Monday, September 22, 2008

A Day at an ESL Class

I had a nice time at school today.

I learned about the four periods of the year in the United States. I learned new words. And I learned to appreciate more on my country's English teaching.

Jen was still in her bed trembling with a heater in front of her and Jun was at the corner of his room curled up himself when I went to school. They said they would attend the evening class.

I did not take shower. I just washed up. It was toooooooo cold this morning so I wore under warmers, pair of gloves and a thick sweater with hood going to school. When hubby dropped me off, one of the teachers, Ms. Sally Schumacher, saw me and teased me because of my outfit. I did not give a care, hehehehe!

When I entered the classroom, I read this sentence on the board "Today is the fall equinox: the first day of autumn! Equinox. New word to me! Equinox according to Mr. Webster is the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth and occurring about March 21-September 22. So fall or autumn is when the equinox takes place. Fall and autumn are the same. I was confused of this before and I learned that after summer, fall/autumn follows, and then wintertime, spring comes afterwards then vice versa.

When Brenda and I were walking this morning, I was really dressed up. Aside from the under warmers and pair of gloves I wore, I also wore ear band, for the first time. And I noticed that I could see my breath when I talked! Gees. I remember one of my fave movies; a James Bond sequel entitled "For Your Eyes Only". There is a part in the film that shows wintertime and there is a kind of vapor or steam comes out from their mouth when the characters speak. I experienced the same this morning and it is only autumn yet! I think I would freeze to death this coming winter! Huhuhuhu!

Anyways, aside from the word equinox, I also learned another new word today. Stucco. We discussed about parts of the house and one of my classmates mentioned this word. So I asked what is it all about. And I learned that it is an exterior finish for masonry or frame walls usually composed of cement, sand and hydrated lime mixed with water and laid on wet. Hmmm. While the teacher explained it, I was imagining "hardiflex" in the Philippines, hehehehe! Maybe. It is kind of, as I understand it.

During our Phonics class, the teacher, Ms. Patricia Meldrum, taught us how to pronounce the consonants. She let us pronounced them one by one. For example, letter "S" is pronounced as "sssssss...” I have classmates from Mexico, from Dominican Republic and from Peru. All of them speak Spanish. When we were pronouncing the letter "V", one of my classmates couldn't pronounce it correctly, so he was told to repeat more or less 10 times and he hardly made it. Ms. Pat told him to put his lower lip inside his upper teeth to pronounce it correctly, he tried once more but failed again and then he blurted out desperately, "Oh My GOD!” Everyone was silent. None of us laughed. I guessed, we wanted to but we did not want him to feel embarrassed. He is already in his mid 50's and it is peculiar to tease him in his age. But suddenly, one of the students asked Ms. Pat, "What if a person has no teeth at all?" Ms. Pat answered, "then there is no need to pronounce it!” Everyone laughed out too loud. That was funny! Bwahahahaha!

I am happy that I learned English from home and from school in the Philippines. I admit I am not very good at it but I could say that I am good at it.

When a Mexican classmate asked me how did I learn it, I proudly told her that we are taught by our parents or any family members and that English is one of our subjects during our kindergarten days until our college days. I even boasted that we have had our Spanish subject also way back in the early 80's but the government abolished it because it is no longer needed in our daily undertakings anymore. I told her I could even speak and understand some of the Spanish words because we are still using some of them these days. She was really impressed! She said she learned English by self-study and it was very difficult for her. She said that I am very lucky! I said, yes I am!

Well, I am a Filipino.

And I am very proud to be one.

Mabuhay ang Pinoy!

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