5 October 2015: Grilling, Planning, and Hot Dog Burning

The first class has come and gone, and my second class is coming up. I have the lesson plan pretty much finalized, but I am still tweaking it. Adding to it. Making it more substantial. I am also trying to get a third lesson plan finalized because I want a good, strong semester after my weak first class. I’m getting a case of jitters, and I am doing my best to be productive when it comes to lesson planning. I probably spend at least an hour each day working on them. I’m still dealing with a lack of self-confidence with skills I am literally having to develop on the fly; reading helps, but experience seems to be the best training I’ll get.

That being said, two students named Lois and Wind took my colleague Anna and I to an ecological park.

Anna, my classmate turned colleague.
Anna, my classmate turned colleague.
Lois, witty and wonderful.
Lois, witty and wonderful.
Wind, a carefree and happy dude.
Wind, a carefree and happy dude.

I walked on the grass off the paths just to hear the blades bristle under my boots. After walking on nothing but pavement for nearly a monthly straight, it was blissful to hear blades of grass underneath my feet. During our excursion to the park, Wind and Lois took us to a place where park visitors could grill. After the four of us footed a collected 150 yuon for food, charcoal, and a fire box, I took over the grilling responsibilities. Most of what I cooked turned out edible, but I kept blackening the hot dogs. Lois hates burnt hot dogs and wouldn’t let me live it down. Wind and Anna, like me, just saw food and we happily chowed it down. Lois did help me cook though, and she really likes potatoes. She kept prattling on about the potatoes and even pouted because I didn’t fix some potatoes fast enough. Overall, the day was a blast and utter joy.

I’m still trying to get my lesson plans ready. I have a lot to teach these students, and I need to ensure they get practice in speaking. So, I have to find some balance between teaching them the functional grammar and structures of English (which they probably know from textbooks, but I still feel compelled to reteach that stuff) and teaching them useful and practical speaking skills. Thinking about stuff that comes naturally to me because of my native language intuition presents a unique challenge: the challenge is thinking about not just how English work on a linguistics, communicative, and cultural level.

Welp, I got work to do. Lessons to plan, schedules to make, and vocabulary to introduce to these students.

I’ll leave you with pictures of a burnt hot dog and the grill box I used to cook.

The hot box I used to grill the food. It was like cooking over a campfire, which I had done once before.
The hot box I used to grill the food. It was like cooking over a campfire, which I had done once before.
A half eaten and partially burned hot dog. Lois demanded I cut off the blackened part.
A half eaten and partially burned hot dog. Lois demanded I cut off the blackened part.
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