Being a grandparent is fun, isn't it! Ours are growing up so fast - Willy is in kindergarten, Cameren will be four at the end of June, and baby Isabella will be two next week. All three are (of course) smart, loving, and beautiful. You [me, Bonnie] are so lucky to have Thai 'connnections'. I always think about going back but knowing no one there and having forgotten all my Thai (not that is was much to begin with), I think it would be a little sad. I know what you mean about speaking Thai - I probably told you I was tutoring a Thai student this year. He lives with his two aunts who speak only Thai and we've gone to their house for lunch a few times, had them over for Thanksgiving, and took them to the coast. I was totally dependant on Leng (my 'tutee') to interpret. The Thai sounded so familiar but I sure couldn't say much. David and I just back from 5 weeks in France- it was rainy and not all of it turned out great, but it was still a good trip and I got to practice my French. I can carry on a short conversation in French though I'm really not good at it -but much better than I ever was at Thai. I'm still working on my MA in teaching ESL. I got a TA position at the university for next year. I'll be teaching ESL classes in their International program as I finish up my degree. (probably will be the oldest TA in the US!) Last term I did some ESL practice teaching - all adults, mostly refugees. I really enjoyed it. One thing I always wonder is what the heck I was doing in those classes at Kasetsart. I really didn't know anything about teaching ENlglish (or anything else!) GUess I was just winging it! I plan to finally quit my job at the end of the summer and just go to school and teach part-time. I've gotten really bored with the whole corporate thing (though it's been nice to have a regular income). Let;s see ... what else. My sons are all doing well - happy and healthy - can't ask for much more. Matthew is a great husband and father but he is still an adrenalin junkie. Loves all the very active sports and doesn't mind occasional surgery when he wrecks pieces of his body. Jason (the only single one, my 'baby') is still living in NYC and having a great time. Jeff, the doting dad of Willy & Cameren, is still a construction engineer and loves it. He's a lot like his dad. And David is 'semi-retired' as he calls it. He does contract work for some high tech start-up designing little pieces for fiber-optic switches for the internet (way too techie for me). Please give Judy a hug for me. I wish I was there to see you both. Maybe I can figure a way to get to the bay area one of these days.
In answer to your question about the MA -- I'm not done yet, I've gone 4 terms already and could probably get done in one more term except for the dreaded thesis. But since I got a TA position next year (free tuition) I'll take the whole 3 terms to finish up. I'll be able to take a lot of elective grad courses since I've completed most of the required courses. I'd been thinking for a few years about doing this because of the possibilities it opens up. Though ESL teachers don't make much money, there are lots of part-time positions and certainly plenty of volunteer opportunities. Also, like you, I've thought about another Peace Corps stint, but two years away is too long to be away from those grandkids. Instead, I would really like to get a teaching job somewhere overseas for maybe a year and an MA TESOL degree certainly helps make that possible. So - who knows where I'll go from here but even getting the degree is an adventure. There are a number of people in the program who are ex-PCVs and lots of others who have travelled extensively. It also helped that ADP let me work half-time and Portland State University is just a 15 minute walk from work.
That's the MA news ... Keep in touch, Carol