called Target Retales which offers hilarious observations from a Target in suburban America from the perspective of a suburban American. Enjoy.


*If you are accessing this from the menu on the right of the screen, please click on the blog title above to access the video. There appears to be an issue with displaying the link.
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Pause A Moment: #Analog

I found her video thought provoking. In a digital age we sometimes forget our analog roots. (Video Credit: ASMRrequests)


*If you are accessing this from the menu on the right of the screen, please click on the blog title above to access the video. There appears to be an issue with displaying the link.
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Let’s Go Places: Thailand Obscura

d942468ca7e045398e3a2ac4353e80f88f937eb1On one hand, I find that there are some obligatory touristy things one has to do at least once when visiting a new place, just to say you did it. On the other hand, discovering obscure, off-the-beaten-path places along the way is also my cup of tea. While researching the internet for information on what wonders Thailand holds, I came across a site that has a list of bizarre and intriguing suggestions. If you enjoy the bizarre and sometimes creepy as much as I do, I suggest you check out Atlas Obscura’s list of Interesting Places in Thailand. (Note: there are some not creepy places as well)

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Let’s Go Places: Northeastern Thailand

IMG_5848This is the area where I will be living. It is 250 – 300 kilometers (155 – 187 miles) from the capitol of Laos and about an hour plane ride/10 hour drive (650 kilometers) from Bangkok. According to my agent, this area of Thailand gets less tourists than other regions and as such has been deemed “The Real Thailand Experience”. Because of it’s location, this area has a mix of Thai and Lao cultures. The anthropologist in me is giddy (anthropology undergrad), the English teacher in me is not sure what this feeling is that she is feeling (have any of you ever seen Wicked the musical?). Check out cool things to do in Sakon Nakhon at wikivoyage.org. I am excited for the Temples and basically everything listed in the Local Products list. What looks interesting to you?

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Speaking of Teaching English Abroad

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I would like to Congratulate my friend Amanda for getting a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English in Mexico! You can check out her story below:

CMU News: Teaching English to Children in Mexico


Interested in the Fulbright Scholarship Program? Find more information here

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Let’s Go Places: Thailand (Some Thoughts)

You know all the beautiful Thai beaches and sunshine that everyone always talks about? Yeah? Well I am absolutely nowhere near them, haha (it will also be the rainy season).

On one hand, it is exciting. From the things I have read this means that the Isan Region (Northeast Thailand) is less touristy than other areas. On the other hand, for the first month I will probably miss my creature comforts and extreme convenience.

Instead of researching what I should prep

are for teaching English, I am searching for way more important matters… like street food, temples, and how not to get scammed by a tuk tuk driver (not that all tuk tuk drivers are scammers, because they are not. It’s just a thing that happens). I am also trying (and failing) to learn basic Thai. From what I was told though, the dialect of my area is a mix of Lao and Thai because I live so close to the boarder of Laos… the language struggle is just beginning… がんばろう!

We will continue this later…

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Pause A Moment: Positive Vibes

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Pause A Moment posts are entries that are meant to have you pause what you are doing in your busy, stressed out environment and give you something to look at, consider, meditate on, laugh at, and/or find out about something interesting in the world. Sometimes when things are hectic (like managing a classroom of 50 students who don’t speak your language), you just need to find a moment to distract yourself from the negative energy and recharge. I know I do.

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The World of Mary Cagle: JET Program

2017-04-14_15-56-51Mary Cagle is an online cartoonist who participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. “Let’s Speak English” is a comic that follows her experience teaching English in Japan. Link Below, Enjoy!

Let’s Speak English: Off We Go


Interested in learning more about the JET Program? Find information here

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Support Your Local Travel Agents

I’m leaving two days early because of airfare prices. I’m excited to have a few days to explore Bangkok before orientation. Airfare has gotten crazy expensive (I did try to stick with one airline though, because of frequent flyer miles, which didn’t help with cost). So, riddle me this. I researched a multi-city round-trip air ticket for Detroit, Michigan to Bangkok, Thailand with a one week layover in Japan to see my family on the way back. The website told me there were no scheduled flights from Bangkok to the airport I needed to get to in Japan… So I was like, “okay, I will just look up a straight round trip ticket then.” The flight path home was having me layover at the exact airport I needed to get to in Japan……………….. (-_-) ……………….. Why you gotta lie to me, airline? So I called the booking agent and the airline was trying to charge me $2,000 more to stop in Japan for that one week… at this point in the story, I would like to give a shout out to the miracle worker, Marlene, at Valley Travel Agency. I went to a local travel agency and she was able to dig deep and help me find a reasonably priced flight to accommodate my stop in Japan. Support your local travel agents. They are amazing. -end-

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