HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

CMIS Grade 4 goes back in time

LIST students show their literary styles

NIS students, faculty and parents enjoy grand Loy Krathong celebration

The race for the U.S. Consul General’s Challenge Trophy

Operation Blessing Foundation (Thai)/CBN Siam celebrate 5th Anniversary

Prem Kindergarteners take a visit to the hairdresser salon

CMIS Grade 4 goes back in time

Kevin Morse

Friday, November 12 marked the end of Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) Grade 4 unit on the medieval period. For weeks students had been learning about life in the middle ages in a very hands-on way. In addition to textbook study, for example, students had a chance to be both a ‘noble’ and a ‘serf’ for a day in their classroom ‘kingdom’ to experience the division of social classes in the middle ages. The unit culminated with a grand feast in the CMIS auditorium to which parents and special guests were invited (all in medieval costume, of course!).

Students playing the roles of ‘serfs’ distribute bread to guests seated at the feast’s very long tables.

The feast began with a procession into the Great Hall, led by the ‘nobles’ with the ‘peasants’ bringing up the rear. Guests to the feast were served by students playing the parts of ‘serfs’ who poured water to wash their hands as they entered, and who did an exceptional job of serving food. After a prayer by the town friar, there was a reading of the ‘manners’ (etiquette) for the feast. These included instructions to wipe one’s fingers on the tablecloths and to use the large slices of round bread as ‘bowls’ - truly eating medieval style! The menu included ham, corn, potatoes and large round loaves of bread, all served at long tables decorated with candelabra and rose petals. ‘Stained glass’ artwork was mounted on the auditorium’s windows and student models of medieval castles and other inventions were on display.

CMIS Grade 4 teacher Leslie Wannemacher in costume with students for the medieval feast.

Parents and guests learned a little about the impact of the medieval period, including, for example, the origin of the phrase ‘upper crust’ that we use today to mean ‘best of the best’. At the beginning of the feast, the ‘upper crust’ (the best, softest part) of the large loaves of round bread was delivered to the nobles sitting at the high table. Peasants received the harder bottom part of the bread, while the wealthy landowners received quite literally the upper crust.

Students playing the roles of ‘court jesters’ taking a break from entertaining.

The program continued for several hours with student entertainment, minstrels (musicians), and three very talented court jesters. There was also some group singing and medieval-style circle dancing The whole event was coordinated by CMIS Grade 4 teachers Leslie Wannemacher and Rebecca Dale (who both deserve kudos), and is a yearly part of the Grade 4 curriculum at Chiang Mai International School.

LIST students show their literary styles

Robert Johnson

The 8th Grade ESL students of Lanna International School (LIST) completed a class project of several weeks and produced booklets of their works.

The first prize went to Natsumi Amano with ‘The Magical School Project’.

The students were taken through the various steps of creative writing and studied the classic fairy tale format. They were given the assignment of writing and illustrating their own stories. The results were amazingly well done and showed the hard work of all involved. At the end the class as a group judged their own work awarding first, second and third prizes which were merit points for each student’s house.

Kim Mi-Rae (Rudia), who wrote ‘Palpitating Heart’

The first prize went to Natsumi Amano who wrote and illustrated ‘The Magical School Project’. Two other outstanding efforts were Kim Mi-Rae’s (Rudia) ‘Palpitating Heart’ and Lee Jae-Kyung’s (Esther) ‘Time and Time Again’.

All of the booklets are on display in the main school lobby area and everyone is welcome to come and see them. The students will follow up their literary exercise by having the authors read their books to fellow students over the next few weeks.

Lee Jae-Kyung (Esther) received a prize for her ‘Time and Time Again’.

This literary exercise certainly shows the creative and academic potential that lies in the students whether still struggling to learn English language or already fluent. Given the success of the program further writing and publishing efforts are planned.

Natsumi Amano

NIS students, faculty and parents enjoy grand Loy Krathong celebration

Jon Van Housen

It was a festive day of food, fashion and fun at Nakorn Payap International School (NIS) on November 26 as the school celebrated Loy Kratong.

The day began with a morning market staffed by parents who cooked traditional Thai foods for the many students, parents and teachers in attendance. Students agreed the parents were indeed talented cooks, with the fresh food and fair prices superior to a normal market.

Inside the morning market.

Following the food, the entire group heard a presentation on the origin of Loy Krathong, followed by the Kindergarten fashion parade, a “Little Miss/Mr. Krathong” contest and Thai dancing from Grades 3 and 4.

The morning continued with a high school “Miss Krathong” contest and a stunning Grade 6 performance of the Mae Hong Son-style peacock dance.

Amy Pornsirichaivatana, NIS Miss Krathong

Little Mr. Krathong was My Laohacharoenyot, while Little Miss Krathong was Nicole Thompson. High School Miss Krathong was Amy Pornsirichaivatana.

In the afternoon, everyone made krathongs, with James Ko, Kwan Lee and Arvin Silberman judged as having made the most beautiful.

Joining NIS for the day was a group of students and teachers from Chiang Mai International School, who were invited by Ajarn Warunee Swanson, NIS Thai Principal.

