Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Signing In Late

All Thai schools have a system of the teachers signing in every morning. There are clipboards out for the various grades or departments, you find the one with your name on it and sign in. In fact, you sign out too. "Fred Ceely . . . //s// . . . 7:00 . . . //s// . . . 16:30." The times are always the same. The sheets are then collected and binderized and preserved for all time on a bookshelf in the admin office.

So it was no surprise that I sign in here at Ramkhamhaeng. It's the same kind of sheet, the required time entries are 6:00 to 16:30, although no one gets here before 8:00, except me, because I am afraid of the traffic after 7:00.

(Bring up Twilight Zone music . . .) Yesterday I ran into the department secretary. She's the one who set me up with the sign in procedure. Well, it seems that I've been doing it wrong. It took some time for me to understand my error, partly due to the language barrier but mostly due to the incredible nature of her new instructions. My mistake: I've been signing in every morning for that day, like sign Monday morning for Monday. No, no, no.

I must, she explained to me, wait until tomorrow to sign in for today, that is, sign in for Monday on Tuesday. Please no more signing in today, for today. Even better, wait until next Monday and sign in for this whole week, which will be last week.

And people wonder why I love this country. It's a bottomless pit of fascination for one thing.

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