Look at the paper, whatever you do just keep looking at the paper. Do not, I repeat, do not make contact with the tutor at this point. Oh my God I’m going to be asked for the answer. Shhhh, you wont if you just keep staring at your notebook. For heavens sake don’t write anything. Any sudden movements may attract unwanted attention. Stay perfectly still. If you can’t see the tutor then they can’t possible see you. Slouch if it helps, this may add to the low visibility you’re aiming for. That’s right, bury that head of yours. If all else fails and you feel that even for a second that you are about to be asked anything, quickly look at the student in front. If the tutor had happened to glance your way, the attention will now be averted as they will want to know what you are looking at. All focus is now on the unsuspecting victim…I mean student. Now you can breathe and go back to fumbling your way through the grammar work sheet.
Grammar. The subject as a whole has me breaking into a cold sweat just thinking about it. My exasperation is overwhelming and I find myself frantically trying to find the class mates who feel the same way. Funnily enough its pretty much 90% of us. The other 10% are the grammar gurus of the class who would probably flinch if they knew of my lack of knowledge on the subject. I did manage to congregate with a few like-minded grammarless souls where we sympathised with each others woes. “I know what I’m talking about….I just can’t describe it”. “Totally, I mean I have no idea what most of the rules are when constructing a sentence…I just do it”. We all nod our heads in defeat. We make sure that we mentally beat ourselves up to pre-empt any future failings.
I do not recall ever being taught grammar in secondary school. There may have been a sprinkle here and there but it is certainly something that had not been imbedded in my wee teenage brain. You can certainly forget about primary school. I was far too interested in whether Anne Smith was going to wear her flowered leggings to school and hoping she wouldn’t as the boys would certainly be chasing her more in ‘kiss chase’. I cannot recall what most of the rules are, except for the basics and that terrifies me enough. It is part of my lesson for tomorrows observed class and for the short amount of time it has allocated, it really is making me sweat.
To take my mind away from the inevitable, I wandered through the streets of Bangkok. The air had become thick and humid with the recent rain fall, leaving a musky summer smell. I am overwhelmed with the choice of Tea. Green tea with mango, Green tea with blueberry, pearl tea, coconut tea, wheatgrass tea. Pick a flavour, any flavour and they have it. I feel my mind and stomach doing ‘flip, flops’ with excitement with the sheer volume of what I can stuff into my belly. Everywhere I look there is something new that needs to be eaten. Something delicious that needs to be drunk. I really need the novelty to wear off or else my future students will need to roll me up to the front of the class room. It seems I have been here for years. I remind myself that I arrived a mere 4 days ago. There is something that calms me about the madness of Bangkok. I find the herds of people something of a comfort. Maybe its the reassurance of being surrounded by other souls that leaves you feeling a little less lonely. That you are part of a much bigger picture. A picture that is truly astounding and full of sheer beauty and innocence. Everyone’s heart beating to the same rhythm as each of you scuttle around purposefully. Yes Bangkok, I could potentially fall for your vibrant, gritty charm like a first love. Lets just hope you will be able to give me a huge embrace when your delicious cuisine finally rests itself on my growing belly.