Comunidades

Yesterday at ESL I was able to talk with one of my students for a few minutes before class. It was an interesting situation because I know only a few words of spanish and she knows only a few words of english. But we managed to cobble together a genuine conversation.

We talked about the weekend and halloween. Her son, who is four years old, dressed up as Frankenstein. I asked about her work. She works at a hotel one block up from Naropa. Boulder is starting to feel more like a real community. When I walk home from school I pass the hotel where she works in housekeeping. I feel connected, like elements of my life are integrated.

I also got three new students to the class yesterday, a married couple and another woman. It was kind of a surprise, but I handled it okay. I’m going to have to adjust my schedule a little. We have been using flashcards, each student writing english phrases on index cards to practice at home. I think flashcards are great and we are slowly building a larger vocabulary. With these new students I’m going to need to catch them up as quick as I can.

Tonight I’m going to make each of the their own set of flashcards from what we’ve already covered. And I’ll be sure to devote atleast 20 minutes of class to review of the cards and what we’ve learned so far. Two of the new students already have a good knowledge and are about par with the rest of the class, just missing a few specifics. The wife of the couple is coming without very much knowledge at all of English.

I really admire them both for coming and respect the challenge of coming together. When Doris and I were in Cali the language difficulty really strained our relationship. We both wanted to practice our spanish skills, but we are such different levels that we couldn’t converse. We also wanted to communicate with one another in the context of a supporting and loving relationship. It was very challenging.

Tonight I am going to work with my other ESL student. We are going to start with Bless Me, Ultima, using the book and the audiobook on cd. I’ve listened to the first few pages and am very excited to get into it. I am also going to introduce the idea of Show. Don’t tell. ? and a writing exercise using the five senses.

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