January 2008


What kind of stuff do you teach at CMU? I teach English language skills - grammar, reading comprehension, listening, and writing, to all the university students who are non-English majors (the English majors are in a separate program). I have students from engineering, general science, biology, foreign languages, accounting, and many other disciplines.
English classes are required for all science and humanities students. These classes cover the first two years of study. As many as 1500 students may be enrolled in a particular English class during a semester. That means that there are probably about fifty or sixty sections being taught by twenty or twenty-five ajaans, each with two or three sections. Some of the lessons involve listening to a tape, and on certain days you can hear the same lesson reverberating through the hallways, as different classrooms play the same tape at the same time, but not quite in synch with each other. Or, you may hear a humanities tape and a science tape mixed together in the air. Charles Ives would have been proud.

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How many classes do you teach, and how big are they? At CMU, I usually teach five classes per semester, which means five classroom hours a day, three days a week. Usually I have two or three sections of the same class, which means if I have a good lesson plan for one section, I can use it over again in the later sections of the same class. On the other hand, sometimes I have a terrible lesson (it happens) in the morning class, and later I improve on it. Or, sometimes I have a plan that works really well in the early going, but by afternoon all that magic has somehow gotten out of focus like the previous night’s dream. Lesson planning is not a static thing; it’s very organic.
My classes at CMU usually contain from twenty-five to thirty-five students. Once, by some twist of fate, I got a class of only thirteen students, but that’s very rare.

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Okay! School vacation’s over! Ready to go back to class? No?? Don’t worry, I won’t make you work too hard or stand up in front of the class… unless you want to, of course. But if you’ll just follow me, I’ll show you where I work.

What kind of job do you have? I teach English at Chiang Mai University, known in northern Thailand as maw-chaw. (Maw-chaw is the initials for the university in Thai.) I got the job when I first came to Chiang Mai a year ago, and so far they seem to like me. I get paid by the hour, and I teach 15 hours a week. I don’t make a lot of money, but it’s enough to get by if I budget myself and don’t go hog-wild on weekends. Most farang ajaans at CMU have a second job, and so do I. My second job is at a Catholic high school for girls. Between the two jobs, the money I make is pretty good.

What is an ajaan? An ajaan is a college teacher, a professor. It’s a title of respect. When I go out on the town, people who know me often call me ajaan John. It means they think I’m a really swell guy. I kind of like it.

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Following are types of visa granted by Thai Embassy and Consulate-General:

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TRANSIT VISA


1. REQUIREMENT
This type of visa is issued to applicants who wish to enter the Kingdom for the following purposes :
- to travel in transit through the Kingdom in order to proceed to the country of destination or to re-enter his/her own country (category “TS”)
- to participate in sports activities (sportsmen, sportswomen, etc.)(category “S”) ***
*** Those who are scheduled to stay in the Kingdom longer than one month , Non-Immigrant Visa category “O” can be issued to them
- the person in charge or crew of a conveyance coming to a port, station or area in the Kingdom (category “C”)
2. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
- Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months
- Visa application form completely filled out
- Recent( 4 x 6 cm.) photograph of the applicant
- Evidence of travel from Thailand (confirmed air ticket paid in full)
- Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family)
- Visa of a third country in a passport or travel document
- Letter of invitation stating the application’s participation in sports activities in the Kingdom
- Consular officers reserve the rights to request additional documents as deemed necessary
3. VISA FEE
800 Baht per entry
(Visa fee may be changed without prior notice)
4. VALIDITY OF A VISA
The validity of a visa is three months.
5. PERIOD OF STAY
Travellers coming to Thailand with this type of visa will be permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a period not exceeding 30 days.
6. EXTENSION OF STAY
Those who wish to stay longer or may wish to change their type of visa must file an application for permission at the Office of Immigration Bureau located on Soi Suan Plu, off South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120 , Tel 02 287-3101-10 (or at http://www.immigration.go.th ). The extension of stay as well as the change of certain type of visa is solely at the discretion of the Immigration officer.
7. ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS
Nationals of certain countries are required to apply for a visa only at the Thai Embassy or Consulate-General in their home/residence country or at the designated Thai Embassy. Therefore, travellers are advised to contact the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate-General to find out where they may apply for a visa to Thailand before departure.
Information on location and contact number of Thai Embassies an Consulates-General is available at

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TOURIST VISA

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We had another guy quit at work today. He lasted one week. I hate this certain mentality of some foreigners who come here to work, but expect to be able to do so without doing any actual work. Why apply for a job, waste everybody’s time being trained up, getting a work permit, getting a visa, only to turn around and walk out the next day?

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