One thing I have come to know and love about Asia is that everything is chaotic. Everything from street traffic to making dinner plans takes on an air of casualness that I can’t quite put into words. Instead, I will give you an example. Yesterday I met with Ms. Hong, an administrator at the Department of Foreign Languages at CTU. We finalized my teaching schedule and I was told to drop into class on Friday morning to observe the teacher and see how things are being done. I show up 20 minutes early and start conversing with some of the students who are slowly trickling in. They are all SO excited to have a new foreign teacher which is flattering and helps to boost my confidence. As soon as the teacher comes in, Ms. Thuoy, she pulls me into another room and says “I heard you were coming today so I made plans with my friends. You will teach the class, yes?”

Um……. NO!!!!!

Suddenly alone in front of a classroom of 30(ish) students, I find myself awkwardly talking about gender roles (which happens to be the lesson topic for the day). Like a true Pitzer alumnus, I spend half the class explaining the concept of “stereotyping” and “gender nonconformity”. I’m not quite sure if it stuck but hey, at least I tried! Tomorrow I’m supposed to teach about gender issues in the modern day… wish me luck y’all…

On the bright side, I don’t have to teach again until next Friday so Matt and I have spontaneously decided to take a trip to Phu Quoc island! Stay tuned for pictures of tropical drinks, sandy beaches, and cozy hammocks that will surely make you jealous!

— Taylor Caldwell