garfinken

I get this strange urge to slap people who sing I am a rock out loud*… It triggers my “anti-mime” reflex on some primal level.
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* Yes, this happens with surprising regularity in both Japan and Thailand (I hear that Scarborough Fair is the more popular track in China though.

Adventures in English Teaching

So you might have noticed that I don’t talk about my job here much, and there are several reasons for that. It’s mostly because I’ve read a lot of people blog about teaching and I personally found it less than enthralling, and that was before I was teaching. My not blogging about teaching definitely is not an indication that I don’t enjoy it… (After writing the previous passage, I realize that the only thing less enthralling than reading about English teaching on a blog is reading about why an English teacher who blogs doesn’t blog about work.)
Anyhow, today I had the hardest time figuring out what a student was trying to write about for an in-class assignment on what he had done for summer vacation. The words that caught my eyes on the page were “I went home and bred my niece.” Haha, I thought, and pointed out the mistake. He immediately corrected the sentence to “I went home and breed my niece.”
I told him to look up the word in the dictionary, which he did, and then turned quite red with embarrassment. Great, I thought, now I’ll finally figure out what he was trying to say. He corrected the sentence for the second time, and this time it said, “I went home and breeds my niece.” By this time I was feeling really quite sorry for his niece and decided to drop it altogether; I corrected his sentence to “I went home and took care of my niece.”
I’m still a bit unclear about what he was trying to say, though.
There – I’ve gone and blogged about English teaching, and the world might even be a bit better for it. Watch your nieces, though.

Ekusupato vs. Ekisupato

Is there anything more annoying than the jet set expert on (pick any foreign country)? I just read a guide to eating sushi by a self-proclaimed successful author who visited Japan a few times and was probably taken to nice places to eat, and now seems to be a full-blown master of sushi, sake, and Japanese table manners (among MANY other things).
Shabure, shabure, Mr. Roboto.

90-day report

Pretty much every foreigner in Thailand on a non-immigrant visa is supposed to report into immigration every 90 days. This may be in the form of a letter, except if the immigration officer tells you to report in person (or send a representative from your organization in). Of course, all the teachers at our school got stuck with the latter method, and the girl who usually goes in for us (we have to report to immigration in Nong Khai, on the border with Laos) was busy, so a coworker and I went in a university car. Nam also came along with us to help clear any snags that might come up (none did, luckily).
(My mom came out all the way from the states yesterday to stay with us and the baby for a month and a half.)
(We have a new nanny, who just started coming over last week.)
So we had to leave the baby at home all day with my mom who speaks no Thai and our nanny who speaks no English, and it was the longest time Nam has ever spent away from the baby. So you can probably guess the recurring topic of conversation in the car, three hours there and three hours back.
Of course, we got back home and everything was fine. Mom is still mom, nanny is still nanny, and baby is still unconcerned about the rising price of oil, so all is well.

Lighter shade of…

I noticed yesterday that Max’s eyes are turning brown. Or maybe it was just the lighting. Until now, his eyes looked black…
Yeah, maybe it was just the lighting.