More on Assessment – Chuck

Chuck Sandy

Measurement, Magic, and Balance
– Chuck Sandy


Earlier today there were five school children riding unicycles in the park across from where I live. Two of them had joined hands and were spinning round and round, going faster and faster. Another two were slowly circling the park’s perimeter clearly enjoying what they were doing. The other one kept falling and looked close to tears. I mentally assessed them: superb, pass, fail. I was wrong.

Before long, the older man who used to be a social worker and who now has taken it upon himself to be responsible for what happens with the school children in the park was scolding the spinning ones for doing something dangerous, encouraging the slow circlers to go a little faster, and had the falling one hanging onto his arm while he whispered something in her ear for awhile before letting her go, drift off by herself, and not fall.

I see this same thing every spring: Learning to ride a unicycle is an encouraged part of the curriculum for 3rd and 4th graders in the local elementary school here in my corner of rural Japan, meant to develop balance, encourage perseverance, and build confidence. Learning how to do it is the assessment. No outside evaluation is necessary, but help and instruction from outside the school is always welcome.

Tomorrow all these children will go to school and learn the usual things elementary school children learn with their teachers. Like in all schools, some of those teachers will be wonderful, some less so, some terrible. Some of what the children learn will be important. Some of it will not be important. The retired social worker will be out in the park grooming the baseball field as he waits for the children to get out of school. What he contributes is also important. Not only does he help kids learn to ride unicycles, encourage everyone to be safe and play well together, he also helps with homework, bandages up bruised knees, tells stories about values, shares his experiences, and makes sure no one forgets anything at the end of the day.

Recently I’ve been reading a lot about the move to implement adaptive learning technologies into school systems, the nefarious uses of big data in system-wide curriculum management and national curriculum development, the corporatization of school systems, the rise of standardized testing, the dehumanization of education, and the struggles both teachers and learners face in light of all this. I’ve also been reading a lot about magical solutions and dreamy ideas that some feel could change education forever. It’s all quite frightening. And from my position down the street from the elementary school and across the street from the park, I can’t help but think that neither of those two directions is right and that both are darkly wrong.

Learning and teaching cannot be confined, tied-down, given a test, and assigned a score.  Nor can it be passed off as magic that just happens. What happens when it does happen is too complex, too human, too grounded in hard work, and much too wrapped around the relationships that learners and teachers and caregivers and neighborhood helpers have with each other and whatever they’re learning and teaching to be called magic. It much too complex to be reduced to data points. We are more than a score. We are also worth more than magic can ever add up to.

Yet, there are those who would have us believe that it’s either one or the other – magic or measurement  – when it fact it’s neither — and those who want us to believe education is so deeply flawed that there are no solutions. So would you please just please quietly accept this, submit, and give up.  We will not.

Night is coming on. The unicyclists have ridden off for home. The retired social worker stands at the edge of the park talking with a couple of teachers from the elementary school.  They are in this together. We are all in this together.

That’s the only solution I can think of, and maybe the only one there’s ever been.


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More Whole Teacher – Chuck

Chuck Sandy

The Undivided Life – Chuck Sandy

If we want to grow as teachers — we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives — risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract,” writes Parker Palmer in The Courage To Teach, and so I’d like to tell a story about my continuing journey into wholeness and an undivided life as a teacher and as a person.

At the start of my second year of teaching, I fell into a clinical depression so dark that I wasn’t sure I would get through it. Even getting myself up, dressed, and out of the house was a challenge. Things were that bad. Just when I thought things could not possibly get worse, they did. I was assigned to teach an English Composition course to the freshman members of the university football team.

All these years later, I can still see myself standing in front of that classroom door, trembling with fear as I looked in to see a room full of the biggest, toughest, scariest looking men I’d ever seen gathered in one place. Even under normal circumstances, men like this would have intimidated me. In my depressed state of being, those men terrified me, but somehow I opened that door, walked in and said,  “Hi. I’m Chuck Sandy, and I’m going to be your teacher this year.”

