Tuesday, April 29, 2008

God is in control

This blog is a reminder that God is the Alpha and Omega...there is no plan B.
Please sit back and read this blog. Watch the video, the video is about 25 minutes, but it is well worth your time.
This message reminded me of National prayer day; Prayer is to keep our hearts open to what God's soft voice. I am reminded that it is NOT about me, but about listening to a quiet sound.
Please take the time to watch and listen.

esl thoughts

Esl went well today; I had 4 students, but they were very inquisitive. Even after all of these years teaching ESL, I still get questions that "stump" me. For instance, one of the students said, "me don't espeak ing├ęs very well"..I responded "yes, you do..I understand you perfectly". She gave me a puzzled look and asked me to repeat my answer. I had to think, and then repeated, "yes, you do". She heard, "Yesshudu"......I had to really ponder my response, linguistically, and from a dialect perspective. I've never thought about it, but my assumption is that there is a form of "sure" in that response. Yes we say, Yes You Do, but in reality, if we truly listen to ourselves, we respond...Yesh you do..but run it together. I find the English language a fasinating inigma, and I continually learn this language from my students. Funny how I only speak English, but my understanding of this language is through my non-native English speaking students, ironic..don't you think?

Friday, April 25, 2008

I attended a U.S. CIS (citizenship and immigration services) seminar today. The information was really good. They are changing the citizenship test as of October 1, 2008. I think it will be for the better. Right now, a computer generates questions for the potential citizens to answer (orally) instead of standardized questions.....amazing that anyone could pass. The pass rate was 84% and with the new test..it's in the low 90's. The new test isn't easier, just standardized. I wonder how many U.S. citizens could pass it? I have taught citizenship classes for several years now and wondered about the new exam. I feel more comfortable with it, but the students will have to study more. The new standardized exam will keep the examiners from being gatekeepers. The CIS officials were really nice and accomodating in answering questions.

Again, I wasn't able to run today. I need to....time has slipped away. I hope this weekend I will be able to run.
I've been working really hard to build my ESL classes and at the same time, I've been working on my daughter's graduation. My family are flying in from Sacramento CA and my guest bedroom needs some work. My friends and I went shopping tonight to try and find a comfortor that would "best fit" the colors. I painted the guest bedroom an orange, not neon, more of a earthy orange. The color is beautiful but to find a comfortor that's not wild and compliments orange,...is quite difficult! My friends helped me tonight, but we did not have any success. I guess that what I get for painting "out of the box" :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Did the CSI thing today!! It went really well, not many students participated, but the ones that did, it was wonderful. They participated in solving a re-enactiment of a crime scene. I received a grant to provide this opportunity for my students. 17 students signed up and completed the book and study guide, only 9 students showed up. I was very disappointed in the turn out, but at least these students were able to have this opportunity. They had to solve two different crime scenes. One was set up in a burned out mobile home and the other was a car accident. It was really interesting. They had to make casts of tire tracks and foot tracks...also they lifted fingerprints, measured different aspects of the crime scene and took photographs! It was exciting to watch the students collaberate with each other. The chief of police, some detectives and a fireman helped the students with the crime scenes. I watched..not interested in this sort of stuff, but my students sure had a blast! And I guess the bottom line to all of this...it's for the students and to open their eyes to other possibilities!
I only had 2 ESl students attend tonight's class; we worked on percentages with word problems for 3 hours. It has been a very long day.
I'm going to Raleigh for a seminar on Friday. The seminar is about immigration. I have a list of questions..I hope they will be answered.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Took my class to the job fair today; they really enjoyed it! The employers were giving out pens, pencils, knick knacks, candy, etc...so it was quite enjoyable. A couple of my students were interested in promoting their Spanish language skills, and some of the employers seemed to be interested. I hope something comes out of this..it is nice to see my students be given an opportunity.

Tomorrow is the finally of my grant..YEPEE. I'm glad that it is almost over with. The grant encompassed the Basic Skills students reading a book, "The Body Farm" and completing the study guide. If they do this, then they get to particpate in solving a re-enactment of a crime scene! This is being done by someone who trains CSI people! I think it will be exciting, but the downside of this is..most of the instructors were not enthused about this. I truly don't understand this....this is an opportunity for students who do not have their GED or high school diploma to experience something that is "out of the box". So..since the instructors seemed to NOT encourage this, I do not have many students to particpate in this project. I have only 16 students to sign up for this...out of 500-600 students!! How sad! I truly hope all of the students that signed up for this will show up for this project. The state (who gave me the grant) wants me to do a CSI 2...I will have to really consider this...at this point, the answer is NO.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Only one student tonight...the price of gas is affecting everything. This county is large and since my program is an extra, it is considered extra in a student's budget. I had 5 students this morning, but who knows how long that will keep up. I had helped an ESL high school student with editing. His paper was wonderful..he compared the wall around Mexico's border to the Berlin wall...interesing, don't you think?

