About Me

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Formerly a Spanish teacher in Wisconsin & Illinois, I moved to Bangkok with my husband in July 2011 to teach IT at a new American International School.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


So it's been a while since I've come up with anything worthwhile to write about. But you know that saying that "Third time's a charm"? Well, I guess there are 3 great things to tell you about, so here goes. I don't normally like to write about my work experiences because I typically like to keep my social & personal doings separate from who I am at school. Teachers wear many hats, and I toss them all aside when I leave the school to focus on myself and the world around  me. But there are always exceptions to the rule, so I think I need to break a rule and mix happiness in my personal life with my professional life with 3 tidbits.

So first, I have been working on a pretty big technology project with my grades 3-7 students this year called ePals. I had the pleasure of meeting the co-founder of ePals at the National ISTE conference for us Tech Geeks in Denver 2010 at a rooftop social. I also learned his wife is from a small township just off Hwy. 29 about 20 minutes West of Green Bay. Anyway, so I started becoming interested in ePals and their link to Microsoft when I was still an Instructional Technology Support Teacher with Green Bay Public Schools. I never had my own IT class with which to utilize ePals, however, so I was somewhat limited. When I knew I was coming back in to the IT world here in Bangkok, I figured it'd be a good time to really instigate my ePals projects across various grade levels. So I did just that. What's the good news, you may be wondering? Well, I wrote an article to be published in the popular The International Educator (TIE) Magazine. That is 'the' go-to magazine if you are new to the international teaching arena, looking for int'l jobs, or just are curious about happenings at international schools around the world. I discussed the ePals initiative with my grades 3-7 students at my school, and how we are connecting across the globe with schools in the United States. We do follow an American curriculum at our international school, so I tried to match my students up with American classrooms. So good news #1 is that my article will be running very soon in TIE Magazine. Check it out if you get a chance! I was told the article will run either for the February or April issue. It is a great PR opportunity for our new international school as well as for ePals and our students!

I am going to piggy back a bit more on the ePals thing for a moment. I happen to be pretty in tune with how things go here in Thailand with regard to the make-up and day-to-day operations of international education. I have done my research, presented at a number of conferences, networked with those in my field, etc. I like to think I have a good handle on what's happening around me. So, when my colleague, our PR director, who happens to be pretty parallel to me in terms of our visions, beliefs and goals for a top-notch school, approached me about 3 weeks ago with regard to tooting our school's horn, I was thrilled to be able to help her. She asked if she could utilize my ePals article in the School Report section of the popular expat magazine for Thailand, The Big Chilli. I received a copy of what the spread will look like, as we can have 2 pages of advertising space in the issue. I was very pleased! I have never been much of a writer, and never before have I been asked to submit my own work. So look for a copy in the School Report section early next month in The Big Chilli magazine, either online or in print copy. Don't worry, Landry family. I got 'cha all covered. I will splurge and send a copy home for you to peruse. Some things are just better in hard copy format versus online, right?

While we are on the writing topic of things, I have to cut in and add that during this time I was also asked to contribute a monthly column to a new ladies' expat magazine here in Thailand, in which I would rate, compare and introduce new tech gadgets, apps and tools. I was flattered to be asked to contribute, but I do live and breathe technology 24/7 in my job, so I think I must decline, especially because it leads in to my 3rd and final correlation to good things in along the career avenue.

