Teaching isn’t all it’s cracked up to be sometimes…

These are my last two facebook posts about my weekend class, needless to say the word ‘potential’ does not feature in their vocabulary….

1.

Today teaching yet another advanced class. The word ‘advanced’ in this country apparently means having the ability to say their own name….

Conversation between a group of students; three 18 year old girls

Me: What do you do?
Student 1: Student
Me: OK… And what do you want to do when you are older?
Student 1: Doctor
Me: Brilliant, and what about you, what do you want to be?
Student 2: I want to do a doctor
Me: …Well you can do her then….
<silence>
Me: What about you, what would you like to be?
Student 3: I want to do a doctor
Me: That’s handy, you can all do each other and i’ll watch.
<more silence>

when i peg it and reach the pearly gates, Saint Peter is going to ask me about my contribution to society. What the hell am i going to say to him?

2. (The very next day)

Day 2 of my award winning class; In the first ten minutes i got them to write down as many English names as they can think of.

(after three minutes)
Student 1: Teacher, i don’t know any names
Me: OK, think about any western movies you like. Is there an American or English film you like?
Student 1: Yes
Me: ….
Student 1: ….
Me: …Does this film have a name?
Student 1: Fast and Furious
Me: Great! And who is in that film?
Student 1: Paul Walker
Me: And what is Paul Walker’s first name?
Student 1: I don’t know

I know what i’m going to say to Saint Peter when i see him now; i’m going to say i spent the majority of my life helping the pointless….

Le Tournoi De Ping Pong: Songkran Special!

Quick introduction; i expected 3 people to turn up, ended up with 15! Normally in Thailand people say that they are going to come but they come up with flimsy excuses either on the day or the next time you see them. So when most people turned up, some with friends of theirs as well, i was impressed and slightly overwhelmed by the daunting prospect of having to organize a larger tournament than usual. 20150415_163647 One of the teachers i worked with, David, drew the groups:

Group A: Sasha (RUS) Jason (GHA) Mike (CAN) Marcin (POL)

Group B: Preaw (THA) Lewis (ENG or ‘Watford’) Rita (CAN) Liz (GHA)

Group C: Scott (GHA) Sam (USA) David (USA)

Group D: Diana (KAZ) Niels (NED) Harrison (FRA) Marina (THA)

Note 1: If i wasn’t 100% sure which country they came from, by default they had to represent Ghana (GHA)

Note 2: Harrison is actually Amurrican, but i like saying his name in a mock French accent…

You may be wondering why Group C has three people when it would make sense for Group D to have three people instead. This is because the groups were constantly changing with people turning up two hours late, not showing up or chickening out at the last minute. This lead to a lot of shuffling of the metaphorical deck. In fact Group B was originally supposed to have Eduardo, last months runner up, in it. This would have been a cool feature to have a repeat of last month’s final in the group stages, however Eduardo quietly disappeared after twenty minutes and no-one could account for him, so his place was taken by one member of the Canadian Couple (not to be confused with the Canadian Club, which is a Whisky…)

Results: 20150415_163633

Group A

(RUS) Sasha 5 -11 Jason (GHA)

(POL) Marcin 11 – 5 Mike (CAN)

(RUS) Sasha 2 – 11 Marcin (POL)

(GHA) Jason 6 – 11 Mike (CAN)

(RUS) Sasha 11 – 9 Mike (CAN)

(POL) Marcin 11 – 6 Jason (GHA)

Group B

(THA) Preaw 1 – 11 Lewis (ENG)

(CAN) Rita 11 – 6 Liz (GHA)

(THA) Preaw 11 – 9 Rita (CAN)

(ENG) Lewis 11 – 3 Liz (GHA)

(THA) Preaw 4 – 11 Liz (GHA)

(ENG) Lewis 11 – 2 Rita (CAN)

Group C

(GHA) Scott 11 – 3 Sam (USA)

(GHA) Scott 1 – 11 David (USA)

(USA) Sam 1 – 11 David (USA)

Group D

 (KAZ) Diana 6 – 11 Niels (NED)

(FRA) Harrison 11 – 9 Marina (THA)

 (KAZ) Diana 2 – 11 Harrison (FRA)

(NED) Niels 11 – 3 Marina (THA)

 (KAZ) Diana 3 – 11 Marina (THA)

(FRA) Harrison 11 – 6 Niels (NED)

Groups:

Name                          PD  PTS

Group A

Marcin (POL)             +21     6

Mike (CAN)                 -3      2

Jason (GHA)               -5      2

Sasha (RUS)             -13      2

Group B

Lewis (ENG)         +27       6

Rita (CAN)              -6       2

Liz (GHA)                -6       2

Preaw (THA)          -15       2

*Note: As Rita and Liz finished with the same points and point difference i chose who was the fittest….Just kidding, we went by who won the game between them. I would have preferred a game of strip poker. That way everyone wins! But both Rita and Liz are in long term relationships so we (and by we, i mean me!) were left wondering what could have been…

