Friday, January 2, 2015

School Celebrations

The thing I have learned about blogging it I have so many thing I want to write that I get behind in posting or I have absolutely nothing of interest to say. There is no in between. Right now I am in the I have so many things to post stage which I admit is the better of the two dilemmas. So bare with  me as I backtrack to Christmas Eve. 

My school held a "Christmas" celebration. And though there was a homemade Christmas tree made out of recycled water bottles, it wasn't so much of a Christmas celebration as it was a showcase of student work. Nevertheless I had a blast hanging out with all my students and having an unexpected day off from teaching. 

The school was sectioned off by department and each section was filled with displays of student works and student activities. I work in the foreign language department which still weirds me out to think about. For one I don't feel qualified to be a professor in a foreign language department (yet here I am) and second I often find myself wondering why my department is called "foreign language" when i'm teaching English... then I remember English is a foreign language when you are living in Laos. 

I teach both year 2 and year 4 students at the school and there is currently no year 1 which means I teach 2/3 of the English majors at the school. So I have a lot of students, and it is a rare occasion that I get to spend time with them all together. But this was one of those occasions. Being a special event meant an excuse for my students to take lots of pictures with me (not that they ever need an excuse). My students piled in for pictures. I do not exaggerate when I say I think I took over 100 something pictures. My face hurt so much from smiling that I lost feeling in my right cheek and by the end I wasn't sure if I was even smiling anymore. I couldn't tell. I took group pictures and then individual pictures and then pictures with people who aren't even my students. Every time I thought I was done another student would run up with their phone in hand in hopes to snap a picture with the ajaan falang (foreign teacher). Note: I also picked a day to wear a horrible outfit where absolutely nothing matched, but it was cold and I didn't come to Laos prepared with many warm clothes.

Besides the endless picture taking there was also karaoke (it isn't a Lao party unless there is karaoke), games (that I didn't quite understand), dancing, plays, and a food contest. 

Though the event lasted all day I was only able to stay until lunch. And unlike some Lao celebrations i've been too, I was actually disappointed to have to leave this one so early.

I finished the morning off eating sticky rice and fish with my year 4 class before having to leave for Lao class. Which ended up being cancelled, just my luck. Nevertheless I really had so much fun getting to spend the morning with my students. Each one of them is so precious to me and holds a special place in my heart. I struggle with trying to not view them as little children. Not in a condescending way but in a I want the best for them when they "grow up" and graduate kind of way. I constantly have to remind myself that most of them are my age or even older.


Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons said...

Your class seems so sweet. And I love that karaoke is a necessity! x

Dani said...

They are really sweet. And oh how they love their karaoke here! It's fine until it is still going at 4 in the morning; the karaoke is endless here.

Jana-Maria Shumaker said...

Wow this looks amazing. I admire your courage of going to Laos to teach. I would honestly be a bit nervous in such a foreign culture :). But it looks like a lot of fun!.

Greetings from LA

Dani said...

Thank you! It has been lots of fun! Sometimes it can be difficult to live in such a foreign culture, but you begin to adjust. Then somehow you forget how different everything is because it just becomes normal.

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