Vol. XIII No. 6
Friday February 11 - February 17, 2005

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

St Andrews children celebrate Chinese New Year

Americans to train local English teachers

Shakespeare comes to Pattaya

Nobel Laureate to speak at Asian University

Happiness Camp organizers follow up on first batch of students and teachers

Wat Pong hosts anti drug camp for children

St Andrews children celebrate Chinese New Year

Chinese Dragon,
Breathing Fire
Happy Happy New Year
Gong Hay Fat Choy

A sea of red and gold as children dressed up in their Chinese outfits.

Children from St Andrews International School celebrated the Year of the Rooster, by engaging in a myriad of activities. Year 2 conducted an interview with a parent expert, as the children asked delving questions into the true nature of Chinese New Year festivities. Such burning questions included ‘How long is the dragon?’, ‘Why is the dragon important to Chinese New Year celebrations?’, ‘Why is the red colour worn?’, and more importantly ‘What foods are eaten to celebrate Chinese New Year?’ The children certainly came away with all their questions answered!

Many thanks to Suni Sun as she answers questions posed by Year 2 children

The theme of ‘Dragons’ was certainly a popular theme, as children in Year 1 used intricate folding techniques to create dancing paper dragons. Reception children worked hard to make a gigantic dragon, which they excitedly paraded around the playground, with banners and musical instruments. The children in Nursery were also using their fine motor skills to make red paper lanterns as well as create their very own lucky red envelopes!

Yi Ting is happy to celebrate Chinese New Year.

The playground was a sea of red and gold, as children came dressed in their finest Chinese costumes to celebrate the New Year. We hope the Year of the Rooster will be a lucky one for all!

Americans to train local English teachers

The US Embassy in Bangkok and the Association of United States Alumni (AUA) plans to offer training courses for local English teachers across the country. The training program for English high school teachers is aimed at helping improve the quality of English teaching in Thailand.

AUA headquarters in Washington is producing video tapes to help train English teachers in various countries, including Egypt, Costa Rica and Thailand. The training will be offered once a month around the country, with the first program scheduled for April in three key regional main cities - Chiang Mai in the north, Khon Kaen in the northeast and Nakorn Si Thammarat in the south.

All participants will have to agree to become trainers after finishing their course, and set up a similar program in their schools for their colleagues.

“The program involves several new ideas for teaching English as a second language and new practices for students in the classroom,” foreign affairs education director, Jurairat Saengboonnam said.

The offer of the training program was made during a meeting of US embassy officers and senior Thai education ministry officials, led by Permanent Secretary for Education, Khun Ying Kasama Varawan Na Ayutthaya in Bangkok on February 10. (TNA)

Shakespeare comes to Pattaya

TNT Theatre’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, on a world tour, plays two dates in Thailand at the Regent’s School

Michael Thomas

‘Touring theatre at its best’ South China Morning Post

Next month sees a visit by the professional TNT American Drama Group Europe in Shakespeare’s timeless love story ‘Romeo and Juliet’. They will give two performances in The Globe Theatre at Regent’s School on March 9 and 10 at 7.30 p.m.

TNT Theatre’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, on a world tour, plays two dates in Thailand at the Regent’s School.

This unique event also focuses on the link between Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre in London, where the play was originally performed 400 years ago, and our very own Globe here in Pattaya.

This will be the first performance by a professional theatre company in the newly-built theatre, positioned proudly at the front entrance of The Regent’s School. The Globe here in Thailand joins the exclusive ‘family’ of other Globe Theatres around the world, including the Mitsibushi Globe in Tokyo and its namesake in San Diego, California.

The school is a newly enrolled member of the prestigious Globelink scheme administered by the Shakespeare International Globe Centre in Southwark, London, which aims to promote knowledge and understanding of the playwright’s works in schools around the world.

TNT American Drama Group Europe has developed an international reputation for presenting dynamic, exciting and direct productions of Shakespeare’s major works. Live music, powerful choreography and a simple performance style allow a modern audience to experience Shakespeare’s great love story as an Elizabethan audience might have done.

The play is rediscovered as a story not of urban street kids but ‘two houses both alike in dignity’. This is a tragedy of clan war where, the death of two young lovers brings the warring factions to their senses. Verona is brought to the stage in all its classic glory, Latin passion and Baroque decadence. Where peace seems as allusive as true love, this great tragedy is as relevant as ever.

Of special note is the live musical score played by the performers themselves on violin, trumpet, percussion and guitar, in addition to five-part harmony singing. Composer Thomas Johnson is well known for his theatre work, including the current London West End success, ‘When the Whales Came’.

In order to bring the story closer to our modern world, the play is set in the flamboyant ‘La Dolce Vita’ period of Italy in the 1950’s.

Too often Shakespeare suffers from directors and even designers imposing an interpretation on the original that stifles its essence. TNT work carefully to bring out the true richness and density of Shakespeare, and this approach has been much appreciated by a wide audience who are often surprised how accessible and relevant the plays become when they are allowed to exist as Shakespeare might have intended.

