Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Trials and Tribulations
So today's entry will not contain pictures because I cannot use my own computer on the web and just to get to this page took me over an hour. Tomorrow we head to our real "homes" and Monday we start in our own classrooms. In my last practicum class we organized a sort of review Olympics and gave out pencils as prizes. The kids gave us flowers they had picked when we arrived and they were wonderful and excited by the games. Lest you think it is all flowers and happy times, I could tell you about the close to unendurable heat I am sitting in at the moment as I try to navigate through the Thai on my screen and on the keyboard and the horrible Internet service ( I know what you are thinking- oh boo hoo). I just got back from doing a small load of laundry that took me about an hour an a half as I have to do the underwear by hand and then shepard the rest through a very strange two tub machine and then hang it to dry. After my students finished with our games they immediately went to work. The girls helping clean up after the lunch they served us and the first grade boys lugging cinder blocks to the workmen who are constructing a wall for a new classroom. I actually intervened at one point to take down some cinder blocks from the stack because I was afraid the way they were pulling on them they were in danger of being crushed by a toppling bunch of blocks. It is very difficult to get over our ideas of safety and security and what a child should do, and it felt strange even taking this small step. Yet everywhere there are very tiny children stacked onto mopeds and drifting out into roads and there just doesn't seem to be the concern or oversight and things go fine. I would be interested in the mortality and accident rate for children. There is a sense of awareness and personal responsibility that we have insulated ourselves from in Western Culture. The Thais often refer to our "laziness" and when you see such young children working hard without complaint and adolescents lugging gravel or mixing cement, their point of view makes more sense.I try not to romanticise their daily life- much of it is brutally hard- but after living in the States my whole life I know that a wholly comfortable and secure existence as sold to us by Madison Avenue is also a crock of shit. Hopefully my Internet tomorrow will be functioning and I will be able to post pictures and a series of pieces that I have not been able to get online. Like my 1$ haircut I got yesterday in town. The barber was a real pro and he is definitely my go to guy for the year!