Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Not really 4 but 1. I have decided to stay here for another year. I observed different teachers classes Wednesday and Thursday, trying to get a feel for what grade I might like to teach next. I love teaching K2, my kids are adorable and I really like the group of teachers that I am with right now. On the other hand, the idea of teaching grade 3, 4, or 5 and having them understand what I'm saying, be able to read and laugh at my niche style of comedy makes me happy. I was DEFINITELY planning on leaving after this school year. I really enjoy it here but not speaking Thai is a struggle to say the least and would like to make more money in another country. 
BBBUTT (as Teacher Oat would say) our boss sent out an e-mail saying he would like to know by then end of the week what people are thinking about next year and also had his own sales pitch style of trying to get people to stay on. Most people will be moving on because they have been here for about 2 years and that is about the amount of time I want to spend here. It came down to a few things:

1-I love teaching. I dig being around kids, asking me for help and showing them something they didn't know when they walked into MY class in the morning.

2-We get a stupid amount of time off. Will leave it at that.

3-No winter.

4-Thailand is a cool place, good jump off point to other cheap, cheap but good good countries.

5-One year just wasn't enough.
(Side note: If you or someone you know is thinking of teaching English abroad, now is the time to apply, summer camp starts in April and the new year starts in May. http://www.eslcafe.com/search/Jobs/Asia/Thailand/

I will be back home at the end of April/beginning of May for 10-14-16 days. Not 100% sure when the new term starts but will be home for sure for a portion of a beautiful Ottawa spring. If you would like some Bert time, my calender is free and will likely stay fairly free. Things on the agenda are a Jays game, Canada's Wonderland and eating at Wendy's. Teacher Bert understands people are busy and have jobs so I will be chilling with my mom, eating some chili and going on a walk or two with Old Lady Debbie. 

(Quick story: As you might know, I love suits. So when I was at the big school for 2 days I dressed up all fancy in my suit along with my jacket. 2 interesting comments)

Thai teacher: Ummmm Teacher Bert. You are wearing a jacket......it issss very hot in Thailand. People arrre curious...why you are wearing it?

Small child: Teacher, teacher, you are very handsome, what do you eat??
Teacher Bert: Sorry? 
Small child: Youuu very handsome, what do you eat?
Teacher Bert: Oh, I am from Canada. 
Small child: Ohhhhh Canaanadaaaa.

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” — Steve Jobs

Friday, January 6, 2012


Well I have some time on my hands, most of the people of Nakhon are wisely not in the flood zone so this leaves me with some spare time before continuing my outstanding work as a nap time monitor.

I'm normally really into making New Year's resolutions. One year I made it the WHOLE year without eating McDonald's. Wasn't as hard as I thought it would be but if I passed one the smell would definitely get you. 3ish years ago I told myself I would learn chess, still haven't done it and am somewhat disappointed in myself about that one. I've been thinking about it a little bit and thought I would put key stroke to monitor and make a few minor resolutions for 2012:


1-Teacher Bert is somewhat competitive. I like winning and feel the opposite about losing. A strong part of that comes from my dad who also passed his lack of patience on to his 3rd favorite child. I think I care too much about how good other people are compared to myself and how I might never be better at climbing than Jake or basketball than Seth. I need to let this go. Now. It isn't productive and doesn't make me happier. I need to realize that billions of people are better at billions of other things than I am. And that's ok. As long as I am trying new things, getting better and enjoying myself, I should be alright. Also, just use these people as resources to get better instead of making them my own secrete enemies.

Comparison, a great teacher once told me, is the cardinal sin of modern life. It traps us in a game that we can't win. Once we define ourselves in terms of others, we lose the freedom to shape our own lives. - Jim Collins

2-I would also like 2012 to be lived with a bit more sense of urgency. I would like to live to be 100, I would even settle for 80. However, things don't always go as planned and one day we might end up with less time than we think. If this means talking to a girl you think is cute but usually don't because you have no game, give it a shot. If it means not making the safe choice and living outside of your comfort zone, go for it.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. 
If you have 15 minutes watch this:

I have a few other personal Bert ones but those should be manageable goals for 2012. Enjoy your weekend, thank you for checking into my life and don't forget to be happy.

Talking to a Lady

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” –Unknown

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Hope everyone had a super great, fantastic, wonderful Christmas and New Year's! I had a solid break and because of some floooooding I don't work until Monday. No complaints.

The part of town I live in is fine, the last 2 days have been hot and the water has receded so things are getting better. Once I get back to work I will have had 16 days off, paid. I really enjoy Thailand.

I spent 9 of my 11 Christmas day pre-flood days with Stu and Kait. Went to Koh Lak with them, they were suppose to go on a liveaboard in the Similan Islands but the  weather was too bad so they had to come back. So, I obviously followed them wherever they were going next without asking and we ended up in Koh Sok, same area where the floating bungalows are. Me and Kait went to maybe not the most professional massage place, nothing illegal but nothing to write home about (which is sort of what I'm doing I suppose). Went on a jungle trek:

Spent New Year's on Koh Phangan, went back to the jungle, rave dance party. Definitely see some hippies and strange dude and dudettes but a good scene none the less. Nothing earth shattering happened, really enjoyed the weather, liked sleeping in, doing whatever, getting some sun and drinking some Singha's. Very stress and drama free New Year's which I know is sometimes not the case. Anyway, that's whats up. Started looking into what I want to do after I'm done here, for sure home mid May for Matt's wedding in TO so if you realllllllllllllllllllllllllly want to see teacher Bert, I will be around.

It matters not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving - Oliver Wendell Holmes