Til The End – 23rd November 2022

Make sure to watch til the end
This video needs the stats
Nothing happens at that point
As you can see within the chats
But make sure to watch til the end
Cos this video needs to go viral
A dollar for every ad served
Within this ever-downward spiral
Make sure to watch til the end
If you really want to laugh
Forget about the time you’ve wasted
Cutting your life in half
Make sure to watch til the end
Scroll and pause, pause and scroll
You’re the product in this game
And the devil wants your soul
So make sure you watch til the end…


The foundations of a free country is that your freedom to swing your fist ends where someone else’s nose begins.

Ryan Holiday

Today I’m feeling:
Reasonably happy.
Today I’m grateful for:
The old auntie at the market that made an old-style Thai dessert that is hard to come across. It’s a little like Japanese mochi, made with sticky rice and flour and other things I don’t recognise.
The best thing about today was:
Explaining some work to a couple of students and seeing the joy of understanding on their faces when it clicked for them. Small steps. Interested students are a teacher’s pleasure. Uninterested students are impossible to get through to and those moments of understanding are far fewer with them. So even a poorer student that shows interest is preferred.
Daily thought
Who is someone living that you admire?
I’ve been thinking about this off and on all day and as was commented on where I found this question, it is much easier to come up with a person that is dead. Why is that? A finished story perhaps. A life that no longer can be spoiled… I admire many of my musician friends, just for their abilities to create music that sparks me. This can apply to artists I don’t know too but the connection feels vaguer these days. This admiration is not necessarily for who these people are but for things they created, though there is a strong connection in the qualities of patience and persistence amongst other things. If I have admiration for who a person is then that would be Amy. She has her ups and downs as much as anyone but in general, is a happy person whose positivity is seen by most and I’m sure has helped guide her through life with good results. I admire her attitude. I’m not like that, not like her in that way. I wish I could be but I just can’t. It’s one of the reasons I want to be with her though. She’s a counterbalance for me.
What’s your best advice for teenagers?
The best advice is what I have learned through reading about Stoicism and understanding the dichotomy of control. As I am teaching teenagers at the moment this often comes up for them in learning about dealing with relationships and situations. It is always something I have to remind myself about every day though. I think I’ll make that a daily question for myself from tomorrow.

I took this picture because this is typical of my students in class. Today I laughed with them but actually, I feel disappointed for them. The environment is just not conducive to learning.

Every everything (The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #15) – 7th December 2019

It’s taken me more than a year and a half to recover!

When I returned from the CELTA training course I found my brain had changed.  I seem to flip between data driven thinking and artistic thinking and often cannot find a good balance.  The training was very linear and intensive (as it should be) and on reflection now, some 18 months later, was easier to complete than I imagined beforehand and during.  The pressure to achieve was very high but that pressure mostly came from within.  Now, I realise that I can turn my hand to anything if I wish to.

Of course, the circumstances since the training have mostly helped me arrive at this conclusion.  First I started doing some free teaching with students from the local university.  This gave me a little self confidence though I was often shocked at the students poor language levels, in the language they are studying for their degrees, whatever the subject.  I can suggest to myself that I could probably easily complete a degree at the university here purely based on the fact I can use the language fully.  Anyway, that’s by the by for now as I’m not really considering that as an option at the moment.

After a few months kicking around and enjoying much free time I ended up working with Grade 5 students at a nearby provincial school.  I have a million stories from there, many which I would like to forget.  I soon discovered the crazy dysfunction in the education system here.  If it’s obvious to me, an unqualified teacher starting their first job then the system must be pretty poor.

I don’t intend to tarnish the education system as a whole as that would be unfair.  The circumstances I was in influenced a lot of my impressions and I try to understand that what I saw was not indicative of other places.  It was, however, the belief of many others teaching here that things are not much better elsewhere in the country.  There are a million reasons for this and books could be filled trying to explain.  The main down side for me was that I felt that I was unable to do a good job and provide useful learning for the students a lot of the time.  I hate doing a bad job – especially when eventually someone else is going to suffer for it.  So that was the other down side – watching willing students deal with the inadequacies of the system which lead to inconsistency in almost everything.  Frustrating beyond belief.

Beyond that though I have found myself with a passion and love for the students that has made me incredibly happy.  It’s a job that I really love to invest my time in and to go to work to do it.  I’ll talk more about this in future.

Just a short one this time as I push myself to get back into this.

“Every heartbeat, every movement, every moment, every sigh.”


Gratitude Journal

I am so grateful and happy to go to school on Friday, which was hard as I had been sick this week and had a bad experience on Monday. The kids also drove me crazy and made me quite angry but I survived and talked to Kru Noon about strategies to get them to listen more. I will take her advice and try this next week!


The Chiang Rai Alternative Hour #15

Music from Hamster Theatre, Super Thief, Infidel-Castro!, Arm, Kultur Shock, Captain Beefheart, Fugazi, Bogshed, Brainiac, Neon Rose, By The End of Tonight, Rafter, Huggy Bear, Jimmy Two Hands, Zu/Mats Gustafsson, Secret Hate and The Ex.

The Week That Was – 30th September 1979

Record of the week: Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star
Highest entry: Dooleys – Chosen Few

1st Aug 2022 – The Dooleys. A name best forgotten, surely. Are there any Dooleys fans out there that wish to argue their case?

30th September 1979
Them lot came round
Coo!
2p 2p

1st October 1979
Advice
Nothing
2p 2p

1st Aug 2022 – Advice? I wonder what that was? Sounds like some school-related subject about future employment wishes. Or possibly something set up to give us pre-adolescents advice about our soon-to-be raging hormones.

2nd October 1979
No
2p 2p

3rd October 1979
(tick)
No
2p

1st Aug 2022 – The idea of maintaining a diary every day had worn thin by the end of month nine.

4th October 1979
1. Police
2. Dreaming
3. Gary Numan
4. Status Quo
5. Bellamy Bros
6. Buggles
7. Michael Jackson
8. Rainbow
9. Dollar
10. ELO
2p 2p

5th October 1979
(tick)
No
2p

6th October 1979
Leeds 2-1 Ipswich
2p

1st Aug 2022 – Well, there was not much reported for this week of my life. I hope that when I go to my next life and watch the video of this life that it was slightly more interesting than I remembered.