Group C

David (USA)           +20      4

Scott (GHA)            -2       2

Sam (USA)           -18       0

Group D

Harrison (FRA)      +16      6

Niels (NED)             +8       4

Marina (THA)           -2       2

Diana (KAZ)            -22      0

* The top two of each group advanced to the quarter finals, whereas the losers had the privilege of staring at my pert bum while i played my quarter final…

Quarter Finals

So now things were getting heated, and not just because the males were frustrated that there was no strip poker going on. There were a few shocks, for example i expected Sasha and Marina not to go out in the group stages. Judging by the way that Marina was playing when she started (which was about two hours after everyone else had arrived…) We expected her to clean house! So we were left with the quarter finalists. Because i am such a massive bellend i ballsed this up because the people in the group stages would have met each other again in the semis instead of the final had they both progressed. Fortunately all the group winners won their quarter final so no one noticed. Shit… I’ve just given the results away. Oh well, ignore that huge spoiler and continue reading. I suppose i might as well just give you the results now….

(POL) Marcin 11-3 11-7 Scott (GHA)

(USA) David 11-7 11-7 Mike (CAN)

(ENG) Lewis 11-4 9-11 11-3 Niels (NED)

(FRA) Harrison 11-5 11-5 Rita (CAN)

Semi Finals:

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Which meant we were left with four: A Polish guy who was playing like a beast, an Amurrican who looked the furthest thing from a beast, me and the newly adopted French guy simply because i liked saying ‘Harrison’ in an aggressive French accent. Marcin was the favourite, but David had other ideas (and they were pretty good too! He should go to Dragons Den with them before i steal them…) and polished him off in straight sets. I played an absolute marathon with Harrison, eventually losing to the physical Adonis that the French have temporarily stolen from North America. We embraced afterwards, but unfortunately i let England down in our over 1000 year long feud with France, with the French winning AGAIN!

(USA) David 11-8 11-9 Marcin (POL)

(FRA) Harrison 16-18 11-9 14-12 Lewis (ENG)

(Told you it was a marathon!)

The Final:

That meant we had an All-American final (kind of…) Between the sexy David, and the even sexier Harrison. One of these beauties was about to claim my title, and with it, The Office box set season 1-4 (Which STILL hasn’t been claimed by anybody!) and a tin of mackerel from 7/11. Oh, and just in case you were wondering why there was no third place match, it was because Marcin and Diana swiftly left after Marcin lost. I didn’t mind though, Marcin would have battered me!

I would like to tell you it was a memorable final…so i’m going to lie and say it was! In truth i was exhausted after my long battle with the French, so i drifted in and out of this one. As i’m guessing Harrison did too. With David taking full advantage of the situation, winning in straight sets.

(USA) David 14-12 11-7 Harrison (FRA)

Which means we have crowned a new champion! I hope he defends his title because of his aura of coolness he instantly attracts a minimum of four people wherever he goes, bringing extra people for the next tournament with him.

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David holding his tin of mackerel (although you can’t see it) either thanking the gods for his victory or pointing out that the light above is broken and needs replacing…

The Silver Temple, Chiang Mai. Take 2

A couple of weeks ago I went out with ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Thacker (who now has his own TV show on Thai TV on Saturdays believe it or not!) and Catch A Door (Click on the last ping pong tournament to find out who ‘Catch A Door’ is…) to a nearby temple. Catch A Door was leaving the next day to go to Nepal so I wanted to show him something that most people hadn’t seen. ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Thacker’ was flying to Bangkok that day to I thought it would be cool to go to the silver temple which is not only surprisingly close to where I live, but so many people are unaware of it. So off we went. We had fun and acted like teenagers like most boys do when they are in a group together, took a few photos and disappeared into out respective sunsets.

So why is this take 2 do you ask? Good question! I went to write about this last week and for some reason all my photos had disappeared from my phone, and i mean ALL of them. I looked at my phone for a few minutes hoping they would magically appear again and when they didn’t, I realised I had to go again to get the photos and secure some evidence of my trip. So below are some photos of a really cool temple. The main temple is just your bog standard temple, but the temple to the side of it is made entirely out of silver.

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Look at the detail they have put into these temples…

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They had signs made out of silver which was a nice touch, they even had a small silver tram!

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Simply breathtaking!

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Finally, the last picture is the entrance just off of the road. it’s definitely a hidden treasure. Blink and you’ll miss it!