The plays were written to be performed with limited scenery that calls for the imagination of the audience, live audience, small casts, energetic physical performances and sensitivity to poetry. All these elements are to be found in a TNT American Drama Group Europe Shakespearean production and find their ideal home on the stage of the Globe Theatre here in Pattaya.

Director Paul Stebbings recent productions of ‘Hamlet’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ have all been performed to great acclaim from Tokyo to London, Berlin to Malta and Tehran to Atlanta. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ began its world tour in May 2004 and has just completed dates in the Middle East and Singapore. The production will eventually tour to some twenty countries worldwide. These performances are the only two dates in Thailand so it is definitely a production that deserves to be seen. Whilst at the school, the students will participate in a workshop on acting technique with members of the company.

The world-wide rave reviews speak for themselves: ‘Highly effective and charismatic theatre’ says New York’s Village Voice, whilst the Japan Times calls them ‘Extraordinary’ and The Scotsman newspaper praises them for being ‘ wonderfully unpredictable and astonishingly inventive.’ The Frankfurter Neue Presse, Germany described this ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as a ‘beautiful, impressive production that reaches the heart of the play’. This is clearly an event not to be missed.

The Pattaya Mail and the Thai Garden Resort, Naklua sponsor the Thailand leg of the tour. Tickets can be purchased in the Thai Garden during office hours (9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 4 - 8 p.m. Tel: 038 370614-8 ext 6666) or from the Secondary School library at the Regent’s School (Tel: 099 328464). Tickets cost 500 baht for adults and 400 baht for students. Book now for the opportunity of seeing a highly polished professional performance of Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy presented in Pattaya for two shows only.

Nobel Laureate to speak at Asian University

Friday March 4

Douglass C. North, who won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences in 1993, will give a keynote lecture on “Beliefs, Institutions and the Control of Violence”, at Asian University on Friday, March 4.

Douglass C. North is a Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University, St. Louis. Jointly with Prof. R. Fogel he was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change. Their work has deepened our knowledge and understanding within fundamental areas of research, as to how, why and when economic change occurs.

There is no charge for this event. The talk will be in English and will start promptly at 10.30 a.m. To register to attend this exciting lecture, please contact the university at [email protected] asia nust.ac.th

Asian University, Highway 331, Banglamung, Chonburi. Tel: 038 754 450.

Happiness Camp organizers follow up on first batch of students and teachers

Camp trains teachers and students to improve their performance

Suchada Tupchai

Kasemsook Phomsathit, Mathura Human Society president, and her team were in Pattaya this week to follow up on the progress of students and teachers from the very first Happiness Camp.

Aunty Sai chats with the children.

The Happiness Camp aims at training school teachers how to create a happy atmosphere in the classroom and students on how to deal with life in a focused and happy manner. It also trains teachers to help their children to build goodwill and peace of mind to be able to achieve an effective result in their studies. More importantly, the camp promotes self-discipline.

The first follow up session with teachers and students from Pattaya School No. 2 - a year after the initial session - showed dramatic results with many leading healthy and happier lives.

Children going through their follow up session.

Speaking to the group and to Kasemsook, Aunty Sai as she is affectionately known, Samanya Petchwong - a student at the school said, “Since the first camp, I find that I can focus on my studies better and view the world much better than before. I can find the good in people and I am much happier with myself and my life.”

Kasemsook said that she felt happy to see the children once again and planned to further help teachers and children in Pattaya’s schools.

One of the teachers who took part in the Happiness Camp.

This was echoed by Wannapa Wannasri, Pattaya Education supervisor, who revealed that the project had proved successful and that it would be further implemented in local schools for teachers.

Kasemsook Phomsathit, Mathura Human Society president is also the creator of the Kasemsook Movement, which is part of the Happiness Camp. The Kasemsook Movement involves the body as well as the mind and spirit.

This unique form of exercise is highly regarded as one that is good for the heart and rejuvenates the body. It promotes a healthy body through moving meditation with breathing techniques and clear mind with 3-5 minutes of meditation at the end of the movement.

Wat Pong hosts anti drug camp for children

Over 150 children from the Wat Pong School took part in a special 3-day training camp at the temple, which began last Friday morning. Suranit Arjkrit, Chonburi Region 3 Education Office assistant director presided over the opening of the session, along with the temple abbot and lecturers from Thammasat University’s Social Science’s faculty.

Kids doing their best in the various activities.

The aim of the camp was to instill Buddhist teachings and allow the students to develop focus, happiness in their daily lives through self-awareness and to develop and grow to become good community members. The junior high school children also received education on the dangers of drug use as well as how to avoid falling into the trap of curiosity and peer pressure of drug experimentation.

A variety of activities throughout the opening day took place including team building sessions and public speaking.

Manoon Kaewrung, Wat Pong School director said that the camp was particularly aimed at the junior high school level, as the children are quite often susceptible to peer pressure as they try and find their way. He added that the religious aspect of the camp was to bring about awareness in which the children can use on daily basis.

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