Saturday, November 20, 2010

Extraordinary Measures and Popcorn!

Last Tuesday class was really different than usual. It was a special holiday for our Muslim students, so the class was really small. As a result, I decided we could have a "fun" educational day instead of the usual classes. First of all, I showed the students a couple of powerpoints on adjective clauses . . . I'm not sure if this part of the day was so fun for the students, but then the fun stuff started to come. I made popcorn in class! I brought in my hot air popcorn popper, and I silently demonstrated to the students how to make popcorn while they took notes. This fit in perfectly with our unit on Process Paragraphs because after I was done making the popcorn, the students had to use their notes to write a process paragraph on how to make popcorn. I was surprised at how educational it actually was! The students learned lots of new vocabulary like "measuring cup" "hot air popper" and "kernels". Anyway, after we finished our process paragraphs, I made up a whole bunch of popcorn and melted some butter. Now we were ready for a movie!

The movie my students chose to watch was Extraordinary Measures. In the morning I showed the students the trailers to five different movies, and then they voted on the movie that they wanted to see in the afternoon. I was really happy that they chose Extraordinary Measures because I had never seen it before. Basically, it is about this guy whose children have a terrible genetic disease. He finds a scientist who can help him make a cure for the disease. I won't tell you the ending, but I think a couple of my students were crying during the movie! here is the trailer:

All in all, it was a really great day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Convocation 2010

It's now official. I have a PhD! I had my convocation last Friday, and I've received my fancy piece of paper saying that I have a Doctor of Philosophy with a specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language. Hmmm, does this mean I now have to give my students more homework because I'm an "expert" now?

Convocation started off with my parents picking me up at my house. We then went to the university for the Faculty of Education convocation lunch. The lunch was really nice with posh little sandwiches and cream cake, but all I could manage was a cup of coffee. For some reason, I was actually feeling nervous, so I couldn't eat anything. This is really rare for me!

After the lunch, I went over to pick up my special robes and hood and put them on. I also picked up my degree at that time. Then, once everyone was ready, we marched into the Jack Simpson gym headed by a Scottish Piper. The ceremony started at 2:30, and it finished around 3:30. My turn came when I went up on stage and my hood was official attached to my robes. I then shook hands with a bunch of people on stage, got my picture taken, and sat back down. Once that was over, I was a doctor!

After the ceremony, my parents then took me to my favourite Chinese restaurant in Brentwood Mall, and we had Pekin Duck. It was so good. I love the little pancakes that come with the duck. We also had duck noodles, and duck tofu soup. My dad also wanted to have some vegetables with black bean sauce, and we ordered some extra ginger chicken because my mum doesn't like duck too much. She thinks they are too cute to eat.

Anyway, it was a great day! Enjoy the photos!

Me with my PhD:Me walking off the stage: My mother and I:
My father and I:

The "convocation" cake and I:

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Right now in my class we are reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Scary stuff!!

I don't usually link to funny youtube videos, but I couldn't resist. Let me know what you think about it!

If you like the song, you can find the lyrics here:

Monday, November 08, 2010

Back from Edmonton!

I’m back from Edmonton. Above you can see a picture of the hotel I stayed at. I was only there for two days, but I feel like I was there for a week! I was in Edmonton for the Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL) conference. I always love going to conferences, and this conference was great. On the Friday of the conference there was a speaker from Australia, Lynda Yates, who made a presentation on pragmatics. Pragmatics has to do with how language is used and how culture influences how language is used. One example that Dr. Yates gave was that in Canada we might say “how’s it going” when we greet someone, but someone from Chinese might say “have you eaten yet?” or “where are you going”. If those are translated directly into English, they won’t work very well on an English speaking Canadian. The other keynote speaker was Dr. Tom Cobb. He presented on the Saturday of the conference. It was really great to hear Dr. Cobb speak again. He first presented at an ATESL conference in 2002, and that was the first conference that I ever went to. Seven years later, I based my PhD research on his work! I finally got to meet Dr. Cobb at the conference in person, and I was pretty nervous. Especially when he came to my presentation!

However, conferences are more than just presentations. It’s also a great chance to meet up with friends from all over the province. I was really happy to meet colleagues from Edmonton and Lethbridge that I hadn’t seen in a while. It’s always great to catch up!

All in all, it was a great conference, and I can’t wait to go again next year!