How to Teach, What to Wear, Teacher Tributes, and Teacher Journals

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  • A Tribute to Ms. Anneliese Charek by Jessica Gallant 2010

    This is not the greatest song in the world, this is just a tribute. To a beautiful ballerina named Anneliese Charek. I arrived in Surat Thani the day after Anneliese in October of 2010. It’s almost October of 2011, and I cannot imagine my year here without her. Before I get into the bromance stuff, however, let me talk about her first as the Queen of Productivity.

    I have only known a few people like her in my entire life. This woman can, and does, do everything. She works more than anyone else at Super English, and this is not abnormal for her. She’s the type of person who had three jobs at once in the United States, worked seven days a week, and put herself through college. Not only that, she was in a dance company that toured and she still had time to sew some awesome clothes. When she was working in Prague last year, she found time to go to film school. She doesn’t waste time talking about what she’s going to do—she just does it. I wish I could manage my time like she can. Even here she works seven days a week. She works at Thida, she used to do college classes five nights a week, she does a preschool class, and she teaches ballet to little monsters on the weekend. Whenever there’s work to be had, Anneliese takes it and does a killer job.

    In addition to being employee of the millennium, Anneliese is a really creative, unique person. She is so artistic and can find and make beauty in everything. It’s incredible. She’s one of those people who can effortlessly dress herself into a beautiful, classy lady, while girls like me can’t even figure out how to put on eyeliner. That’s okay though, because whenever an occasion warrants getting fancy, she jumps at the chance to make me and the other Super ladies beautiful. She dresses us and does our makeup. I wish she could be my personal stylist full time.

    Her artistic creativity greatly benefits her students. She makes the coolest games for her classes, and they always look so adorable and professional—which is a hard combination to pull off. She can draw, she can dance, she can make clothes, she can take beautiful photographs, and she can have beautiful photographs taken of her. She is so beautiful that Thai people often stop her and ask her if they can take a photo. This is such a regular occurrence that one day when a woman asked her, she didn’t think anything of it. Until she ended up on a huge billboard at the corner of Chalokratt and Amphur Roads. For real, the girl got a billboard.

    But anyway, that’s all surface beauty. She’s got it on the inside too, big time. I know this because she not only put up with me as a roommate for a year, but also on extensive vacations to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia. She’s an awesome person to travel with. I say this because she is the same kind of traveler I am. She plans, plans, plans before a trip. And once there, she wants to go to museums and cultural events. When we were in Vietnam we saw both the body of Ho Chi Minh and a traditional water puppet theater performance. In Cambodia we went to the National Museum of Art and saw a traditional Khmer Dance show. She was everything I could have hoped for in a travelling buddy.

    Maybe the coolest thing about her is that her journey of international domination does not end here in Thailand. She plans on living abroad for many years, teaching ESL, and seeing the world. She is the friend who I will be living vicariously through as I sit at my desk at work or in my apartment in the US. She was there for me when I was sad, she hugged me when I cried, and she listened when I needed her too. She is an excellent teacher, a beautiful woman, and a good friend. I feel lucky to have spent this year with her. I will miss her so much, and I know everyone else here in Surat will as well. Much love, Anneliese!