Day 51: The Tree and Our Movies

In the morning, we played on the beach. It was sunny and the coastline had receded in the regular rhythm of tides. Our first Business lesson about predicting the unpredictable “Black Swans”. The class was held at a huge tree where the students felt the majesty of nature being spoiled by sitting on ants.

Our resort is in a secluded spot. We’re about an hour from the nearest town and a half hour walk from the next resort and the surrounding restaurants and convenience stores. There’s the steady sound of nature here with birds kicking up dirt and insects calling. The jungle is a lush green and over our heads. It looks to be brimming with life although this isn’t even the rainy season when it’s the most robust. The resort has a simple pool, an outdoor restaurant with a TV, and consists of a series of cabins elevated off the ground to avoid sitting in puddles. It’s peaceful and there’s little access to WiFi which was startling to our class who looked longingly at their phones. At the same time, we have a good social group and being in a quiet place gives us a great opportunity to get back to the foundation of education. Reading and thinking.

We started our short story unit. This class reads and reflects with the best of them, digesting and interpreting stories voraciously. In our evening English class we read stories about a final moment of life flashing before a grumpy man’s eyes and a tense phone call where a daughter explains to her father that she’s getting married and he can’t accept her choice. The students read with an extra edge of interest, knowing that they would be producing a draft of their own short stories tomorrow.

Afterward, we watched ALL twenty-eight of the films that we have made as a class. Finally, we could all be impressed by Antoine and Bryan’s cinematography at Angkor, Olivia’s spectacular overhead shot, and Jess and Iain’s simple, powerful storylines. It was a fun night where we knew all of the celebrities in the films. Sam and Mack had to perfect the look of sadness and rejection while Vanessa got to be late for class -trapped in a nightmare. Tonight was also the unveiling of the group films made in Bangkok where every group was a team of specialized directors, editors, cinematographers, and writers to bring the filmmaking to the next level. Once we are in the land of internet again, we’ll have to get these online to share with you.

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