Have you thought about what it would be
like if there weren’t any rules to follow? What if you could go to school
anytime that you wanted? What if you could drive on any side of the road or
there weren’t any stop signs or traffic lights?
Life would be very difficult and confusing
without any rules. Rules are made to:
- Protect people from getting hurt
- Help people do their jobs properly
- Help people to be treated fairly
- Help people to know what is right and
- Protect the animals, environment and
other people’s property
Sometimes we don’t like following the
rules because we want to do something else but always remember that rules
are there to keep us safe.
Do you have any special rules in your
house? Write to Marvin and tell him about them. You can send your letters
156-158 Im-boon Housing Estate
T. Changmoi, A. Muang,
Chiang Mai 50300
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 053 234 145
1. What kind of cakes are not very nice to
2. What did the dentist say when his wife made a cake?
3. Why did the cook put the cake in the freezer?
4. What do elves eat for snack?
1. Cakes of soap
2. Can I do the filling?
3. He wanted icing on it
4. Fairy cakes
Bye from Marg and Marvin
Black Lahu Hilltribe Village School gets new canteen and kitchen
Dutch charity groups help hill tribe children
The Gerald and Samsara Foundation from the Netherlands
joined forces to help the Black Lahu hilltribe, in a small village called
Huai Naam Rin, one hour drive from Chiang Mai.
new canteen and attached kitchen - when the children return from their
mid-term holiday they will be able to enjoy lunch in a beautiful new
The Gerald Foundation, named after Gerald Jan Rohmensen
who dedicated many years of his short life to the well being of villagers,
takes care of projects in the educational and medical field, and sponsors
scholarships for children who want to study at the middle school in Mae Ka
Chan. Every two months they send a medical team to help the small and very
poor village, with the help of the McCormick Hospital.
representatives of the Gerald foundation and villagers take a break for a
photo after completion of the building.
Near the village is a primary school for Lahu and Thai
children with eight teachers and 196 pupils. The condition of the classrooms
is acceptable but their canteen and the kitchen were appalling. Pipes and
taps were leaking, with the result that there was never enough water during
the dry season. The Gerald Foundation decided to sponsor the construction of
a new canteen and kitchen, build a water tank and renovate the toilets.
Hendriks from the Gerald Foundation received a certificate from the
headmaster of the school.
On October 24 all facilities were ready and the teachers,
with the help of the pupils, organized an opening ceremony for the
representatives of the Gerald Foundation. Representatives of parents and the
villagers attended and everybody promised to keep up the cleaning and the
maintenance of the facilities.
Next week the children will be back from their mid-term
holiday and they will be able to enjoy lunch in a beautiful new building.
The Samsara Foundation, also from the Netherlands, will donate furniture and
kitchen equipment for this project
Studying education in Chiang Mai: What Makes a Good Teacher? Three Perspectives
by Alexei Andre Waters
In a stable market system, the expansion of private
language schools and the diversification of choice should satisfy the
demands of students and the needs of teachers; and in so doing, generate
reasonable profit margins for managers. Yet this seldom occurs in Chiang
Mai. The main reason is that calculations made on the basis of a crass
utilitarian doctrine govern the private language educational market.
A good indication of this can be observed in the
divergences of managers, teachers and students in their views about the
characteristics of good teachers working in private language schools.
For managers/owners/investors, the best teachers are
western-born foreigners who are able to attract new students and persuade
enrolled students to re-register. Previous teaching experience is
appreciated, though not mandatory. Professionalism, effusively praised in
theory, is seldom rewarded in practice. So long as the teachers are
reliable, satisfy a minimal level of competence and follow directions - no
matter how contradictory or inane - managers remain content.
There is nothing especially unusual with this calculation
except that it masks some non-market considerations that reduce academic
quality: granting higher market value to teachers based on their particular
physical attributes. The blond, blue-eyed, fair-skinned foreigner of
European decent is considered inherently superior to his darker-skinned
These sentiments may have finally been discredited at
home, but it governs the educational market in Thailand though with some
notable exceptions. How else to explain why South Asians with post-graduate
degrees speaking the Queen’s English find it much more difficult to gain
employment at the most lucrative schools, though their white counterparts
with lower levels of education are accepted carte blanche?