I’m trying to play cupid at school

There are 2 students in my class, one of them is this gorgeous but ridiculously shy girl who has one of those personalities that you can’t help but warm to, the other is an equally shy male student who is in the process of an incredibly complex teaching training course. He’s a nice guy and very intelligent, so naturally after i saw a few glances and smiles from the two i made it my duty to try and get these two together.

Of course, they are both shy so they won’t do it by themselves, so i made a few jokes in class about them being together. they both seemed receptive to the idea but neither of them would make the first move. On Monday i said sternly, yet jokingly to the male that if he didn’t take her out then i would. To which he smiled and said “OK…” I was so excited by this that i slapped down 100 baht and said that i would pay for the first dinner. The girl smirked and said “That’s not enough for me!” and giggled. At least she sets her standards high! Cheeky bitch, gimme back my 100 baht…..

It’s quite funny because i have seen many a teacher try to penetrate as many of their students as they can, where i’m trying to actually set them up with each other. Oh young love, i hope i get an invite to the wedding…

So hows the book doing?

What this one?

destinybookcover1

It’s doing well. I haven’t got a review yet, but these things take time. It took two and a half months before i got my first review for my second book. I’m not advertising it anywhere either so i can’t complain. Anything i get at all before i start pushing the book is a bonus really.

No, i meant your latest one!

Oh the pornstar one? She’s in Prague filming a couple of scenes there. I want to get her to meet some bitter actresses who have had some bad luck in the industry, as well as some male stars who are arseholes. It would be unfair to portray anything as this ray of sunshine that would be a dream job for anyone. You have to show the negatives as well as the positives. I’ve also started to make it a bit more realistic. At the start of her career I’ve made it where she is filming in someone’s basement with directors who think they are better than you and probably won’t pay you. This may not be what the industry is like but it’s mainly to get the reader to rally behind the protagonist and show that she’s a tough cookie mentally and willing to pay her dues. Later on in the book i want it to be much more realistic, which is not what the average person would think…

Which is….? 

Ha ha! Nice try, you have to buy it.

Gotcha, anything else?

Not really, just writing, working and chilling. It’s REALLY hot in Thailand at the moment so I’ve been cranky for a while. Other than that i don’t have much to report. Next week will be the Songkran Special in the ping pong tournament saga. BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Natural Character Development

Recently I’ve been in a really shitty mood. There’s no real explanation for this but of course me being me i’m massively over-thinking things and trying to figure out something that most likely is impossible to figure out.

One of the reasons swirling around in my head is that i’m finally turning into my dad; a guy who is not a very nice man but is an extremely good actor, so most people think he is an amazing man. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree so maybe i’m making that transition into becoming a tosser. Except whereas he is playing it smart, i couldn’t care less and almost want that confrontation.

Another thing could be that i’m pushing myself too hard again. Doing a job like teaching is mentally draining when you are trying to prepare people for exams who are nowhere near that level. When you perform miracles your boss tends to look at you as if to say, “Good, do it again!” throw in trying to write, publish and advertise books into the mix, and it’s no wonder that i want a very long break from it all.

How does this affect my book i hear you ask? Well, my character’s popularity is just taking off as is her career. Like most of my characters i wanted her to be grounded so there is some likability to the character which makes the reader want to continue reading, however due to my mindset she seems to be veering off towards becoming a complete dickhead.

This may be a genius move in terms of the book. Fame got to her head and all that kind of thing. You may also be thinking since the author has to become the character, this may be the character’s natural personality switch. Now i’m torn between postponing the book until my mind clears up (if it ever does), and continuing as usual and letting her become a nasty piece of work.

I know that if i was reading a book and the main character was not likeable, Unless it was a superbly written book i would stop reading it. If it was so well written that i couldn’t put it down i would want her to get her comeuppance, otherwise it would wind me up.

So here i am at a crossroads; do i let nature take its course and hope it doesn’t mess up the natural flow of the story, or do i wait a while, then stick to the script and make her somebody you want to rally behind. Or i could meet halfway and write exactly the opposite of how i’m feeling right now. I guess it would be rewarding if i write about someone’s mindset when it isn’t my own. That can only aid me in the future when i need more diverse characters. I’ll let you know how it goes….

So I’ve just written 500 words of absolute rubbish

You know that feeling of euphoria when you’ve absolutely nailed a scene and you possibly do a little jig to celebrate, then you read it back to yourself and realise that it’s…let’s face it; shit? Yep, had this last night at 2 in the morning.

I was well chuffed when i had written it down, i hadn’t written anything in 3 days so it was nice to physically get something on paper (or the computer in this case) however i wasn’t anticipating that what i was going to write would be garbage.

I suppose it is good that i can recognize when something isn’t written to a high enough standard rather than writing any old rubbish, but it’s still annoying that i have to plan out the whole scene again and rewrite it. Oh well, here i go. Wish me luck!