You may remember my last experiment, the vertical garden. It was inspired by the piles of plastic that never seem to disperse at school. Well I’m back to tell you the tomato plants are big, green, and happy. I also have a new prototype, the self-watering planter, and I’m here to show you how to make your own!
Just “Thailand!” because there are too many adjectives and I’m limiting myself to a single sensible exclamation mark.
What IS this place?! Clean streets, friendly people, diverse foods, iced coffee on every corner — and we’re barely scratching the surface. This is the Kingdom of Thailand.
I imagine it would take a lifetime to fully appreciate all that Thailand has to offer. We had a week. Join Drew, Britteney, and me as we navigate the bustle of Bangkok before going north to hang out with elephants in Chiang Mai. From Buddhist temples, to Pad Thai, morning markets, and the smell of jasmine in the spring air, every moment was a treat.
Most of the time I’ve got soil on my mind, or seed starting, or plant diseases. Where others see rotting trash I see lush untapped organic matter waiting to be composted, even to a fault sometimes as Joe can attest to (but that’s another story). Recently my obsession proved constructive. Here’s what happend.
Last week was different. Classes were cancelled to celebrate the school’s anniversary. School had the air of a carnival with all the competitions and performances going on. On Thursday some students performed a play. As the hundreds of other students looked on in the courtyard outside the mosque I could be found — not spectating from the teachers’ section — but on my hands and knees collecting used plastic bottles.
A sad reality about Indonesia is the unabashed littering. Everywhere I go I see people throwing away candy wrappers in the street, peanut shells on the bus, trash out car windows, and diapers into the river (not to mention defecating). The town square is always occupied by a plague of plastic bags. But this is “normal” here, or so I thought.
I was both fascinated and infuriated by what I learned in class two weeks ago. I used the topic of “littering” to teach persuasive essays. My students gave me over ten different reasons why littering is bad, and totally avoidable, yet they all confessed to be habitual literers! “It’s just the easy thing to do, Mr. Matt.” The problem here is not education but attitude.
Students are smiling and laughing in class. For the past month, almost everyone’s homework has come in on time. Attendance and participation are up and I’m averaging only two sleepers per period. Can it be? Do my students actually enjoy learning English?
What sorcery is this?!
This one’s for you, thinkers, teachers, and bibliophiles, in East Java.
I didn’t intend to spend the weekend in Surabaya. But more often than not that’s how these things come about. I found a new space brimming with ideas, projects, people, and potential. It’s called C2O Library and Collaborative.