The most interesting views are from students. Students at
private language schools, in virtue of paying significant fees for their
study, value competence less than personality traits: affability, humor,
clarity of enunciation - perhaps in that order.
That’s why pleasure (sanuk) remains a priceless
commodity and structures the entire educational market. Teachers learn
quickly that if they want to maximize their income opportunities, they need
to transform themselves into “edutainers.” That’s an inelegant
neologism, but one that captures market sentiments better than alternative
Can there be any surprise, then, why successful English
language teachers in Thailand emphasize games with little intellectual or
linguistic merit? Managers are well aware of the situation and find no moral
qualms about promising students that every course will pay homage to
Dionysian values. The two magic words, “not serious” generate ebullient
smiles throughout classrooms, corridors, and teacher rooms.
The problem arises when ambitious students need to
prepare for interviews in English or submit a writing sample for their
applications. So anaesthetized to serious study, they frequently revolt the
moment they realize that progress at the higher proficiency levels is hardly
enjoyable or interesting most of the time. Managers then confront a dilemma:
should they give students want they want or what they need? And the winner
Yet, in fairness to students, they are ignorant about
their particular linguistic needs and schools usually lack academic
directors who can offer solid academic advice. (How many, after all, have
taught any academic subject at colleges or universities in their home
countries or can advise students how to prepare for the rigors of western
academia?). The Australia Centre, British Council and Princeton Review are
the most exceptional cases.
To the credit of teachers - even backpackers with minimal
qualifications - they have respectable standards. They value teachers with
the ability to adapt to challenging classroom dynamics, manage lethargic and
disruptive young learners and motivate pampered rich students. And the
willingness to assist others who are ill-prepared for their assigned courses
is seriously valued.
However, precious few teachers have any financial or
career-enhancing incentives to expend more than what is necessary to cater
to the needs of students and mangers. That reinforces a situation that is
scandalous for a country in dire need of increasing the English proficiency
level of its labor force. The situation is worse locally since Chiang Mai
International Airport will soon establish itself as a regional
Utilitarianism of the sort expounded upon by the likes of
Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill in the 19th century is more appealing in
theory than in practice. One only has to consider what happened to India
under the sway of utilitarian calculus to understand that the greatest good
wasn’t distributed to the greatest numbers. So too in Chiang Mai: as long
as managers, students and teachers have different criteria for identifying
good teachers, only a small minority of the inhabitants of this province
will find anything good or great that is worthy of admiration.
Hume Lake Christian Camp - a life-changing experience
Hume Lake, a Christian camp based in the state of
California in America, came to Chiang Mai this October. Grades 7-9
participated in the camp October 16-20 followed by Grades 10-12 October
21-25. The majority of the young people came from Chiang Mai International
School and Grace International School; however, students also traveled from
Chiang Rai and other areas of Asia.
middle school student is drug across the ground during chariot races - Anna
Wright (GIS - Gr. 7) on the blanket, is pulled by Julee Denney left (GIS Gr.
9) and Rachel Aspinwall (GIS Gr. 9).
The camp was held at Wang Tarn Resort outside Chiang Mai
with Hume Lake camp bringing staff to serve as musicians, recreation leaders
and counselors. Teachers from Grace International School, parents, others in
the community and Marcus Schmaling, youth pastor at Chiang Mai Community
Church also assisted the staff.
school students perform in a 5-legged race (from right) Peter Schachtel
(CMIS Gr. 8), Anna Wannemacher (CMIS Gr. 7), Leanne Jeffreys (CMIS Gr. 7),
Madeleine Paulsson (GIS - Gr. 7), Frannie Jackson (GIS - Gr. 7).
Rich Baker of California was the keynote speaker who led
the evening meetings. Hume Lake director, Cliff Carey, said, “The coolest
thing about Hume Lake, Thailand, is that it’s no different than camp at
home. People come, and God changes their lives. I cannot wait to come back
again.” Dennis Grees, a student from Grace International said, “This
camp has shown me the best change I could ever make.”
school students beat a makeshift drum to cheer their team on to victory
(from left) Michael Lyons (GIS, Gr. 12), Walt DeMoss (GIS staff), Josh
Rideout (CMIS Gr. 10), Luke Sandell (CMIS - Gr.10).
