I've got news. I've accepted the 3rd grade homeroom teacher position in Lampang, Thailand at Cranberry International School. But I'm a little hesitant to make this announcement because so many plans have fallen through this past year. I'm scared!
It's also been a marathon trying to make this happen, partly due to circumstances and partly because I wasn't sure I wanted to move back North again.
Because while the North (Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai) is coveted for it's cooler weather and kinder people, it's also unfortunately surrounded by slash and burn agriculture practiced by Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and itself. The pollution levels during these times can be apocalyptic. Folks who can afford it, usually take a holiday.
But I can't stay here in Rayong any longer. I've worked the equivalent of seven days so far this year because of lockdown and low enrollment. There's been no online work or compensation, so while the air is cleaner by the sea, it's also untenable.
The big reason why I've stuck with language schools this long is because it's part-time and allows me the freedom to write. So the challenge has always been to find work that still gives me the time and energy to pursue writing.
Teaching can be exhausting. You're performing, putting out fires, and prodding students. But like any job, when you come home, you don't necessarily want to open up a Word doc and start typing. You want to have a glass of wine, put your feet up, and drape a hot towel over your face.
But CIS kept pursuing me even after I turned them down twice in 2020. They also hired a visa agent to help us with our visa concerns. And when we visited the school in early April, I liked what I saw: a small school with lots of room to grow, well-behaved students, and friendly staff.
My contact during all this time has been the current 3rd grade teacher, another Asian American in Thailand with ties to Lamphun (his wife's family is from there and my mom is too!), and he's been exceptional. I was sad to hear that he's returning to the US, but it looks like I'll not only inherit his position, but his rental as well.
And as far as free time, we get 13 WEEKS PAID VACATION to be broken down throughout the year, Christmas, Thai New Year, etc, but hot damn I better find the time to write, right?
So I've got a big move and lifestyle change coming up. It's going to be a lot of work. I haven't taught primary since I was in the States, but I've a fair amount of experience in elementary education, so I'm not worried about that part. My newsletter frequency might drop off a bit though, but I'll try to compensate by being on IG or FB with pics of my new life. I'm ready for it.
Things Worth Sharing
🐦 Don't you hate captcha? Click on all the fire hydrants or crosswalks or bird shit. Well, someone made a Doom Captcha and it's awesome.
🍓 A collection of manifestos by important people, if that's your jam.
📚 Massimo Listri's photos of 13 libraries (Oooo) My version of heaven, but the books have to be in English!
🖥️ Watch leena norms being leena norms defending the arts (in the UK).
💉 When your friend doesn't want the vaccine. A NYT's interactive quiz on how to answer back. [I know they're subscription-based so I'm not sure if this will work but was like a choose-your-own-adventure conversation.]
🍿Vanity Fair shares their 25 most influential movies scenes from the last 25 years (in which the film snippets run in the background). It's fun. I did notice that none of their recommendations were playing on Netflix... Hmmm.
🧼 Oh, and have you seen Bo Burnham's Netflix special Inside? He filmed and wrote it during lockdown, and while it's a bit self-indulgent, he's also America's answer to Tim Minchin.
Here's his Internet song which is from the special.
“What did the little corn say to the mama corn?"
Where is pop corn?
I follow Jee Won Park on Instagram. A South Korean digital artist whose work is so pink! and pretty. 🌸
What's new with you, boo?
No Girl is an Island
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