Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The great dog and pony show

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy...certainly does. Our classes lately have been dull, but we are able to loosen up when nobody is looking, haha.The most recent happening at our school is best described as a "Dog and Pony Show". The school is competing for a district award, apparently given to the area's best school, criteria unknown to me.

As such, there have been long-needed improvements to the facility, lots of window dressing, full soap dispensers in the bathrooms, non-diluted soap in the dispensers and a student band in the mornings playing the national anthem rather than the usual recording for the students to sing along with.The Thai teachers are running around like proverbial decapitated fowl, the students are being herded here and there to learn how to sit properly, raise their hands, sing the anthem loudly and to not speak out of turn (if the judge happens to be sitting, judging their classroom) and the foreigners are kinda sitting around trying not to laugh and trying to stay out of everybody's way.

It reminds me of the military, when the president is coming to the state and there is a 5% chance that he may visit the base or drive past the bivouac site...ironing camouflage uniforms to sharp creases while training to crawl around in the sand and mud. I'd think the president or generals would rather see filthy, dirty, hardcore Marines, not prettied up fakes decked out in their shiniest uniforms that don't match their environs! But that's what a Dog and Pony Show is really...Jump through this hoop, jump through that hoop. The school is basically preparing to present itself as something it is not, haha.The kids do tend to be a little better behaved during this past week, perhaps they're taking to the "re-programming" of their behavior or they're just tired of being beaten with rulers and pointer sticks. Here are some pictures of today's sixth grade class, two or three times a year I have a quiet, controlled class like this! We do still have fun though!The kids don't particularly like when I mimic them, but at least I THINK ITS FUNNY!!!This past Sunday was also Loy Kratong Day in Thailand, my first spent alone. Usually we float our kratong on the river, on the klong or in a pond...this year Pae and I virtually "Loy'd our Kratongs" online! Pretty cool for those who are far apart. Here are some pictures of some of the kids who showed up at school in traditional Thai dress for the Friday before Loy Kratong Day.Many of these seem more Modern Traditional to me, ruffled blouses, etc. There was even a little girl from one of the northern Thai provinces, where the traditional dress is very much different. I saw her as I left school but was unable to get a picture as she was hurrying into a waiting car. Again, maybe only one of two or three days in the school year where students aren't required to wear the school uniform. The others are for Sports Day and Field Trip days...and Halloween, although not many kids actually dress up.

Pae is in Colombo, Sri Lanka today. She arrived early morning and will take a nap before exploring the rainy city today...she flies back to Amman early Thursday morning. She texted me and said it is very green there, which she enjoys especially since she now lives in a desert country!

1 comment:

mardenheyjude said...

Dog and Pony Shows are so common here and now I gather that they are common world wide. When it comes to competitions people do whatever they can to look better than others in the competition. Being the best is so important to people. I myself believe that being yourself is more important. I can see right through phoney boloney in some people.

I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Day and let you know that I will be thinking of you during the day. I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to following your blog. I enjoy very much reading about your life in Thailand with Pae and your school kids. I look forward to reading your posts. Love always, Auntie

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