Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14, 2013

Spring was definitely in the air this morning. The sun rose and a faint breeze started to blow early on and I had the luxury of leaving the kitchen window open all day to enjoy it. I started to work on my speech for the conference in Shymkent even though I haven’t firmed up in my mind quite what I want to say yet.

After taking a long shower and doing my hair, I still had a couple of hours before heading to Lingua and I decided to spend them in watching the movie “Precious”, which had sitting in my computer since I lived in Tajikistan. I knew it deal with the rather sordid issues of incest, extreme poverty, and mental illness; however, I also remembered that the movie had garnered several nominations and prizes for those involved in its making.

There wasn’t much to shock me there, except perhaps for the stream of profane language on the mother’s part, and in part because I had read so much about the movie in itself and the book on which it was based. The young protagonist did an excellent job as well as her teacher and social worker. Their lives just seem so far removed from mine that it was difficult to connect with them.

I decided to take a chance and just wear my dress shoes with nylons, a skirt and a low-cut sweater as the temperature read 63 degrees. From my window, I could see that the tulips were already pushing up from the ground and the grass was recovering its green color on some patches around the courtyard. The sap was rising on the trees and every indication led me to believe that snow might be behind me.

                                     I believe these will become tulips pretty soon.

Zarina had already printed all the handouts and had set up the laptop, projector and other supplies on the table for me. Just as I got in, some of the teachers did to and I had no time to gather my thoughts at all. Fortunately, fewer teachers showed up today, including an older man, but the room still felt overly crowded and too warm.

The theoretical part of the Bloom’s Taxonomy presentation went relatively well, but once I gave them a piece of text to read and then instructed them to come up with questions reflecting the different categories, they were stumped or only a couple of the teachers could do it.

When the workshop was over, I went downstairs to the Halal kitchen restaurant with two of the students who wanted to ask me a few questions for one of their classes. The questions revolved around preparing for the TOEFL and I reiterated that doing extensive reading was the only way to do well there.

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