Babysitters Club – 20th August 2022

If it’s not fulfilling is it worth it to stay?
When teaching is just babysitting and play
No discipline instilled yet everyone a star
A photo opportunity is all that we are


Life only ever ends in death. What’s to find along the way… except what I’ve already found? Why go anywhere to look for yourself when it’s yourself doing the looking?

Judge Anderson, Judge Dredd Megazine

Looking Good – 9th January 2022

This shiny apple, so appetising
Fools your sense without realising
Inside, the maggots, breeding more
In fact, it is rotten to the core
We sold the apple, sold it well
From the outside, no one can tell
This analogy can be multiplied
Across your beautiful nation wide
Within is decay, or already dead
No matter all the pretty words said
A conspiracy in which we all take part
Only the truth can fix this heart


Fuck the fuck off back to where you fucked on from.

Ricky LeFleur, Trailer Park Boys

Lower The Flags – 9th November 2021

Flights of fancy, a child always spoiled
Political wrangling, in scandals, embroiled
A name in history, now forever soiled
A handy harem, each night to select
Behaviour fitting one of total disrespect
A country mourning its own death from neglect
Ignorance is the most practiced of skills
Run away to a mansion in the hills
Escaping judgement on who pays the bills
An era ending not soon enough for some
Time to reflect on what has become
Lower the flags, put flowers in the gun

Growing Up In A House Of Cards – 15th September 2021

She grew up in the countryside
A daughter of farming folks
Nothing much expected of her
The butt of the villagers jokes
The poverty that surrounded her
Made no sense as she grew older
And she stopped believing
The things that her teachers told her
Revolution in the hearts and minds
Consciousness was being raised
And the young girl from the village
Was now the one being praised
She stood for what she believed
To bring her country change
And the people stood strong together
With a better system to arrange
She saw the source of the problem
Came directly from the top
Wild plans were being formulated
To bring them to stop
Bullets and brains were deployed
At times it seemed too hard
But soon the house would collapse
By removing a single card

Face – 14th July 2021

Let’s be straight and say what we mean
Because saving your face doesn’t keep it clean
Words that please can be heard as lies
To misunderstanding they give rise
Are you really so delicate you can’t hear
The truth when spoken loud and clear
We’re going backwards, why not advance
Here’s the real world, given a chance

Welcome To My Country – 6th July 2021

Keep the peasants quiet
With a useless education
Prayers and superstitions
The country’s core foundation
Bow to those above
And blame it all on karma
No king are you in this life
Just a subsistence farmer
Kept busy with daily gossip
And acceptance of one’s fate
While the elites siphon off
All the wealth you help create
Palaces grow wings of gold
Temples build new towers
There’s fifteen years in prison
If you dare to challenge their powers

We are teachers by trade, complainers by role – 3rd February 2021

Let’s make a list
So we can feel like we’re accomplishing something
So we can feel like we’re working together

Let’s sit in a circle adding to the list
As we move around the room one by one
As you make a suggestion begin sternly
– you take no shit –
To give credence to your semi-constructive argument

Tomorrow we’ll wonder where this generation
Gets their priorities from
Tomorrow my heart will skip a beat
As it does every morning nine months of the year

It has to do with this list
Before the bells even ring
Before the hair is even combed

Will the approach ever change
Or will it begin as I’ve said
And end with a lighthearted twist
To prove we’re all adults?

It has to do with this list
Which we’ll put in our pockets
To throw away at a later date

It has to do with this list
Which makes me feel more uncomfortable
Than I’ve ever felt
More apple pie than I’ve ever been

We are not housewives, executives, or entrepreneurs
We are teachers by trade, complainers by role

– Let’s Make a List by The Van Pelt

I really love the Van Pelt’s subdued musical tone and the singer’s talk-sing delivery. The lyrics here struck me deeply as these days, once again, I wake during the night thinking about how I could help this student or that student and really make a difference to their lives – if only there was enough time.

Let’s make a list
So we can feel like we’re accomplishing something
So we can feel like we’re working together

Lists and meetings – throwbacks to my office days – useless, endless, time-wasting meetings. Lists have their place but may also be overrated – yet here we are, in the absence of a better solution, doing the same so that we can feel like we are doing something. I like the playful sarcasm of these lines – it appeals directly to my Englishness.

Let’s sit in a circle adding to the list
As we move around the room one by one

See that list, let’s mindlessly add to it – we are accomplishing a list. You’re turn next.

As you make a suggestion begin sternly
– you take no shit –
To give credence to your semi-constructive argument

If I speak louder then my information must be more important. Oops – there’s my own sarcasm manifest. I must also remember not to use this strategy when I’m teaching – or in every day communication, come to that. Recall the stereotype of shouting louder to non-English speakers in the misguided belief that this will help them understand.

Tomorrow we’ll wonder where this generation
Gets their priorities from

I hate the kids! That’s what we are supposed to do, right? Yet, I don’t – I love them all very much – even the angry, lazy, nasty ones, the ones that remind me of myself. But I am not one of them and I shouldn’t expect them to bend to my equations, to live up to my expectations. That’s a useless frustration. I felt my grandparents look upon me in that tut-tutting way but my mother showed me and taught me to find my own way. It was the struggle I needed. It is the struggle I still endure and have learned to love.

Tomorrow my heart will skip a beat
As it does every morning nine months of the year

Every day of school I have to pretend I am a teacher. I am purely a teacher based on my mother tongue and my age. But I consider myself a student first. When I feel joy at seeing the student’s grow – I see my own journey. I feel grateful to them for teaching me about myself.

Will the approach ever change
Or will it begin as I’ve said
And end with a lighthearted twist
To prove we’re all adults?

These were the lyrics that really stood out when considering the education system in government schools in Thailand. I was told by other teachers that I would never be able to facilitate change in the system here. I took that as a coward’s statement. They chose the easy way, the way to not ruffle anyone’s feathers, to not take to task the inefficiencies that all can see. Even the students are aware of the low quality of education they receive and have made it part of the protest movement of this past year.

Anyway, the nail that sticks out gets hammered down and that is what had happened to me before here. But, the feathers were ruffled enough to make some change – I felt the sacrifice worth it and the lazy and noncommittal can benefit from it. Of course, there was no sweeping change to a utopia but patience will be rewarded. It may take another 100 years but I’d rather be a lit match that started a tiny fire than a bucket of water. I feel sorry for the kids – how can you hate them?

It has to do with this list
Which we’ll put in our pockets
To throw away at a later date

Ouch! Isn’t that the truth?

We are teachers by trade, complainers by role

Where do we get our priorities from?