Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10, 2011

Jeanne here:

I am still here in Thailand, even though we ended our workshops yesterday.  We had a grand ending to a terrific six days with the participants. They are each staff development folks for the nation of Thailand, and serve as the key personnel to train teachers and write curriculum, even though many of them have never taught school before, but have sharp mathematical skills.  We got into some very good discussions about how to know when staff development has worked and when it has not. This led to more discussions of the importance of research and incremental training.  It was marvelous indeed. There were some language barriers, but several folks in the group had been to the states to study for the PhD, so were able to interpret and keep the learning going in the right direction.  Overall, it was a grand time.

Tuesday evening three of the younger students invited me and Colleen out for a dinner cruise on the river, so of course we said yes.  It was magnificent. Seafood, warm breezes off the river, brilliant shrines and temples lit up, and the most magnificent suspension bridge I have ever seen.  I hope to find some photographs of it so I can take this into the geometry section of the math class.  The students drove us to the boat, which took quite a bit of time, with the horrendous traffic and all, but we made it in time to spend a little time at a Buddhist community, just looking around until we floated (pictures added to facebook).

I had a bit of a downturn in health yesterday with upset stomach stuff, but am on the mend and back to the fun of touring Thailand today.  We visited a collection of ancient Thai archeological ruins and houses collected by the prince over 60 years ago. The queen has these in a collection and the tour was most interesting and informative about the people in ancient times. The collection included pottery, weapons, boats, and houses of the period.

Afterward we shopped for a bit, then off to the massage parlor, where there was quite a raft of choices for massage treatments. We each chose our own, then headed out and an hour later we relaxed and ready for the heat of Bangkok. Finally, Colleen and I went to the Japanese restaurant across the street where you sit in a chair facing a counter where the fresh food goes in front of you on a conveyer belt.  You select what you like, cook it in the hot pot in front of you, then eat it on small plates. It is a floating buffet, and quite interesting and fun.  Colleen heads out today in a bit, and I'll hang out for two more, touring, having fun, then back to Tom in Guatemala.  Life is good here in Bangkok.  Hope all is well for you. Love jt

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