They looked at me. I looked at them. No one said a word. I bought myself some minutes by organizing my desk and writing the day’s assignment on the board. The silence deepened. I can’t do this, I thought, and then I reached down as far into myself as I possibly could, pulled out some words, spoke them out loud, and did it.

Still, for that entire hour my inner voice keep saying, “What are you doing, Chuck? You can’t do this. You’re not a teacher. You’re a loser. Tell them you’re sorry. Tell them there’s been some mistake. You’re depressed. Everybody can see that, Chuck. You’re not fooling anyone. It’s as visible to them as it is to you. You can’t do this. Just give up now. There’s no way you’re going to get through this hour.”

And yet, I did get through that hour. Even so, walking across campus after class, I was pretty sure I’d just taught the worst class ever taught in the history of teaching, and completely sure I was an utter failure as a teacher. I was also quite sure I wanted to die.  Instead, I went to the first class meeting of the Russian Literature in Translation course I was taking, found a seat, got my notebook out, opened my copy of Boris Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago, and tried my best to hide.

My teacher, Marilyn Bendena – a Russian émigré who I thought was probably the most elegant, intelligent, and open person I’d ever seen – made hiding difficult, though.  She had us sit in a circle. She pulled her chair in close. She looked into each of our eyes, and in a calm, measured voice, began talking about her life. I was mesmerized.  As I packed up my books at the end of that class, Marilyn looked deep into my eyes and said, “I’m glad you made it, Chuck. I’m so happy you’re here.”

That night I went home, and began reading. I read all night. By morning I’d finished Dr. Zhivago. Yesterday, thirty-two years later, I pulled out the book to see what I’d underlined back then. What I’d underlined was:

“How wonderful to be alive, he thought. But why does it always hurt?”

“If you want to know, life is the principle of self-renewal, it is constantly renewing and remaking and changing and transfiguring itself …”

“And remember: you must never, under any circumstances, despair. To hope and to act, these are our duties in misfortune.”

Two days later, I was back with my football players.  As I walked into the room for that second class, one of the biggest and scariest looking guys said, “Hey Prof! I got the book! And I did the assignment” and another one said something like “Yeah, me too, but that essay you assigned, I could barely get though it. Some of us guys got together and talked about it, though. Man, this class is going to be hard.”

For some reason I said, “Let’s pull the chairs in a circle” and we did. My inner voice was still saying,  “You can’t do this. You can’t do this. You can’t do this” and yet I did.

The essay that had been assigned was Jacob Bronowski’s The Reach Of Imagination, a very difficult and even then rather dated essay that includes these lines:

Almost everything that we do which is worth doing is done in the first place in the mind’s eye. The richness of human life is that we have many lives. We live the events that do not happen  … as vividly as those that do, and if thereby we die a thousand deaths, that is the price we pay for living a thousand lives.”

“Hey, prof” the biggest, scariest guy said, “Isn’t that like when I’m in bed imagining myself going up against a defensive line of huge muscled-up guys and can’t sleep because I think, like ‘I’m going to die.’ Is it something like that?”

No, I wanted to say, it’s like me in bed at night imagining that I’m going to have to come in here and teach you because I feel like I’m going to die, but I didn’t say that. I said, “Yes, that’s it exactly. What we imagine is as real as what’s actually real.”

That was the most difficult year of my entire life, but I didn’t die. Those big football players weren’t scary at all. They were scared, too, scared like I was though for different reasons, and learning this helped me face them each week, and share with them something of who I was then, too.

Still, I was convinced I was a terrible teacher. Still, I was sure everyone could see how broken I was. Every class was a challenge, every day a struggle to get through, and yet I did. At the end of the course, several of those big men lifted me up high in the air, threw me up with three cheers, and told me what a great class it had been.

One day during that Russian Literature course with Marilyn Bendena, she invited me to her office for coffee, and asked me if I was OK. I broke into tears and before I could say a word, she hugged me and told me that I’d be all right. Then she told me about her own struggles, helped me get the professional help I needed, gave me a copy of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and told me to read it. I did. I got the help I needed and read all 1400 pages of that book. By the time I finished, I was feeling better.

