Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Que Pasa


Mis amoras es muy lejos de mi. I miss them! But, chiwit dii mak ni Thailand.

There's 3 languages for ya! Never thought I'd be able to learn any of any language but things are really starting to come together. I didn't realize how much I knew until I started making flash-cards for myself in categories such as fruits, transportation, "session Thai" (words I use in music therapy), etc. I haven't actively studied Thai at all (reading a book out-loud and quizzing myself with flashcards, etc.) but I seem to have picked up nearly a triple-digit-worth of words! Music therapy sessions have been extremely helpful because our clients are learning the basic words that I need to learn as well. Repetition, repetition, repetition! And listening to people talk. My strategy: actively listen to conversation and ask my friends about words that trigger a "red flag". Yesterday, I learned how to say "and then" in a conversation using that strategy... pretty useful stuff :)

Another thing about language... Thailand has definitely rekindled my desire to learn Spanish! Or at least try to remember all of what I once knew. After being here for a while and constantly throwing in some accidental Spanish, thinking that Thai will come to my brain if I think "foreign language--go!", I have come to realize that Americans really do get a large dose of Spanish in everday life. My poor Thai friends don't understand-- they're working hard enough to translate English-- that I'm not trying to confuse them with Spanish.. it's just seeping into my conversation. Speaking of Spanish/Mexico, I miss Mexican food terribly. Here is the closest thing I found (for way too much money and which probably made me sick):

 Also speaking of Spanish.. there's some American dude sitting near me in the coffee shop that just ended his Skype conversation with "Adios". How fitting!

This is where I'm writing this blog-- coffee shop down the street.
 My power went out tonight which was extremely frighting (big explosion).
College trained me well for such occasions.  

Life Updates

I started p90x again! I couldn't be happier about it, even though it's super hard to keep on schedule and make myself go down to the gym when I know how much I'm going to sweat. Luckily, the first few weeks aren't too bad, in terms of video difficulty, and I've been able to successfully walk, sit down, reach for stuff, and bend over since I started. When I say they aren't as difficult.. I don't mean that I'm completing even nearly every move. Just like the first run-though, I opt out once Tony starts doing 1 push-ups that involve 0 limbs touching the floor (not kidding-- that exists). My body wasn't really built for push-ups and I don't really have the equipment for pull-ups or a lot of the balance moves, so I certainly am not giving it my 100% effort on each move. But I try to make up for things that I can't do with things that I can so I'm not laying on the floor feeling sorry for myself.

You know what I've noticed? On some days that I exercise, I want to do ANOTHER video later in the day!! That's crazy!! But if hard work can give me that kind of drive to do more hard work... then I'm sticking to it. I've also noticed that my clothes fit better and my legs finally reflect the biking. Yesterday, I ate fried food for lunch and dinner and felt miserable and guilty beyond belief afterward, which hopefully means that p90x is also making a positive change in my diet. While Thailand does not have much bread, pizza, popcorn, burgers, etc., they do have an unlimited supply of cheap food that is often fried. On the other hand, I'm trying my first green tea as I type this, which means that they have the good stuff too and proves that I'm making changes. Hopefully this year's beach pics will be worth sharing!

Here's where I work out and the pool at night-- creepy, yet awesome. 

In other news, completely unrelated to health, a new place to eat just opened right below my room to my great excitement. My apartment building is growing up! We're also getting a coffee shop next week. I'm spoiled by all of the amazing commodities within walking distance, there's no doubt about it.

Internship Updates

I feel good about what's happening in the clinic. My coworkers are absolutely terrific! My hours are nice and my schedule fairly flexible so there is plenty of room for talking about philosophy, cultural issues and ethics, what it's like to be part of a developing program, and other fun stuff like that. I've been working with the team to create an online paperwork system, which is right up my alley (super nerdy) and, therefore, super fun. I hope it will be helpful for the program here but I can definitely say that it's been helpful for me-- it's basically what I would be doing if I had to start from scratch as a freelance music therapist in the U.S.

To give you a pretty good idea about what we're working with: there is no standard of practice, code of ethics, intro book, Thai music therapy journal, etc..... and there's only a handful of trained music therapists, as of yet, that have studied in all areas of the world (which all have their own philosophies of music therapy). You might think "Well, that already exists in the U.S. so why don't we just translate everything and go from there?" I did.. and then realized that's not fair way to think at all. For one thing, the ethical standards in the U.S. wouldn't jive with the Thai culture. Medical procedures look different, caregivers are a much larger part of the treatment process, the hierarchy of society is very important and difficult to navigate, and some intervention types aren't even possible (i.e. Thai language doesn't allow for songwriting I'm accustomed to-- the melody is designed around the tones of each word rather than the other way around). In short, it's not easy to start something new in a new country.

One more internship thing.... I was feeling super enthused and productive the other day and decided that I should set some goals for my internship and also divide up these goals into attainable increments so I had a hope of accomplishing them--rather than coming home every night and freaking out that sleep had to come so soon, consequently failing at everything (or so it feels). Here's the result of my productive frenzy:

The Internship Itinerary: A ridiculous, alliterated, color-coded calendar:

  • Mapping Monday: Session planning and to-do lists for the week
  • Tunes and Thai Tuesday: Practicing my Thai and Western songbooks as well as Thai
  • Writing Wednesday: Creative output
  • Thorough Theory Thursday: Study for the MT-BC exam
  • Find-a-fact Friday: Find a blog, article, etc. to read-- like one of the ones I've had bookmarked for years!
  • Self Saturday: Go on a "me" date, get my nails painted, go somewhere fun... be happy. 
  • Seek-a-job Sunday: Self-explanatory. Check job sites and apply. 

I'll let you know how it goes, though you may be able to tell. Hopefully, Writing Wednesday will result in more regular posts such as this one and Find-a-Fact Friday just may lead to a shocking 2 posts per week! And before you make fun of me and my dorky alliterations, just know that it won't affect me because I know that......well..... "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and Doggonit people like me" :)

That was a weird quote and a weirder ending. I've been watching too much TV. SNL, Modern Family, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and--most recently-- Community.

Thanks for reading :)


1 comment:

  1. John Handy would be proud.

    I am proud.

    I couldn't have imagined this whole "Thailand" thing going as well as it has. Truly.