Friday, May 04, 2007

The Badness of it All

Book group was last night. We talked about the book and ate grilled sausages. I brought a caesar salad. When I got home, I cooked a bunch of diced chicken for our Cuatro de Mayo language department party.

In my class today I gave a "pop fun" on mandatos; the Spanish imperative. The students have a hard time with a) the verb forms and b) all the different permutations of pronominalization. Do I teach it correctly? Of course I do; communicative method, etc. But the students don't follow. They guess, and get it wrong. Then they guess again, and get it wrong. Then they give up. Then they fail a quiz and blame me.

So then I re-teach it to them, the old fashioned grammar way. And then drill them until they whimper.

So much time is wasted because students don't believe to begin with. There's always a "guessing" stage, and only when you convince them that doesn't work do they bother to even look at the rules. It's not trial and error; it's error-trial-error.

I had a meeting with a parent after that class, and then putzed around until the end of the day, when our department threw a Cuatro de Mayo party. I reheated the chicken using a hot plate and piled it onto little tortillitas, which I warmed on a pancake griddle. I chopped way too many onions and cilantro... gringos don't pile them on like mexicans do.

I also served some of that salad that book club didn't finish. My latest theory: any faculty party, whether there are 8 people or 80, will eat one bowl of salad. I had been counting on refilling the salad bowl both at book club and at Cuatro de Mayo, but it didn't happen. Perhaps culturally we have developed a salad proportioning instinct.

Tonight 小猪 got us tickets to Spiderman 3. Students who saw it last night were disgusted, and told me to get my money back. A colleague who went to a preview at Cinerama said people walked out. She seemed entertained at least by the badness of it all. I think she compared it to the Phantom Menace. You know, the one with Jar Jar Binks....

Today in diabetes: pre breakfast 129, post Cuatro de Mayo 127, after eating carbycarbs like corn and flour tortillas. I wonder if my liver is releasing blood sugar in the middle of the night.

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