In October, we were so fortunate to have Catherine Napalai Faulder (Cat), the exceptional poet and journalist, at ISB to present to and work with our students.
She is the author of “The Journey of a Bedroom Poet”, which explores matters of the heart and soul, as well as the internal obstacles we face, through poetry. Cat’s book is now available for purchase in the Middle School/High School Library at ISB.
Cat is an established journalist for the Bangkok post and a sub-editor for the Guru Magazine. She has an active vlog, where she creates, performs and comments on societal paradoxes. The Bedroom Poet, is what she would refer to as her alter ego, using her bedroom as a place of solitude and safety to create meaningful art and social commentary.
Cat explores and questions the concepts and demands of everyday society, in particular the media and how those precepts can often be misinterpreted, creating anxiety and disorder in your day-to-day life. Cat’s work typically reflects on “subject matters that are usually held at arm’s length by society: depression, addiction, fear, feminism, questions of identity and race and the inner-struggles with body image and eating disorders”. Her vulnerability and willingness to share is not only inspirational but much needed in today’s society.
Health and wellness is such an important component of a balanced lifestyle, but one that is often overlooked. We create busy, pressure driven environments where we constantly strive to achieve more. Although it can be good and healthy to push yourself to achieve your best, we very often forget the basic needs to just be ourselves, and even at times question who or what that is.
At International School Bangkok (ISB), we understand the pressures that teenagers face on a daily basis and take all possible measures to support them in leading balanced and healthy lives. We have a number of highly qualified psychologists and counsellors, who provide social and emotional support, as well as academic and college counseling support. We also run an Advisory Program for students, which focus on many areas of wellness and balanced living and we recognize the power of the arts and language as a way of expression and reflection.
Our high school students recently completed a written assignment, entitled, “Culture of Me”, exploring the problems associated with being in a society of multiple languages and language barriers, which have developed into a range of creative forms of expression such as poems, advice columns and memoirs. Our English faculty invited Cat to share her techniques, life experiences, and work with these students. Cat was able to present a number of workshops, share her poetry and provide technical advice and support for editorial writing.
Ginny Voigt, from our department of social studies said “Cat made an amazing impression on the students while both engaging in discussion and reading her poetry. Both students and teachers were 100% engaged and in many cases awestruck.”
Cat was equally enthusiastic about her visit, sharing, “I am so humbled by how absolutely amazing and talented these kids are, and how passionate the teachers are too! One English class in particular, each of the kids had made some spoken word poetry videos and they really blew me away and made me fall in love with poetry all over again. I’ve never seen poetry taught this way in schools so I really think ISB is doing something very positive because it is making poetry relatable to everyone.”
It was a great opportunity for ISB students to engage with an accomplished and empowered individual who inspired and supported them. We are privileged to have had Cat come to the school and provide insight into the world of literature and discuss the hard topics we often try to avoid.
Cat will be leading a post performance discussion, CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PERFORMING ARTS at the Goethe institute in Bangkok, on the 22nd November 2017.
Her book is also available for purchase in the ISB Middle School/High School library.