One thing that I always marvel at during the day is the openness of the campus here at Kanchanapise School. I’m not saying that students can come and go from the school grounds all day long – on the contrary – once they come through the front gate in the morning, they are here all day long. That’s just a given rule that’s accepted by all the students and teachers.
What I’m referring to is the openness of the campus during the day. There is no such thing as a “Hall Pass” here. You see students walking around between classes (of course) but you also see them walking around during normal class period times. It’s bizarre!! No one is asked where they are going or what they are doing. It’s just normal to see students wondering around, or playing impromptu games of soccer, or Takro, or whatever….
Some of the teachers take attendance to know who is in class and who is not. But, just because a student is missing doesn’t mean a hunting party is dispatched to find that student. I can remember needing a note from my parents or from a Doctor explaining why I wasn’t in school or in class. I can also remember in my Junior High and High School that no one was out in the hall roaming around during class time. If you were, there was a Hall Pass in your hand or pinned to your shirt.
Things are just a bit more relaxed or open here in Thailand. Maybe that’s a good thing and it teaches the students to be responsible for themselves. Or, maybe it’s not very good and some students take advantage of the freedom of movement. Whatever your thoughts may be – it is a way of life here at school. I think the vast majority of students are where they need to be at the right time, so it works out fine. If this same system or openness was put into place in U.S. schools, it may not work out quite as well! Ha!
Here are a few more “So You Know You’re In Thailand” revelations / realizations / conclusions:
*You walk past a shop in town that sells nothing but Beauty Pageant gear for females ranging in age from 4 to 44 and you think nothing of it… it’s normal… it’s routine… it’s colorful… and it’s somehow able to stay in business!
*22 people climb into a van that’s built for 15 people and travel 55 kilometers together. I know you’re thinking no way, that doesn’t happen. Well, it happened to me last Saturday and I’m sure it probably happens every day!
*Motor scooters. We’ve all seen them. Many of us have ridden on them. They are a major means of transportation in many countries, including Thailand. I’ve seen guys on scooters in Naples that are zooming through the streets while drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette, and talking on their mobile phone (they wedge the phone between their ear and their helmet and just jabber away). I’ve seen a family of four – Dad, Mom, two little kids – along with enough groceries for two weeks on a scooter in Cozumel. I’ve seen guys in Ocho Rios carrying major construction materials (like 2 by 4’s and pieces of plywood) to and from a work site on their scooters. But, I saw something here in Thailand that I’ve never seen before: FOUR FULL SIZE ADULTS crammed onto one overwhelmed scooter as it struggled to putter away down the street – amazing.
*Albino squirrels and albino pigeons, there’s no shortage of either here in Suphanburi!