That was the year having a class of big football players to teach, reading Russian literature, and being lucky enough to have Marilyn Bendena as my own teacher saved my life. That was the year I started becoming the teacher I am now, and the person I am still very much in the process of becoming.

The last time I ever saw Marilyn, she gave me a copy of Boris Pasternak’s poem, After The Storm which has these lines at its center:

The gutters overflow; the change of weather

Makes all you see appear alive and new.
Meanwhile the shades of sky are growing lighter,
Beyond the blackest cloud the height is blue.

An artist’s hand, with mastery still greater

Wipes dirt and dust off objects in his path.
Reality and life, the past and present,
Emerge transformed out of his colour-bath.

Feel free to replace the word “artist” with the word “teacher” if you wish.

Parker Palmer writes,  “Afraid that our inner light will be extinguished or our inner darkness exposed, we hide our true identities from each other. In the process, we become separated from our own souls. We end up living divided lives, so far removed from the truth we hold within that we cannot know the ‘integrity that comes from being what you are’”.

I still suffer from bouts of depression from time to time. I still experience times of brokenness when I feel far from whole, yet I continue to learn, teach, grow, and live. What’s changed mostly is that I’m no longer afraid of being visible, no longer afraid of speaking the truth about who I am and who I’m becoming, and so I tell you this story. I hope someday, you’ll share yours. Here’s to the undivided life.


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13 for 2014 – Chuck Sandy

Chuck Sandy

13 Quotes For A Happy New Year
– Chuck Sandy


I’ve long been a collector of quotes, and ever since finding a copy of From The Margins of A Grey Notebook by the poet and archivist Eric Sackhiem, I’ve always meant to keep a notebook full to the margins with them, just like he did.

Doing that is one of my resolutions for this year. Meanwhile, as I’m also a fan of acrostics and in awe of Jeffery Doonan’s recent An Acrostic For Professionalism on the iTDi Blog, I thought I’d try to pull together quotes I’ve collected on scraps of paper and turn them into an acrostic of my own for A Happy New Year.

All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it”, wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupery in The Little Prince. He wasn’t, but very well could have been, writing to the teachers of young learners and all others, reminding them to remember what it’s like to learn in joyful ways and be full of awe about the world and its wonders. Think back. Take yourself there. Remember. Now, teach that way.


How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives says Annie Dillard, and I’m grateful that I’ve gotten to spend my entire life as a learner and my entire adult life as a teacher.  Now that I’m 55 with days no longer structured by class schedules and curricula, I realize even more how much each moment matters, how days add up, and then that’s it. How best to spend the days? It’s up to you to decide. Thank you for using this moment to read this post. When you finish, what will you do next, and why? What does it matter? What will you learn? How is that going to move you forward or enrich your now? Pause. Ponder. Do.


Always do what you are afraid to do, wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in one of his essays, and though doing what scares us is never easy, it’s always worth doing. I tell myself this again and again. So often it’s fear that’s held me back from trying something new, making a change, taking a stand, and doing what’s right. But then, after leaping through a fear, I usually wind up amazed that I’ve neither fallen too far or too hard. When I have fallen far and hard, it’s been what I needed to do in order to stand up again in a new way. This year, take a risk. Step through fear. Leap.


Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity wrote Maria Popova recently on Brainpickings on a day when I was offering a teacher advice on classroom management – a term I’ve never liked very much.  The Popova quote helped me see that the greatest teachers I’ve had or observed are the ones who are wholly present for their students. They have no classroom management problems because in the classroom they are entirely there. How do they do that? I’m sure you know teachers like this. Ask them. When I’ve asked, I’ve found most have a learnable strategy for becoming and staying present in the classroom. Find one of these teachers, model their strategies, and then adapt and make them your own.


People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, ‘Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.’ I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds, wrote the psychologist Carl Rodgers in On Becoming A Person, and as I read that again I thought, “well, of course” but then cringed remembering how often I’ve worked to change people in various ways, not understanding that I was actually working to change myself through them. Being a teacher means accepting others as they are, while offering up tools that can take them farther, then as Rogers says, stepping back to watch in awe as they unfold to become even more who they are.


Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes, writes Rumi and the poem goes on to say “If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings” and this is the best quote I know about the giving and receiving that is teaching and learning.


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” said Margaret Mead and when we define world as one person, one classroom, or one community, we begin to realize the power we have as teachers to make a difference – especially when we band together though initiatives like iTDi to encourage and support each other.


Everybody is a genius, said Albert Einstein “but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid,” so stop doing that. If it’s in you, take a stand against standardized testing. If you’re in the US, speak out about the Common Core. In every classroom, let people shine in the ways they do.


We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” wrote Anais Nin which goes to explain how our view of the same classroom over time changes as we change. It’s good to remember that what we see is just a reflection of who we are.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go... wrote Dr. Suess, so just remember that.


Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books” wrote John Lubbock in a book that’s aptly titled The Pleasures Of Life and is available in digital form free. Just click the link, but before you do, go outside and have a look around.  See what you can see and learn what you can learn.


And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it wrote Roald Dahl in The Minpins, and this is an important thing to remember whether or not you’re a teacher, but especially if you are.


Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something, says H. Jackson Brown Jr. in Life’s Little Instruction Book, and this is a good thing to remember whenever you wonder why the people in your classrooms and all around you act the way they do and do the things they do. It’s because they’re people, just like you.  My parents gave me Life’s Little Instruction Book one Christmas 30 years ago, and on that day I underlined this quote. Then, I put the book away and forgot about it.  I would have been a better teacher as well as a better person all these years if I’d done a better job of remembering this simple truth: everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.  Still, it’s not too late, is it? There’s a whole year ahead, still a lot to learn, and though those 13 add up to A Happy New Year, there’s a postscript:


PS: The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there writes L.P. Hartley in The Go Between. It’s like T.S. Elliot says in Little Gidding: For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. If there’s any looking back, it’s in silent gratitude. A year’s end marks a moment in the ineffable journey thru eternity, and not yet fluent in the language, all we can do is breathe in & breathe out grateful thanks as we speed past, and renew our commitment to becoming more fluent in kindness, more patient in our learning, more gentle in our teaching, and more able to be a conduit of the light that is love.

Let’s do that.  I’ll be trying my wavery best.


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The Professionalism Issue – Chuck

Home Cooked Professionalism – Chuck Sandy

Chuck Sandy

“You thought you knew what food was” but “forgot how much restaurant there was in restaurant food and how much home was in homemade,” writes novelist Jonathan Franzen in The Corrections, a book that is not about food at all, nor about teaching, although it is about learning:  learning to see what’s truly important as one strips one’s life of self-deception, denial, gloss, and illusion.  In some way, I’ve come to see that making those same sorts of corrections in their lives and in their teaching is what the best teachers do as they progress through their career, becoming as they do, increasingly less restaurant and more homemade.

When I first started out as a teacher, I had a pretty clear idea in mind of what professionalism meant and what good teaching was, but I was all restaurant in those days: full of theory, full of dogma, full of myself. Like most new teachers, I hid behind the safety-net such things provide and while I probably taught lessons that were technically proficient, I’m not at all sure how much I taught anyone.

Still, each day I’d dress up like a teacher, show up on time with the lesson plans I was required to submit to my supervisor, and teach from those lesson plans without veering far from the script I’d prepared. Meanwhile, I began subscribing to the best professional journals, started presenting at conferences, and before long had become the supervisor that other teachers submitted their lesson plans to for approval.  This is when things got both better and worse.

Clearly, I was on a fast-moving professional track, and in terms of career, this was very good. Before too many more years went by, I was writing textbooks and traveling at my publisher’s expense to tell teachers near and far what good teaching is and why they should get on with it. Back then, it was all about the Communicative Approach, which at that time had become almost a religion in English Language Teaching, because if teachers weren’t Communicative Approach teachers, then what were they? They were holdouts and traditionalists, doing it all wrong. They weren’t of course, but I thought they were, and in the name of professionalism I worked to convince them that they were, and that’s not just bad, that’s very wrong.

