Mittwoch, 12. Dezember 2012

Dreck and Doodie - or Duty

 I used to nanny for a couple of kids in Philadelphia. One of them offered to do an impression of me for Ivo. "CaaaaLm day-own." apparently, that's how I was "calm down."
When I worked at a tri-lingual Kindergarten, all the kids would say "bea-uuuuuuuuuuutiful" when speaking English. I guess that that is how I say "beautiful."
Now, when I'm at home with Ivo and he's speaking in English and makes any mistake or asks about an English thing, I recognize my teacher voice creeping in. I have my "this is how it's pronounced" voice, for when Ivo says a word he's only ever read before (it has a questioning quality, so that the listener knows that they should repeat after me.) (It sounds better in a classroom than at the breakfast table.) Then there is the moment when he's misspoken or changed sentence mid-thought just like a native would and I jump in to correct  and immediately try to stop myself. "It's - nevermind!"
Ivo is wonderfully patient with me. This is good, because I need to learn when to step in and when to leave well enough alone, when teaching English. I'm navigating the difference between having taught children and currently teaching adults. The biggest hurdle is that one of my students acts like a child.
Last week, we were learning about Names. One way to do this was the use of a family tree. One of my students decided that she hated family trees, that she can't do them in any language and doesn't intend to do them ever. O-K
She then had a similar reaction to grammar. When I asked the class to open their books, she loudly slammed her hands on her closed book and said "No!" I asked if there was a problem and she said "no grammar." I tried to soothe her and tell her that we would be doing this together, that we'd take it step-by-step, that she could ask any questions. no problem. Her hands remained on the book and, I swear, she shook her head with her mouth pinched closed, like a small child. Perhaps it was this child-like behavior that caused my reaction. Whatever it was, i put on my stern voice and said "Oh, I'll wait." and starred her down. I felt so foolish later.
On the up-side, I played a fairly childish game with my students last week, to practice people and place names and my students were totally down. 
I'm really enjoying teaching classes. We're slowly discovering how to best care for Penny with our full schedules.  We're also adjusting to living further away from the dog-doo receptacle. This seems silly, but it's a bit of a nuisance. It used to be, that Penny would poo on our way home and we'd conveniently throw it in the Robidog (said receptacle) in front of our house. now that there is none there, we'd need to drag the dog way out of the way, which is difficult for a stubborn pup. So now, I put the bright red bag of refuse in my bike basket, which is right by the front door. I then throw it away when I'm on my way out next. This often means that I'm walking down the road, dog-less with a bag of dog-poo, looking quite strange.
In the meantime, my husband, the husband of crazy dog-poo-lady, is invited to the Finnish ambassador's house for dinner tomorrow night.
No biggie.

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