Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Water downhill

"Water downhill, Fire uphill, and woman in love ... can't be held back." I think this is an old saying in Brazil. First time I heard it was in a Globo TV series. So true.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Penny Pincher

Last Saturday Dean and I went for a drive to an antique store. It was my compromise so that he would go bike riding with me.

It was a lovely sunny day and I really wanted to go bike riding. But I wasn't the only one who realized the day was lovely. Every 2 blocks there was a tag sale.

Dean and I joked about it, and I started asking him questions about tag sales.

When I realized he had no idea how to prepare a tag sale, I had to come to the conclusion: "You've never done a tag sale in your life, have you?"

"Not really."

Oh, that's right. I had forgotten I was talking to Dean Winters.

Dean never gives anything away. He uses it until it breaks. When it breaks, he fixes it and uses it again. When it breaks again, he fixes it once more, and uses it until it breaks again. And he fixes it one more time, and uses it until it crumbles into a million pieces. That's when he will shop for a used replacement.

Oh, dear ...

...that's why I married him.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Try correctig an ESL student

I understand how ESL students feel when they have their pronunciation corrected. Their reaction drives me crazy,though.

Here's the drill:

They say a word wrong.

I try to figure out what the heck they are saying.

When I figure it out and repeat it to them - hoping they will repeat it back to me - all they say is "yes."

I repeat the word, cuing them to repeat it after me.

And they say - Yes.

And in my mind I go, "Heavens help me."

I say, "You're supposed to repeat it."

They look at me with a blank stare.

I repeat the word once more, and signal to them with my hand,  "Now You".

And they go, "yes."

I collapse.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Bhutanese Rice

Last week my students and I traveled to Plymouth. The best part of the trip was lunch time.

We had lunch at the Monument to the Forefathers. It was a nice place for a picnic. Students sat on the shade, on the sun, on the tree branches. We had fun.
But this was not the best part. The best part was what they made me do.

The drama queen of the group, a girl from Puerto Rico - I called her Drama Queen, and she said "not me", but later she wrote a poem called "I am a Drama Queen" - well, she was walking around with the Russian girls holding a plate of Nepali spicy rice (or Bhutanese spicy rice).

The Bhutanese rice is something the Bhutanese kids make every time wehave lunch together. It is really spicy. They tend to share it with everyone.

The Puerto Rican girl was eating a sample, but was less than excited about it.
I didn't know she wasn't into it. I was super excited. "Ooh! You have Nepali rice!!! May I have a bite?"


I was worried when she said yes, bc it sounded as if she didn't want to share. And to make things worse, I didn't have a spork. Darn. She will be angry.

"Well, do you mind if I use your spork? I don't have anything."

"Actually do you want the whole thing?"

"Do you not want me to use your spork? I can find one for me."

"No. I don't want it. it's too spicy."

"WHAT!!! Give it to me, woman!"

"You're gonna eat it?"

"Heck, yeah!"

Than this little Ukranian girl challenges me, "Eat the red pepper. Eat the red pepper."

This is a tiny little Ukranian girl, who always wears her long hair in a braid. She is the cutest little thing. So picture this little thing jumping in front of you saying, "Eat the red pepper."
And I say, "Hm, okay. I actually will eat all the hot peppers in this plate in one bite in front of you if you go down to the bus and bring me a box of milk." (yes, milk - I knew what I was getting myself into, and I knew I would NEED milk)

"Are you for real?" Asks wide-eyed Little Ukranian girl.

"I'm tellin' ya. Go get me a box of milk."

There goes Little Ukranian girl down to the bus and back with a chocolate milk in less than 30 seconds - I could swear it was less than 30 seconds. How do kids do certain things so fast is beyond my comprehension. It's all about motivation.

"Here. Now eat the peppers."

I pick all the peppers from the plate put them all on the spork, and shove them into my mouth right in front of them all.

Okay - here is what happens when you bite a red hot chilli pepper - nothing ... a first. It's when the thing starts spreading in your mouth and down your throat that things get ugly.

So I waited a few seconds. And so did everyone else. When I finally felt the burning, I asked Little Ukranian Girl, trying not to lose my mind, "Milk. Quick."

She hands me a closed carton of milk.

"No, girl. Open it. I have no hands. Oh. My eyes. They are watering already. Quick."

She opens it, and as she opens it, another Ukranian girl is pointing at me screaming, "Mrs. Winters is crying!"

I shove the milk down in one gulp. Wow. No use. It is still burning pretty bad.

Me to Little Ukranian girl, this time, "Quick! Go get me another milk!"

And as she hurries down, laughing her pants off, I'm whining, "Two cartons of milk! There goes my diet down the drain!"

After I chug down the second carton of milk, I proceed to finish the rice - the amazement of the Ukranian and Puerto Rican children.

"You're going to eat the rest of it?"

"Of course, people! I'm Brazilian! Spicy is my middle name."