It was cold and rainy today, didn't run. I'm also very upset with myself...gained 12 pounds since last summer. I know it has something to do with my tumor that was removed so I hope I will get back on track. I don't want to be heavy again, so I'm a little scared.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I had a really good day. Cleaned house, car and the fish pond..didn't run though. My legs feel tired and heavy, I think the 1/2 marathon last week was too much, especially since I didn't train for it. I will try to run the trails tomorrow, but I 'll take it easy.

My husband's in New York working on Cessna Planes. There were no planes here, so his company sent him and a few other A&P mechanics to New York. They needed some extra help..we are lucky, at least he won't be laid off. His company will send him to other areas.

Met my friend's son today; he's a cutie! She adopted him from China and let me tell you, he's a doll baby. Nothing but smiles and giggles...what a blessing he is!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What a strange day for me...nothing in particular. I had 2 ESL students in my morning class. They are interested in buying homes, but there isn't any Spanish speaking realtors in the area. How horrible...I can't imagine buying a house and not being able to speak English very well.. It was awful enough for me..I can't imagine not speaking the language very well.
Taught computer class tonight; the students seem to enjoy it. We started Microsoft publishing tonight. Next week they will make a flyer and a card in class.
I enjoy teaching so much; it is really wonderful to see students get the "aha" moment.

I ran 6 miles today, but walked the last 1 1/2 miles. I don't know why...I just felt DONE. I think because it was warmer than usual. I'm not complaining..it is wonderful to run in warm weather. I will have to adjust to it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I brought computers to my morning class; the students loved them. Some very interesting questions; for instance, did you know "wearing" does not translate well? The difference between the sound of woman or women...anyways, I love teaching English; my students continuously challenge me with questions regarding the English language.

Trying to figure out what race I want to do. I haven't signed up for anything as of yet. If I don't, I won't motivate myself to run. I really like running, but sometimes I get tired. I do like to run the trails but getting there is a drive. I don't have time to drive a 1/2 hour to run the trails. I try to fit in my run between my classes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Today was kind of depressing in ESL land. I had 2 students show up for my morning class, and they were new..well sort of. The attend my other morning class and enjoyed my teaching. However, the other students didn't show, if they didn't come then I wouldn't have had ANY students. Last night, out of 11 regular atendees, only ONE..yes only one came to class:(..hopefully I will have a full class tomorrow night.

I ran only 5 miles today, but it felt good. I needed to get away and to just listen to my thoughts.
type more later,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Well...I finished the 1/2 marathon in Charlotte. I didn't do well compared to others, but I felt pretty good. It is a hilly course..very few flat places, so I feel really good about my time. It drizzled off and on but not too bad. It was quite humid so I welcomed the drizzle.
I wish I could run faster, sometimes I wonder why bother? It would be really nice to have bragging rights about getting a good time and placing, but that's never going to happen. Some people have talent, for instance my brother. He's a very talented athlete, along with my mom. She usually places, even when she was my age. I guess what I'm trying to type... is I need to look at accomplishing a race and not where or what everyone else is doing. But...I can secretly fantasize about placing in my age group:)

In the ESL world, my classes are still struggling with the number of students. However, I did have a meeting with Smart Start and we are brainstorming a really BIG idea/project. I want to combine Even Start and Adult education. It is in the very beginning stage, but I'm really excited if this can happen. I have always dreamed about a consortium with Smart Start to help the parents that have little education obtain one. However, with young children at home, for some parents, this is not possible or unlikely. So, with Smart Start, we could bring adult education to the parents, and the children are a part of this. More later...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It was warm today, yepee! However, I only ran 4 miles..what am I going to do this weekend? I haven't decided if I'm going to run yet or not. I need to make a decision. Saw something on the internet about CHIrunning. Read a little about it, but not sure I undersand it.
ESL class went ok tonight, everyone worked on the computers. The room was warm so the students were really getting sleepy. Worked with math too; I love teaching math. I had 7 students, this is unusual to have this many. I was pleased, but still not enough. I need 10 students to help offset the instructor's cost. I just don't know what to do about this situation. It really is bothering me. I have brainstormed ideas with others, and the idea of a Saturday class might help. I'm starting the marketing for it for Summer. However, I'll probably close some other morning classes. I'm teaching it, but it doesn't make me feel any better.
Yesterday was ok, only one student showed up to class. I am really disappointed. The student that showed up need some help with the "buying a house" process. How overwhelming for someone who's native language is not English. It's difficult for native English speakers, add another language and it can be overwhelming.
Well, off to work, maybe I will have a lot of students...well I can wish, can't I?

