First Class, Last Class

Hmmmm …. does that make sense?  Maybe it should be first course, final class instead?  Whatever I say, today is the last class that I have for the first class I am teaching in Thailand this summer.  Today I have the students present their group projects that have have been working on for the past month, which should only last for just over an hour or so.  The final exam for the students is on Friday, but I have someone to proctor that exam for me.  This will likely not be the last time I see my students, however, as Jet will be teaching “Brand Management” to this same group starting on Monday.

I will be leaving to see Jet in Phitsanulok just after my class finishes today to meet up with her family for her grandmother’s funeral.  Thank you for all of your wishes, which I have passed along to Jet.  I don’t know much about how funerals are done in Thailand, but I have gotten some insights after sharing lunch with my students on Monday.  The funeral itself typically lasts for seven days, each evening there being a ceremony with monks at a temple.  Jet told me that the day her grandmother died, that part of the ceremony involved water.  I didn’t inquire how water was used or what it represented, so I will have to follow-up on that.  On the afternoon of the seventh day, the casket is set on fire for cremation so that the spirit is allowed to escape and pass on to the next life.  My students then told me that the ashes are scattered in the water.  I don’t know how much Jet’s grandmother’s funeral will stick to this script as she died on Sunday and will be burned tomorrow (Thursday).  I will be bringing a pair of black pants with a white shirt to wear for the ceremony, which I was told is customary.  I will take some video clips of the event to capture some of what goes on.

Jet and I plan to return to Bangkok on Friday evening because we have “Freshman” orientation for the latest batch of MBA students to be held in Pattaya on Saturday/Sunday.  I was told by my students that this is really a fun day with games and skits that are performed by them.  I asked if the faculty have to do anything during the day and they told me that in the afternoon, the students approach the faculty so that we can tie a piece of string around their wrists.   I don’t know what this is for, but something similar happened to Jet and I (string around our wrists by family members)for our wedding here in Thailand, which (of course) I can’t remember what that was for.  One student joked that this is where students “worship” the faculty.  It should be an interesting experience.  We return back to Bangkok after lunch on Sunday and on Monday, I will be teaching the “second class, first class” or the “second course, first class” or, well, you know what I mean.

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One Response to “First Class, Last Class”

  1. Kristin Says:

    Please tell Jet thank you for the post card. It was great to hear from her. Hope you are both having a great time teaching, and spending time together.

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