I cringe when I think now of how what I was actually doing was working to take the home out of homemade teaching and replace it with a corporate, mass-produced version of chain-restaurant education … in the name of professionalism.  To make things worse, most of my ELT heroes in those days, the true professionals, I thought, and the ones I aspired to be more like, were those people doing the same things I was doing, only more of it, more dogmatically, and more successfully.

Well, that was twenty years ago, and all I can do now is apologize and say I was wrong, while also working to correct those wrongs, correct and better myself, and offer up a totally revised definition of professionalism along with a new, much more authentic group of heroes: the working-dedicated-to-learning-how-to-be-better teachers in the international teaching community.

Today, the most professional teachers I know do not often teach in universities, publish paradigm-shifting textbooks, write many academic articles, or strive to do much more than become great teachers while actively encouraging their peers to do the same. They openly share what they’re learning on blogs and social media posts. They voluntarily serve as mentors to newer teachers with the idea that by doing so they’ll be learning something new about teaching as well. They initiate collaborative projects that they invite others to join as equals, get involved in initiatives like ELTChat and organizations like iTDi, and enthusiastically embrace opportunities to grow professionally. My new heroes are the teachers who exemplify this spirit of a new home-cooked professionalism and often write of it so beautifully as James Taylor does here his blog post entitled Just Say Yes.

Then, there are those teachers who take stands against movements and pedagogies in education they believe are damaging. My new heroes are also the ones who feel so strongly about education that they wind up resigning from very professional positions in order to fight for their students. These are teachers like Meg Norris who writes about this in her post, To My Students: I Love You and I Believe In You.

And then, there are teacher heroes like Kiran Bir Sethi who not only believe they can change the world, but do change the world with a movement like Design For Change which began in a single classroom in India five years ago and now involves over 35,000,000 students and their heroic teachers in more than 24 different countries.

Not long ago, Kiran told me that one of the reasons she believes Design For Change spread so quickly is because “when people contacted us wanting to bring Design For Change to their own country, we replied immediately, let them know they’re part of a larger idea, explained why they should do it, not how they should do it, and made them partners. We want them to be able to say, ‘This is now our story, not Kiran’s story anymore’ and this is an important concept.”

What I believe Kiran is saying here is that she created a structure and an approach that encouraged teachers to put more home in homemade, while not requiring them to be restaurant at all. Then, she stepped back and let them get on with it.

Notice how different this approach to professionalism is from my 20-years-ago-do-it-my-way-chain-restaurant-version. Notice, how different James Taylor’s vision is. And then there’s Meg Norris out there fighting for her students’ rights.  Notice now this sort of professionalism is mostly about heart and hardly about self.

Home-cooked. Filled with heart. Focused on others.  Giving more than getting. That’s the sort of professionalism I now believe in and try my wavering best to live by.


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The Culture Issue – Chuck

Chuck Sandy

Cultural Exploration in Soi 70-2
–  Chuck Sandy




I’m sitting by the Chao Phraya river outside a house in the Bangplad area of Bangkok, Thailand where I’ve rented a room for a month. Behind me is Soi 70-2, a local neighborhood built on canals and swampland. Getting to this house, or anywhere else in the Soi, means walking along very narrow concrete paths lined closely on both sides by mostly one-story houses. Everyone has their doors and windows open, and I can’t help looking inside. That’s because I’m an outsider here – one who knows nothing about Thai culture except what I’ve read in books — so looking is what I do to learn. I look, I interpret, I ask around, and I make mistakes.

It didn’t take long to see that some houses here are also stores selling goods and supplies. A few sell only a single item like eggs, water, sweets, bananas or cakes.  Some provide services. Then, there are houses out of which women, mostly, prepare and sell homemade food like curries, soups, and vegetable dishes right out of their kitchens.  At first, it seemed like everyone was selling something.

The other day, I saw two women sitting on a front porch surrounded by pots full of delicious looking foods. I smiled, got some money out, and pointed to two dishes I’d decided to try. “No, no, no, no” these ladies indicated with their gestures, and though at first I thought they might be letting me know that these were things I wouldn’t like, I soon realized this wasn’t a store at all. I was trying to buy someone’s dinner.

