I've had a few posts marinating in my brain and finally have some time to get them online - pretend these were posted throughout the last two weeks!
After getting their grades back on the first assignment, some of my students looked so dejected that I felt guilty and decided to offer some extra credit. Maybe I grade harder than the other teachers? The next class was July 4th, so I offered +0.5 if they wore red, white and blue, and +0.5 if they made a short presentation about Independence Day (or Canada Day!). I thought maybe a few would take advantage of it, but was surprised when almost everyone participated!
I also sat through about 8 of the same presentation. Apparently this was the first result when you googled "Fourth of July". The students dutifully recited it down to the line "... we claimed our independence from britain..." It was cute.
There was a party at the American Consulate (on the 3rd for some reason) and it was actually fun. A few friends of mine had "founding fathers" outfits tailored and wore them for the occasion.
There was Budweiser, McDonalds, Subway and Starbucks - the extent of America in Thailand apparently.
A live orchestra played The Star-Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful before a decent fireworks display, and a group was registering people for absentee ballots; I actually felt pretty patriotic.