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  • From Bro to Bro: A Tribute to Mike By Blake Schlaich 2011

    I have known Mike for almost two years now. I can honestly say that he’s a great co-worker, roommate, and friend. We have had some wild times since we first met and when the going got tough Mike was always there. Together we’ve hopped islands all over the south of Thailand, survived Songkran in Chiang Mai, floated through Laos on the Mekong and in to Vietnam where we traveled from Hanoi to Saigon over the course of a month. In about a month we’ll be leaving for one last adventure (trekking to the Mt. Everest base camp in Nepal) before he gets on a plane for Prague.

    As excited as I am for Mike and for myself, I’ll be sad to see the bromance come to an end. But even if I’m staying in Thailand for little while longer, I’m sure that our paths will cross again.

    Mike’s an interesting dude. He quit a high paying marketing job in Hollywood to move to the other side of the world to teach English. That’s what I respect about Mike; I think we share the same ideas about what’s important in life. It’s more important to be happy and take pleasure in your lifestyle than it is to be working a 65-hour workweek and making good money.

    Enjoying the moment is what life is about and Mike gets that. And don’t think that I’m talking about being lazy. Mike’s no stranger to sweat. He’s one of the hardest workers I know. He puts his all in to everything he does, whether it’s a lesson for his Prathom students or working out to stay in shape. Aside from teaching full time traveling this past year, he wrote a novel. He wrote a friggin’ book! That’s insane!

    He’s also always been there if I’ve ever needed anything. Back in ‘Nam there were some times where Mike really saved the day. And by “back in ‘Nam” I’m not referring about the war, I’m talking about our epic motorcycle journey from Hanoi to Saigon (almost). The bikes we bought were constantly breaking down. One thing after another something went wrong. But no matter what happened Mike always kept cool and collected. Being the Renaissance Man that he is, he had experience with dirt bikes as a kid, and
    usually Mike was able to fix whatever the problem was. Sure, there were times when we had to go to a mechanic (ask Mike about “the motorcycle whisperer”) but more often than not, he had an idea about what to do.

    In the beginning of the term when I started work at Thida, I only had previous experience with Mathayom students. I wasn’t used to teaching P1-P3. I remember the first or second week I was freaking out because I couldn’t figure out a good activity to do with the little P2’s for their animal lesson. “Dude, that’s easy”, Mike said as he gave me the awesome idea to make the students different animals and then walk the remaining students around the class as if they were touring a zoo. It worked to perfection. I didn’t know little kids could have so much fun learning English!

    Anyway, Mike is a good dude and a great friend and I’m excited to see what happens next for him. If nothing else, he’s my excuse to go visit Prague and Eastern Europe! But first thing’s first… let’s tackle Everest!