As I walk the pathways of this Soi, I carry with me all I know and am. This is to say, I carry the version of American culture I grew up in, the values of the family I grew up with, combined with the Japanese culture I’ve grown into after more than twenty years of living in Japan. Still,  having traveled the world quite widely and having lived in many places, I consider myself cross-culturally sensitive.  I’ve even taken classes on culture, read all of Edward T. Hall’s books about culture, and taught courses on cross-cultural understanding. Yet, I repeatedly get it wrong.

That’s because wherever I go, there I am:  a prisoner of my own background, constantly needing to be reminded that culture is not one thing, but many things, and always something understood through the inaccurate eyes of the self.  I keep forgetting this. No matter how aware one may be, culture is difficult to get a handle on.



Let’s try an experiment, one you can do with your students in class if you’d like.  Wherever you live, get a notebook, go out in a local neighborhood, and look around. If you’re not surrounded by a different culture, pretend you are. Look carefully and make some notes on the things you see. Then, when you get back home, write out possible interpretations based on the observations you made. Here’s an example:


Culture Chart > Location:  Soi 70-2, Bangkok, Thailand
Observations Interpretations
No matter when I pass by one house in the Soi, the family living there is sitting on the floor around a low table, eating & talking 1) Meals don’t take place at regular times.  2) Families sit on the floor when they eat. 2) Thai families enjoy spending time together.
The shallow water between houses near the river is full of trash.  No one seems to mind.  Only a few people pick up, collect & bag trash. 1) Litter doesn’t bother people. 2) Trash washes in from the river & residents have gotten used to it. 3) Recycling is not important here..
One lady sells supplies from her kitchen. There’s no need to pay at the time of purchase. She keeps a ledger of names and amounts. People pay later. 1) Community is much more important than money. 2) People know and trust each other.  3) People don’t carry much money when they go out.
Some people place cut limes, salt, and chili peppers along the side of the path in front of their homes. They do so every morning. 1) This has religious significance. 2) It’s done to keep insects, mice, and snakes away. 3) It’s a kind of decoration but without deep meaning.


When I’ve done this activity with Japanese university students in Japan, they always return with some interesting observations from their own neighborhoods. They also almost always arrive believing the interpretations they’ve made are explanations.  They’re Japanese interpreting their own culture. How could they be wrong?

Yet, they often are wrong, and they discover this as they work in groups to share and discuss their observations.  That’s when they discover that there’s usually some disagreement, different opinions, and other points of view among their classmates. Although they begin sharing their interpretations as the answer, they soon find that what they really have is an answer. Realizing this is eye opening for everyone as they learn that even in a supposed monoculture, culture is not clear-cut and singular at all. There are many different ways of doing things, many different family traditions informing rituals, lots of variations in behaviors across neighborhoods and regions, and few easy answers or uniformly agreed upon interpretations.

Doing this activity with students several times over a course — focusing one time on holidays, for example, and another time on the rituals and behaviors surrounding food, for instance — is one way of helping students understand that there are few cultural universals. It helps students see that culture is living and various, and that the understanding we have of even our own culture is one formed by a self who’s been shaped by family, background, and experience — and is therefore singular and unreliable.

Our observations about culture and our interpretations of the things we observe in a culture are an extension of who we are. Ask around. No one’s got the answer to what culture is and why people do the things they do. Most people, though, have an answer, and they’re usually happy to present it as fact.

Back in Soi 70-2 , I’m learning this again, having already discovered from one Thai informant that the people who spread limes, salt and chili in front of their houses are doing so to keep snakes away.  A long-term foreign neighbor asked his Thai wife about this and she told him it’s a Buddhist thing.  My current landlord told me it’s done to protect a house from unwelcome spirits, and the Thai lady at the local store who gives everyone credit said it’s to keep ants out. Who’s right? Not everyone.

That’s why  I’ll be asking around, observing and interpreting, working to remember that culture in Soi 72-2 is like culture everywhere: not a puzzle to be solved, but rather something to be explored — and enjoyed.


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