In the Words of Forrest Gump…Like Peas and Carrots

I can’t keep up a blog to save my life. Since I won’t be updating any more on Sri Lanka, or my combo EARCOS-Bangkok and Japan trip over spring break, I can move on and actually post new and relevant travel stories.

This brings me to current day – graduate school in Bangkok. I suppose a perk of being an international teacher is that you can also “study abroad” for graduate school too. The program for an MA in International Education takes place over 13 months, and, in the summers, on one of four campuses worldwide – Madrid, Prague, Leysen (Switzerland), and Bangkok. Originally, I had Madrid picked out for myself, especially as I have pretty good Spanish language skills, but then Bangkok opened up in the spring.

Bangkok = four hours away from Shanghai, cheap housing, and damn good street food that costs less than two USD for lunch and dinner, and enough to do to keep you busy for months. It was pretty well decided within a day or two that Bangkok it was.

When I met the “recruiters” at the EARCOS-Bangkok shebang, there were three people total in the program for Bangkok. Small, of course, but we are pioneering spirits, right?

The total amount of people is eleven – for two degree programs. In my degree, we are the mighty…two. Seriously. But hey, two is like ying and yang, peanut butter and jelly, cheese and crackers, beer and pizza. Two can be awesome. Look at this way – things get done A LOT faster in class.

But more than just the two of us (cue Will Smith song from the 90s), there are the eleven of us when we’re in dual classes. A small but mighty group. They are a stone cold pack of awesome people. From all over and teaching all over, there is nothing better than trading stories, adventures, and teaching advice. We bonded over Standard Deviation (statistically speaking, if you will), research proposals, and street food. Someone is always game for a good laugh.

And it’s not just the students – it’s the staff at our host school which make Bangkok the best. From day one, I’ve been surrounded with their warmth, generosity, spirit, and kindness. They welcomed us with a get-together and awesome music – even the rain couldn’t make us stop chatting that night! When we got tired of instant coffee, they put in a coffee pot and we could load up on caffeine all day long. Delicious fruit and little snacks materialize when we have the munchies – which is All. The. Time. Recommendations for food and fun? They were right on it. Need something printed? Send it and they bring it up to you. Need a willing ear to listen and a pint at the local pub to help overcome stress? We’ve got it here. They’re the ones who want us to enjoy our experience in BK. I can’t be more happy with how they’ve been so ready to embrace our presence there. Blessed only begins to cover how I feel when I think about the people I’ve met and worked with in the last three weeks. We are our own puzzles and puzzle pieces that fit nicely together.

I mean, I’ve always taken school very seriously. I’m that kid who always wants A’s. I’ve had late nights where I’m up until past midnight to perfect assignments. After all, this degree is a goal I set for myself before I even graduated from undergrad. Not an international education degree, of course – that was hardly in my mind back then – but a master’s degree. I can’t wait until I hold the degree in my hand.

So, after learning more about math in five days in Research Methods than I have in the last ten years, I’m wrapping up my third week of insane cranium-packing information and getting ready for the final week and going back to Shanghai. I have to say – I have enjoyed the “fresh” city air in Bangkok!

With a little down time this weekend, I’m going to update this blog to reflect upon, at least, my time here in the BK.

Good luck, right?

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