The race for the U.S. Consul General’s Challenge Trophy

Mike Hock

In just its second year, the BrainFlex Plus! Olympiad has grown to become a favored tournament for students in Northern Thailand. It has now grown beyond the six original schools which competed in 2003 (Prince Royal’s College (PRC), Montfort College, CMU Demonstration School, Dara Academy, Yupparaj Wittayalai, Wattanothaipayap School).

U.S. Consul General Bea Camp presents the trophy to the Prince Royal’s College.

A qualifying round was held on June 27, with new entrant Lampang beating defending champions Prince Royal’s College.

In the finals of the Olympiad held on November 19, it was unfortunate that Lampang could not participate due to schedule conflicts. Instead, some new competitors, Wichai Wittaya and Regina Coeli, were invited.

Students show Bea Camp what they learned about the USA.

Wichai’s team performed well in their debut, winning the ‘Showcase Tag Team’ as well as praise from the panel of judges (David Summers, retired U.S. State Department official; Dr. William Gaskill, UCLA; and Julia Hoover, BrainFlex Plus! Academy).

Quiz eXtreme was a fast-paced, fun-filled quiz show contest for teams to show their mastery of English and U.S. general knowledge, with PRC emerging as the winner. The TOEFL-style contest, ‘Global English Survivor’, measured contestant’s competency in English within a timed, standardized test format, and again, PRC dominated at the end.

The honorary patron, U.S. Consul General Beatrice Camp, commended all participating schools for the spirited performance of their respective teams, and stated it was a pleasure for her to meet so many teachers and students. Amidst thunderous applause, the U.S. Consul General’s Challenge Trophy 2004 was presented once again to Prince Royal’s College.

The PRC team will now be able to hold on to the trophy for another 12 months. Can they make it a hat-trick at next year’s BrainFlex Plus! Olympiad? That’s the real challenge.

Operation Blessing Foundation (Thai)/CBN Siam celebrate 5th Anniversary

Karen Thomson
Photos: Saksit Meesubkwang

Operation Blessing Foundation (Thai)/CBN Siam and the television program From Heart to Heart celebrated five years of achievement at a gala event for friends and partners at the Gongdee Art Gallery on December 1.

Dr. Pipat Trangrattapit, chairman of the CBN Siam board of directors.

The celebration began with an outdoor reception. Guests were greeted with music from the Payap University string quartet and a buffet catered by Payap’s Hotel and Tourism Department. Then everyone was ushered inside for a special taping of two episodes of CBN’s television program, From Heart to Heart. The episodes will air on iTV in the program’s regular Sunday 6 a.m. time slot on December 19 and 26.

The audience were welcomed by CBN producer Somporn Moolsan and actor/singer Karen Klongtruadroke, including a behind the scenes ‘briefing’ of what to expect during the taping.

Karen Thomson, CBN Siam regional director provided a few words of welcome.

Both episodes were hosted by Dr. Niran Pattaranukool (director of Van Sant Voord Hospital, Lampang), Sucheewa Insuwan and Lakana Sangsuphan (host/producers with CBN Siam).

The anniversary episode (airing Dec. 19) featured music by Ajarn Tienchai Suktiang from the Voice Studio and Karen Klongtruadroke from Bangkok, along with special videotaped segments highlighting the history of From Heart to Heart and the accomplishments of the humanitarian department of Operation Blessing.

Hosts of “From Heart to Heart” (L to R) Lakana Sangsuphan, Sucheewa Insuwan and Dr. Niran Pattaranukool.

The Christmas episode (airing Dec. 26) will feature music by Narat (Book) Kitawattana and the cast of CBN Siam’s Kids Only program, as well as a special videotaped harp and dance duet performed by Judith Utley (harp) and Saijai Chaiyasate (dance).

Special guests at the evening’s taping included Chusri Tungnak from Bangkok. Khun Chusri had been about to end her life when she happened to catch an episode of From Heart to Heart last year. The message of hope given by the program hosts went straight to her heart and she called the toll free number offered by our counseling center. “I felt good for the first time after the counselor prayed with me,” Chusri told us. “I came to realize that there is one person who can help me. I felt like, no, I don’t need to be in the dark. I don’t want to die anymore.”

Prem Kindergarteners take a visit to the hairdresser salon

David Michaels

Last week in Chiang Mai, thirteen students in one of the kindergarten classes at Prem Tinsulanonda International School visited the Absolute Hair Salon for a field trip. The students had their hair washed, cut, styled, blow-dried, and even enjoyed scalp massages.

Prem’s Kindergartners show off their new hairstyles during their recent visit to the Absolute Salon.

The field trip was part of Prem’s Primary Years Program Unit of Inquiry. While getting their hair cut, the children learned about community helpers. Along with the employees at Absolute, Ajarn Casey and Khun Aye helped the students to understand that to work as a hairdresser, one must receive the proper training. It is a difficult job to do well, but is also interactive and a lot of fun.

Gwow models her new look at ‘Absolute’.

Absolute’s employees got a kick out of all the little children who came in for the day. According to Ajarn Casey, the staff was “very friendly, happy, and welcoming.” The kindergartners, too, thoroughly enjoyed their treatment, especially having their heads massaged and hair styled.

So, was the field trip a success? The answer: absolutely!

Prem students Melissa and Thomas dry their hair after a thorough washing…