Saturday, June 18, 2005


Day seven of our Sauerkraut training

I don't believe it. I've got a homework assignment for Monday morning. What the heck is up with that?

Today started okay. I still had a low level cold, but I was functioning okay. The plan was to attend a seminar on raising kids in a foreign (to them) culture, then hang out in the college library, have lunch, and take the kids to a children's museum in downtown St. Paul. Well, the first hiccup was that the library didn't open until noon. So we wandered back to our room and I actually ended up taking a short nap. Actually, backtrack a bit. After the session, which was all nice and informative, Noodles and I talked to the head TEFL instructor to get her opinion of my sitting in on the classes. She made a good case for the training helping my relating to the folks over in China, so I decided to go with the program rather than lounging about and relaxing.

So back to the nap. I napped, awoke and went to lunch. Then I checked the e-mail, made a short blog post and gathered bus info for our excursion. The girls and I had our outing (yawn! I'm getting too old for children's museums... except for the water tables, of course.) and then came back for supper. Noodles arrived in the dining hall soon after we arrived and announced our mutual assignment. Turns out that our group has to read chapters seven and eight of the book,
More Than a Native Speaker, and give an oral report upon what we read. The group divvied up the labor and my assignment is to tell how chapter seven, "Speaking: A Linguistic Juggling Act", relates to my experience. The scariest part of this is that of the eight people in our group, I've logged in the second highest amount of hours teaching ESL, hence my assignment. A whole six or eight hours covering for a vacationing teacher at our church's program. (Actually, I should drop character and point out that the majority of my colleagues here are young punks in their twenties. But they're good kids and I'm sure they'll do fine.)(I would expect only one or two of them to get arrested.)

So where was I? Oh, yeah, my assignment. It's kind of stretching things to say that I have experience as an ESL teacher, so I've had to bring in my experience as a language student and in training other people in work procedures to round things out. And as for the section of the chapter that talks about testing students' speaking abilities.... heh, I get to ignore that entirely. So I guess, I'm managing. Still, I can't believe I'm doing homework again after almost twenty years of being out of school. What's even more hard to believe is that I'm not waiting until Sunday night to do it.