Recreation was part of every day’s schedule. Teams
competed throughout the week in relay races, water competitions, such as the
belly flop, and camp favorites such “Kajabe Can-Can”, “Steal the
Bacon” and “Dizzy Bat”. The games were exciting, fun and innovative,
as well as competitive and filled with team spirit. The winning team won
the dizzy bat race, Gina Schlatter (CMIS, Gr. 9) attempts to run an obstacle
course after spinning around 10 times. Two Hume Lake staff in the
Each day there was also enough free time to hang out with
friends and staff, swim, and play sports. Some chose to have jam sessions.
There were also opportunities to go to seminars that dealt with life issues
that teens face.
Students competed against each other showcasing their
singing abilities. To vote, the audience cheered for their favorites, and a
decibel reader was used to accurately determine who had the most fans. There
were judges to critique the performances as well as the performers
themselves. The two middle school finalists were Luke Ryan and James Inglis.
Luke Ryan won with his rendition of Billy Joel’s “The Piano Man”. The
two high school finalists were Jenny Christian and Chris Kehler, with Jenny
winning with her remake of the Dixie Chicks country western song, “Goodbye
high school team performs a robotic cheer - on the left Anna Collins-Wakeman
(CMIS Gr. 12) is on Michael Peguero’s (CMIS - Gr. 11) shoulders. On the
right, Kim Peguero (CMIS Gr.10) is on Zach Hallead’s (GIS Gr. 11)
The Hume Lake band led the students in times of worship
with music that was upbeat and contemporary. This was an important
ingredient in the camp experience. Rich Baker challenged students in their
faith through his powerful teaching from the Bible. He showed his enthusiasm
throughout the week, “I want to encourage people to never forget what He
[God] has done for us when times get tough.” Baker’s motto was, “Come
on Jesus, help us out!”
The students made many life-changing decisions and
commitments as a result of the teaching and worship. Jiyun Moon, from Chiang
Mai International, said, “I learned how to love Him [God] the right
way.” Jeremy Nigh from Chiang Mai International School commented about the
recreation, worship, and teaching, “It was exhilarating! It was
emotionally satisfying, and spiritually energizing. It was the best camp
yet!” Shemaiah Khopang from Grace International School summed up the
experience saying, “I can’t use words to explain it. All I can say is,
if anyone has the chance to come, come, because it’s worth it. The staff
is really special. It’s encouraging to see them on fire for God.” Hume
Lake was a life-changing experience.
Grace International Garage Sale deemed a huge success
When the first Grace International Garage
Sale was 3 years ago-held in the parking lot of the school, it was well
received, but this when Grace International School organized their annual
rummage/yard/garage sale, approx. 1000 people attended.
students tried their entrepreneur skills by selling hot dogs.
37 families, individuals and NGO’s rented the available
booth space, and in addition to used items on sale, there were delicious
hamburgers/hot dogs/desserts and even shakes to stifle the hunger and quench
the thirst of shoppers.
Most of the people who rented booth space were selling
their unwanted items which might have been exactly what somebody else was
looking for. Even a few people were seen selling Christmas decorations.
Others came with homemade salsa, peanut butter and jam.
students from Hallelujah Tae Kwon Do impressed the crowd with their skills.
Students from grades 7-up participated by selling food,
donating items, by having a car wash and other things in order to raise
money for their particular class. Money raised by the individual classes
goes to the class funds. Seniors students received the door receipts to use
for their class trip or individual senior projects. The rental space money
is being used towards the annual Senior Scholarship given at graduation -
this year will be the second scholarship, and will be given in June, 2004.
The new ‘Grace Sports Booster Club’ had a booth
selling items with the GIS logo and the Tiger mascot.
The Hallelujah Tae Kwan Do was a terrific addition - the
crowd loved it, when they showed their skills.
The senior slave auction was a highlight as well. This
year’s sale was twice as big as last year.