So here comes the 3rd "Toot Your Own Horn" in reference to the "Good Things Happen (at work) To Those Who Press On" Okay, I just made that up, but it's true! So, almost 2 weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a woman at a college I was looking in to. I realize that in T-18 months, Josh and I will have completed our 2-year contracts here in Bangkok, Thailand and even before that time is up, we will have had to made a decision about our plans on returning, leaving, etc. Josh and I have been going back and forth on earning each a 2nd Master's degree. So I got the e-mail from the college admissions rep who wanted to know if I would be interested in starting my degree on Jan. (gulp) 23rd, less than one week away. I didn't hesitate, and I signed up! Yep, so I will be a basketcase yet again for the next 18 months, while I toil once again for another M.Ed Degree, this time in Educational Leadership. So that should open some doors to me and to Josh, as he already has his Ed. Leadership certification. Maybe I will hate it, but at the very least I will know whether or not I wish to put myself out there to pursue a new career as a principal, asst. principal, etc. I think this all stems from Josh prodding me for about 3 years to take the plunge, and then realizing that at our tiny school in a little spot in Bangkok, Josh and I each have effected some major changes, and what I deem to be good moves for putting our school in the right direction toward becoming top-notch. Lord knows I would never have been able to cut through the red tape back in Wisco at GBAPS and do so much in so little time. So, for what it is worth, I just finished week 1 of Course 1--yeah, I know "Big accomplishment" in all sarcastic tones you can think of. But to me it is a big deal to have moved this quickly back in to learning mode. So yes, I will drink to that and wish myself a happy trip down the yellow brick road of success. And here's another gulp in nervousness, as I wish for my loving husband to stick by my side and not jump off the BTS Skytrain in frustration that his wife is mad (and stressing him out endlessly...).

Okay, enough with the work stuff, as I am not on the work clock now. This blog is supposed to be fun. So, back to my Super PUBLICIZE Me tout. On a more personal level, I will be running the Bangkok Marathon in T-2 weeks. I will have some great friends visiting (you know who you are PAM & MIKE...) from Green Bay, so they will get to witness me going from psyched to hating life over the course of a few Bangkok hours (not to mention it starts at a classy 3 o'clock A FREAKING M ). But regardless, I think Josh is gonna invest in a Tuk-Tuk driver for those hours to putz around the course finding me running myself out in strange Bkk city locations. That will be motivation enough to not jump off the course and hit Kao San road for some late-nite pub crawls. You know darn well everyone will be out on the streets en route to their next pub, club or just plain old tossing a few back right on the streets. Trust me, I witnessed it in Nana the morning of my first 10K here in Sept. ANYWAY, I digress. I am going to run my 7th full 26.2 (followed up by a half marathon 2 weeks later. GRRR...Bangkok Flood...you pushed all this crap back for months!). And I will LOVE IT! (insert cheezy smile and heavily sarcastic tone here). Now I just need to think about my next tattoo after I run this one...
But even way cooler is that I will be featured in an upcoming issue of BK Magazine about my run and my life as a runner. I will of course be telling everyone to read it when it comes out, whether you are a FB fan, or you pick up the copies like I do post-run at my little Au Bon Pain haven for a bagel fix. For those tech-nuts, you can even read it online. So stay tuned my friends. You are going to be getting your fill of me for the next few months in more ways that you had ever imagined.

So when people tell you that you can make things happen here in Bangkok, Thailand, I can honestly say they aren't full of you know what. I happen to pinch myself every now and then to 1-bring back the blood circulation (Thanks, Reynaud's!) and 2-check to be sure I am living my life. I have been here for 6 months now, and I have bad days, and then days like this one where I make some wonderful connections and I take time to reminisce about the things I have been able to accomplish while being half-way around the globe.
I will just need to remember to go back and re-read this when I feel like I suck again. But I guess that is what makes us human, huh?


  1. Hello there, I somehow found and enjoy your blog :) I will be moving to bangkok with my husband and daughter (who is 8yrs old)..... I was wondering...if you could give me some insights/recommendations on schools....we currently live in california.. I know this will be a huge adjustment.... but exciting as well :)thx, J

    1. Jennifer,
      Find me at on Facebook or virgilalligator@hotmail.com I can fill you in on what I have learned here in Bkk. I am a teacher at an international school called Berkeley International School. We do follow California standards and curriculum. We serve students PK (2yrs.) through Grade 7, and next year grade 8, until we offer through Grade 12. My husband and I both teach at Berkeley.