Monday, November 29, 2010

School Inspection Underway

It's Monday and time for our school's inspection for the district competition that we've been preparing for all month. So basically this morning we were able to see all of the school's efforts come to a head, welcome the inspectors from the Ministry, and hopefully get back to normal around here.I snapped some pictures during some of the early morning festivities (greeting the Ministry members ceremony). The kids were ushered downstairs to the Sanam Yang (literally translated: rubber field) where they line up each morning, sing the national anthem, pray and receive any school news. They sat for what seemed like forever, waiting for the inspectors to arrive.The marching band sat patiently, waiting to play the national anthem. We usually have the anthem played over loudspeakers from a CD, but the band has been practicing for several weeks for a more flashy, student involved look. Eventually, they squeaked, squawked, pounded and cymballed their way through the national anthem. Although it wasn't the best rendition of the song ever played on Earth, it had a pure, innocent, rough feel to it, as if it was being played by fourth to sixth graders...oh wait, it was! That was good to see and hear though. They have improved quite a bit in the past couple weeks.We had a drum troupe prepare as well, they were responsible for playing the music while 4 of our girls danced traditional Thai dance for the judges...not to be judged, but just to welcome them to our school.One of the students was mine, from my fifth grade class. I didn't even know that she was involved in the dance until I saw her father trying to take photos of the dance, I looked closely and there she was! I didn't recognize her because she usually wears pink glasses and no makeup.They danced a dance or two and I snuck out of the school to the parking lot to take a few pictures of them dancing from the front. I got some dirty looks, some panicked looks from the admin people, but I stayed out of the line of sight of the judges and got some okay photos.Now, the judges are running around the school, observing classes and being catered to by a bunch of teachers and admin and high-up folks from the school that I rarely see. They walked by my sixth grade class and stopped and observed at the window for a minute, but otherwise stayed out of my hair.I'm very surprised that the school has kept the internet on, usually they would turn it off to avoid having computer monitors open to email or games or other websites that have nothing to do with school...not good for the inspectors to see.Perhaps the funniest thing was to see the poor students at lunch. Normally they wolf down their small portions or mystery food, then run to the small school snack bar where they sell deep fried chicken, deep fried hot dogs, deep fried fish, deep fried crab, deep fried french fries, deep fried tofu...pretty much anything you can think of and deep fried. Once a month they have 5 or 6 bags of watermelon or pineapple, which sit and get warm as the kids don't really have any appetite for healthy food.

Today, during lunch, I walked out to the snack bar. There were ten or fifteen students standing there with their money...only to find bottles of cold water as their only choice of snacks. Hahahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahah. Hahahahahaha. I thought that was great. The school knows what is "right" and "good" for the kids, but the only time they care is if there are people from the government rating the school! Hahahahahahaha. It's not funny, "they're" funny. They put nutrition in the Science curriculum as well as the Health curriculum, yet don't give the students an option to practice the healthy eating practices that we teach.

Back to normal tomorrow. I'm sure there are lots of kids that are dying for some fried heart-clogging snacks!

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