Surprise Holidays and Copy Cats…

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Happy Thursday folks!  I’m going to go ahead and warn you now that this is going to be one of those random though/self analysis sort of posts so who knows where this will go.  Firstly, I ended up with a surprise week off since we had a minor drama unfold at work first thing Monday morning.  We were having our annoyingly boring little administrative morning meeting and we got a phone call that 2 of our students had come down with hand, foot, and mouth.  Now, don’t jump to conclusions…this is nothing like mad cow disease or anything and apparently it is common amongst schools with large numbers of young children.  You get these flu like symptoms and spots like you have measles on your hands and feet.  Also, you get ulcer like blisters in your mouth, and the last time it swept through the school i got it as well.  It is HIGHLY contagious sooooo, after learning we had more than 5 cases we quickly moved to close the school for a week.  It can be dangerous for young kids, so better to shut down and let it pass.  Therefore, Tom got a surprise week off work!

Sooooo, I had meant to sit down this week and pound out a final copy of my research proposal for Grad schoo.  However, I’ve been to busy being as lazy as possible to accomplish anything productive.  I did at least manage the gym every day, so at least the week hasn’t been a complete loss thus far.  Which reminds me of something I wanted to talk about with you today.  I noticed a commercial on the train coming home for a new Thai movie coming to theaters soon.   I made a mental note to mention it today in my blog because it is something that slightly irks me.  It is a Thai movie about eccentric, comical pirates and I noticed some various low budget scenes from the movie trailer with giant squid and crabs.  The set, scenery, and costumes were blatantly copied from another blockbuster pirate trilogy which recently sailed through the box office earning millions.

Thais have to be the world’s best copy cats.  Let me give you another example that comes to mind.  I remember going to a Thai theater production a while back that was supposed to be an “amazing” and creative in dealing with gay life and culture.  There were big billboards around town for it, and some very famous Thai celebrities were even cast in leading roles for it.  So, I went with my ex to see it and all they had done was make a Thai theater version of the movie Love! Valour! and Compassion! which was written and released in the States in 1997.  There were some very slight changes, but they kept the same plot, characters, and I even recognized familiar scenes from the script.

I guess I blame the education system here for this phenomenon as Thai students are not taught to think creatively.  Children are not encouraged to think outside the box in traditional schooling, and most learning here occurs much the same way a mother bird feeds a baby bird.  It is considered rude here to question anyone older or an authority figure so Thai students will sit in class looking at you like they are following along able to understand, but not.  They are quite, and respectful, but rarely ask questions to extend their grasp of the subject being learned at hand.  You can see it here in all aspects of society.  Healthy debate is discouraged and ridiculed, and thus creativity is often stamped out at an early age.  Now, I say all this in general of course as there are of course exceptions.  I know some very creative Thai people, and thus there are those that do well in spite of the system, as opposed to growing because of the system.  Well, I think that is more than enough rambling for today, so i’m going to head off and try to get some school work done.  Love to everyone and will write again over the weekend!