Monday, January 31, 2011

The best defense is a good offense

Just a quick little post about some of my students and classes. (Internet was down all last week so I've still got to do some updates on my birthday last weekend, but I want to get outside for a walk while the sun - yes, the sun! - is still out! So it will be a short post right now)

Today I was reading an article about parenting styles with my private student, Oleysa, a young mother/dentist that I meet up with Mondays and Thursdays. One of the questions in the text was, "Your seventeen year old son is getting ready to go out on his first date. Do you lecture him about safe sex?"

Oleysa looked thoughtful. "I think maybe," she said. "It's important for him to know how to defend himself if such a situation occurred."

Defend? "Uhh, do you mean 'protect'?" I asked, trying not to laugh. I had this mental image of an insane girl attacking some boy, who would then be forced to beat her off with a stick or something.

"Can't I say 'defend'?" Oleysa was confused. "In Russian schools teenagers are taught how to defend themselves if they decide to have sex." Another hilarious mental image.

So that led to us having a conversation about "defend" vs. "protect" and how these synonyms can't always be used interchangeably. Particularly on the topic of safe sex!

Teaching English. Way more entertaining then some might think...

For my teenage classes, I've discovered how much fun it is to hand out lyrics to a song with some of the words replaced by blanks. Then I play the song and they have to listen and write down the missing words. Not only do they love this, but it can eat up a good amount of time (for those days when 90 minutes seems to draaaaaag on) and I get to rock out to my favourite songs! (although even "You Belong With Me" can get a wee bit irritating after the seventh play)

Last week, I played some Taylor Swift and Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" for my class of all teenage girls. I think the only thing that could have made their day more was if I had handed out lip gloss and let them watch Twilight while we did each other's hair.

I did a 180 from super girly teenage stuff to super masculine teenage stuff when I taught Lebron last week. We've gotten all the way through the New English File Four book, so while we wait for the new textbook to be ordered, we've been mostly practicing his conversational English. And what does he love talking about more than anything? (my nickname for him should give it away...)

I've never met anyone who gets so excited about basketball! This kid started listing off stats and records from the 50s, getting more and more passionate about the topic. It was so awesome seeing his confidence in his English abilities grow as he spoke. And my own knowledge in basketball is certainly increasing!

Well, that's a bit of an update on some of my students and classes. Now off for a walk in the sunshine :)

Happy Monday!


  1. Defending against sex, sounds like a regular Friday night over here. Go out and all those women just attack, crazy stuff. Definitely have to know how to defend oneself.

  2. Very nice! I like your blog. That's really interesting to read what a foreigner writes about your country and city))) Unfortunatly I didn't manage to find you email address, but i'd like to communicate with you. Of course if you don't mind)

    P.S. Just subscribed to your blog)

  3. hahaha feels like I keep getting 'Rick rolled':P

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