Week one is in the bag, I did three of my 8 total lessons. It's a bit weird to think about. Forgive me if this post goes a bit wonky... I got little sleep last night and I've had a few beers and a fairly in depth conversation tonight so my head is kinda spinning.
Regarding the course itself, I'm doing quite well. I wasn't thrilled with my lesson for today - things went a bit astray... it was a reading task and the students were talking (and talking in Thai at that), and then when there was a speaking task... one group didn't actually talk at all. It's a classroom management thing, and I'll need to work on that a bit more in the next class. Things are going to get a bit tougher and tougher as we go on I think, because we're learning something each day and need to be able to incorporate it into each successive lesson. So it's okay if we're flailing in the first lesson or two... but I think next week, we'll be expected to pull it together. I don't know. Hard to say. I don't feel overwhelmed with the amount of information we're being given, but it's still hard for me to deal with making mistakes in the classroom. I better get over it quick because it's not exactly going to stop happening.
As far as the people... it's interesting. I think that, as with any high pressure situation, people's true stripes start coming out. I've seen hints of it already. It'll be interesting to see what else comes out. You know, we're all bright eyed and bushy tailed the first day, but after a very intensive week, one or two of the students are already starting to show signs of wear. It's kind of hard for me to watch because thus far...I'm not overwhelmed. Yes it is a LOT of work and I have two assignments and a lesson to plan this weekend... I'm going to need to stay focused if I'm going to keep my head above water. But intellectually, thus far, it's not too much. And my second lesson, today, was also marked "Above Standard." It makes me feel very good to know that the first one wasn't just a fluke, it really reinforces the fact that I'm on the right track - career wise. But I need to not get focused on the external reward part. I just need to keep reminding myself that I don't need to be perfect, I just need to pass. Please remind me of this if I start sounding freaked out.
So tonight was interesting. A bunch of the boys went out to party (...) the couple- Shelia & Joey- went home to crash and I was kinda bummed that we wouldn't all be going out together (am I so Polyanna or what?) but I guess it makes sense. I ended up getting a beer and dinner with the Brit and we had a rather more intense conversation than I'm used to having. For one thing he gave me his first impression of me... no surprise "Proper" was how he put it and he contrasted that with how I was as he got to talk to me. And I explained that it wasn't so much that I'm "proper" as I try to be "appropriate" - class time, put on the good student hat, at the bar - kick back a bit. It was a very interesting conversation. He challenges me in a way that I'm not at all used to being challenged. Don't get any ideas - he has a girlfriend that he's completely head over heels for (it's endearing really) ... but I do like him quite a bit. Oh - and I got to ride on the back of his motorbike which I enjoyed immensely.
It's just going to be an interesting bunch to get to know. Everyone's got a story - I mean, that's true of everyone anywhere. But it means something to pack up your life and head abroad for an experience like this.... and to someplace like Thailand in particular. It just makes you think - who's running from something, who's running towards something, who's just out for fun, who's in it for a cultural experience? I'm a bit curious to see what shakes out. I'm a bit concerned about what's going to shake out of me.
The Brit & I talked about emotional boundaries, how it's important to know the difference between "my problem" and "not my problem". And yeah, I have a bit of work to do in that area (not so much). But I think my issue is more that I'm very good at putting up the emotional boundaries - the whole "proper" thing... it's hard for me to know when to take them down.
Hmmm...maybe I should leave it at that. My head is spinning... lots to think about on several different levels. OMG - it's only 9:30 but it feels like 2 am!