About Me

“Throw yourself out
into the convolutions of the world . . .
Take chances, make your own work,
take pride in it. Seize the moment.”
– Joan Didion

Nothing that notable to say yet.  My name is Ben.  I’m a native Michigander with a passion for human culture and new places, and more than that, new experiences.  I have degrees in writing and anthropology and have no idea what I want to do with them.  For now, I’m content with an unbound lifestyle; going where I want and doing what I can, and hopefully gaining some interesting stories along the way.

living in Bangkok

14 thoughts on “About Me

  1. “… content with an unbound lifestyle…” hopefully grateful for it as well. Not all can do it. May you collect memories along the way that will remain with you forever!

  2. Hi Ben – I found your blog while I was searching for reviews of ATI. First of all, thank you for all of the details regarding the before/during/after experience of the Special Thai Project. I’ve paid my deposit and will be starting the course in July, after which it seems I will be placed somewhere for the month of September then I will have October off then work again from Nov-March. I find this, like almost everything else ATI has communicated to me thus far, very confusing…

    Regardless, I’m glad to have found your blog! It definitely seems like the quality of the teaching placement is “luck of the draw” and I suppose all I can do at this point is hope I get a good placement or sacrifice the certification and go find one on my own like your friend did. Anyways, just wanted to thank you for writing up all of that – the info about the visa process was especially helpful. I’m trying to go with the flow so I hope it all works out okay…

    • Michelle (had a look at yours too) thanks for the comment. ATI should work out just fine. It seems to be that they’re doing a lot more course and more often now too. July seems like an awkward time, since the school year begins in May, ends at the end of March. October is a “winter break” during which most schools will still be operational for extra courses if the parents want to pay for them. It’s the same in April for summer break, during the hottest time of year in Thailand.

      Though likely not the case in every school most of what I’ve seen is that the schools will give their faculty half of each of those 2 months off and work the other half.

      That timing for ATI is odd though, as they would have to try and place you at the tail end of a first semester, when many schools will not necessarily have openings. Which location are you planning on taking the course at?


      • Yes, yes, it is very strange!! I’m taking the course in Bangkok and it seems as though I will be placed in a school near Bangkok, but that I also may not, who knows, right? Like I said, just trying to go with the flow although there is a part of me that wonders if I should have just signed up for the TEFL course and gone looking for a job on my own…

  3. Hi Ben,
    Just thought I would stop by and say thanks for the follow! I love that you have a page of posts to come. I am so far behind my actual travels I should consider doing that too! I like the idea of an ‘unbound’ lifestyle. I really don’t know what I want to do with my life long term either, so I might adopt that phrase for myself as well :)

  4. Sorry Ben, but you are a relatively poor writer – too verbose, cluttered and confusing prose. I was hoping that reading your blog would serve as motivation to move forward with pursuing certification through American TESOL Institute. Their website provides a plethora of information and it is vague, indirect, and non-committal. Teaching English to children in a foreign country is something I would truly like to do, but this whole industry, with too many players, and such wide variation in prices and programs, seems more like a scam the further I delve into it. I have a MSW degree and am intrinsically motivated to empower others, but again, I lament that your blog only compounded my confusion and increased my doubt. This is a freaking frustrating deal.

    • Well, I’m sorry that you didn’t find it helpful, but plenty of others have. It’s not meant to sell you for or against ATI or to give information about other programs,, but simply to give a detailed recounting of every step of the experience, something I feel it does just fine.

      And if you don’t care for mine, I have linked to several others regarding ATI as well.

  5. Hi Ben,

    What is your email address? I wanted to speak with you further about ATI.

    Thanks for sharing all of your experience!

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