Teacher’s Day Celebrations

Today was Teacher's Day, so classes were cancelled and special activities were planned.�There was a religious ceremony at 7 am.� I didn't go because, well, it was at 7 am.�Then there were some teacher "sports", which were mostly wacky relay races.� I didn't go to that activity either because I was teaching during that time.� That's right! I didn't cancel my classes!� Teacher's Day is not really an official holiday.� People say since it's Teacher's Day, teachers can decide whether or not to have class.� My students weren't happy about it, but I decided that we needed to have class today.� We've been losing too many class periods to holidays!

The final activity of the day was a big dinner party.� Dinner parties here are always the same.� They tell you it starts at 6, but it really doesn't start until 7 or 8.� They serve the same 8-10 course Chinese dinner every time, and it lasts FOREVER!� I usually stay for a good 3 hours, and I'm always the first to leave.� There's usually some loud musical entertainment, some Thai dancing, and some karaoke.

I didn't want to go to the dinner party, but the dean�invited me to come, and I thought it would be rude to skip it. The party was scheduled to start at 6, so I waited in my office until 7 before going out to the party area. I was seated at a table with the 2 Japanese teachers and some Thai teachers who speak English.� As I waited for the first course to be served, I began thinking that I wished I hadn't come.� But then the KKU marching band came out!�

I didn't know KKU had a marching band, but it does!� The band is made up of about 30 6-year olds.� They wear the standard marching band uniform with plumes and everything. They play an instrument called the melodian, which a hand-held keyboard that you blow into.� (I'd never seen one before tonight).� They started by playing "When the Saints Go Marching In", then moved on to a John Philip Sousa march before ending their show with 2 of the king's compositions. They moved while they played, just like marching bands in half-time shows.� They were very impressive!� I mean, you'd expect a group of 6 year olds to hit a lot of bad notes, but they didn't.� I didn't hear any bad notes.� I can't even imagine how much they must have to practice.� Anyway, the KKU Marching Band made the entire evening worthwhile.� They were adorable!

After the marching band performance we lit candles to honor our former teachers, and some people set off flying paper lanterns.� It was really beautiful.

After all 10 courses were served and the karaoke started back up again, the Japanese teachers and I debated how to make a quick exit without drawing attention to ourselves and left.� It was a fun evening.

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