Today marks the beginning of a new life for me. This change has been coming for a while and I have been spending a lot of time to get to this point. And I am not sure where to begin to describe this change, but I will give it a try.
In short, I have jumped back into the academic world with both feet -- the right foot as a teacher and the left foot as a student.
First, the teaching part. About three weeks ago I started teaching again. I am teaching in the Thai program, but my course is in English. This means that the English skills of my students is not great, but they seem to be trying their best, and that's all that matters. Much of my lecture every week is spent explaining English vocabulary, but it is a fun challenge to try to figure out how to explain difficult concepts using as simple language as possible. It has also helped my Thai, as I have been trying to learn business words so that I can communicate with my students when I need to. I never had much reason to learn the Thai word for management, infrastructure, income and expenses, etc.
The second big change (and perhaps the more exciting) is that I have started a PhD program in "e-Learning Methodology" at Assumption University in Bangkok. This is an online program that is only made up of research and a dissertation. So I will be able to work on it at home over the next three years.
For the past few months, I have been drowning in paper work preparing to be a teacher and a student. It is unbelievable how much paper I had to produce: transcripts, diplomas, application forms, two new bank accounts, passport copies, photos, work permit paperwork, etc. I have signed my name hundreds of times over the last few weeks, but it all appears to be done now. Today I officially registered and paid my tuition fee to Assumption, and so now I am officially a student again.
My first task for the PhD is to do as much research on the existing literature in my field, so that I can learn the latest advancements. It has been over 10 years since I have done any academic research, so I have a feeling I have some catching up to do.
Over the next few months, I might try to use this website to talk about the research that I am doing and how it relates to my own dissertation topic. I need to get some practice writing again, especially for an academic audience. This is a big change from what I have written about before, so apologies to those readers who enjoy the travel, culture, and life stories. Then again, I haven't been adding much to this site lately so perhaps I don't have any more readers to disapoint!