Monday, April 7, 2008

ESL classes went well today. My morning class is so incredibly enthusiastic about learning. It's a pleasure to teach this class; my night class was wonderful too. My students were able to make the connections between percents, decimals and fractions. I almost cried with joy; it has been difficult to teach this class in English and for the students to understand it in English. However, I think we made a breakthrough!

I didn't run today, work was hectic so I wasn't able to get it in. I'm worried because I'm not trained for the 1/2 marathon this coming up weekend. I'm truly not trained for it, so why am I running it? I must be out of my mind. I don't want to get injured. I've read some other blogs and found some interesting insights into running. Someone suggested the 123 approach to running to keep your gait even. For example, count 1 2 3..2 2 3...3 2 3..and this helps with running evenly. I'm going to try this when I run.
Well, off for tonight,

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Ran trails today; it was wonderful! It rained most of the time, but it was very warm. I took Tucker with me; he loved jumping in the lake. The trails were muddy and slick, but it wasn't too bad. I hope I can go back tomorrow and run it again, if the weather cooperates. I don't want to run in wet and cold weather. I like to run, but I'm not going to kill myself:).

I didn't get selected for the Nike Women's marthon..I was really disappointed; it my dream to run in this marathon. The irony of all of this is, I had my mother sign up for it and a friend at work (she's not a runner). It would give her something to strive for..they both got selected and I didn't. It actually depressed me, I'm still depressed thinking about it. It truly wanted to run in this marathon. It would have given me the chance to fly home and run a marthon with my mom again. I've got to stop thinking about it because it's really upsetting me. Now my friend doesn't want to run the Nike marathon because I'm not..which upsets me even more because I really want to run it! Oh well, if there were 20 people in a room and 19 are selected for a prize, I wouldn't be one of them. I have bad luck; I just don't ever get picked or win anything. See, I need to stop OBSESSING about it!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wow, what a week in ESL land. I taught a computer class last night, and my students loved it. However, one of my students did not speak any English, and he had a difficult time trying to stay connected. I spent a lot of one on one, but he didn't seem too receptive to help. However, at the end of class, he was all smiles.
Thursday morning's class was an eye opener too...a student was applying for a job but had some difficulties filling out the application. It was her first day in class and brought her job application with her. I hope she comes back to class............
My mileage has been down for awhile, with work overload and weather difficulties (rained almost all week)..I haven't been able to run. I have a 1/2 marathon to run next weekend, and I am not ready to run it. I have to make some decisions. I don't want to get hurt trying to run the race or bomb out. I'll try to run a long run tomorrow and see how I feel.
I'm really tired this week; it has been tough. I'm glad it's the weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today was a little tiring...I taught English to students who knew little English but willing and eager learners. It took some time to get them to feel comfortable with me. Starting a new class is challenging, not because of getting to know students, but to help facilitate a safe and secure learning environment. Adults come in with fears, baggage from previous learning experiences and then put that with cultural and language differences, it could be disasterous. So it takes a lot from me, emotionally and mentally, to make sure the students want to come back and learn.

In tonight's class, it was a very good class. It was really hot, because we are upstairs and the day was rather warm. It's too early for the college to turn on the air, so it was really warm. The students were good sports about it.

I'm really tired, so off to sleep.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

I ran 6 miles today; it was a beautiful WARM overcast day. Not used to running in humidity, but it's better than the cold. 68 was the high, but tomorrow the high is suppose to be 41, YUCK. I HATE spring. I start to get spoiled with the warmth and BAM the cold hits.

Classes went ok today, discussed phrasal verbs. One of the students wants to call others to invite them to class because she enjoys it so much. I didn't have the heart to tell her that they are afraid of driving. Teaching English is rewarding, and I have the perfect Utopian teaching experience. I have students that want to be in class and want to learn; sometimes I think we can learn more from other cultures. I think it's an oxymoron at times that I teach English, because I learn more from them than they learn from me.