Aug 11, 2007

A Good Day

Today has been a great day! My conversation class was filled to overflowing this morning and we had to move to another classroom. I planned some activities to get them started talking, and it seemed to work very well. I had some returning students and many new ones. We made introductions, conducted interviews among the students, had group discussions and brainstorming sessions, and then they presented what they had discovered about one another through the interviews and presented their discussion topics and talked about their passions. They seemed to enjoy the class and managed to get over their fear of making mistakes while speaking. That's a major hurdle for many of them. So many are afraid of mis-speaking and fade into the background of their classes, so by the time they get to me, in advanced English, they are still speaking on a very basic level. So we work on speaking with confidence, expanding the vocabulary a little more each class, and creating conversation on the fly, without needing to write every sentence down before speaking.

Celeste and I have also had a good day. We've been at the park and out walking most of the afternoon. We came back so she could catch a nap and I could catch up on housework and sit down for a few minutes. We bought a DVD movie and a bag of chips to share...the chips were gone long before the movie ended, but Celeste seemed to enjoy watching "Arthur and the Minimoys" as much as I did. Some days I wonder if we are the right family for Celeste. She is rarely satisfied with walks and runs in the park, and often her energy and personality get her into trouble outside as well as around the house. She's so gregarious and believes that every person she meets is just waiting for her to leap on them and smother them with kisses. Some of them are, and invite her to jump on them. Others are terrified of the big feet and teeth that they see coming at their faces. She also thinks that every used Kleenex, plastic bag and fallen leaf is placed on the sidewalk just for her. In the house, she feels that she needs to be with us at all times, to the exclusion of going outside to pee. That seems to be taking things to the extreme, in my opinion, but I admit that I don't know everything there is to know about the Siberian psyche.

I've decided, too, that I will only knit with gray and light-colored yarns until Celeste is finished shedding. Heh, it may well be that I spend the next several years knitting only light-colors and grays...I'm not sure how the shedding pattern goes for Siberians. My Basset hound sheds about every six weeks all year round and adores being brushed. Celeste has been shedding for the last 2 months and there's no sign of it letting up yet. It's not coming out in clumps like she might be shedding her winter coat, just dropping about a handful a day throughout the apartment. And she seems to detest being brushed, even with a soft-bristled brush, so she makes it a challenge to keep her groomed and minimize the dog hair that lands on the floor. Come to think of it, Celeste seems make most things a challenge.

8 comments:

wildtomato said...

These Nordic dogs are a challenge, eh? I was so used to my GSD, and I thought that we would always have GSDs, and then along came Mingus. He was a foster dog, but my husband fell head over heels for the charmer and there was no way he was letting him go to another family.

For a brush, try out the Furminator. I swear by it - both of my dogs shed year round, and that brush is the best thing ever. Mingus does blow his coat twice a year in addition to his regular shedding, so you have that to look forward to! It looks like there are white tumbleweeds all over the house!

What is Celeste's "gotcha" story?

toady said...

With your talents can't you recycle Celeste's shedding into some sort of yarn? I thought that this reserve about languages was only a British thing but obviously not. You are obviously a good teacher to get them all chatting away like that. It must be very satisfying.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Kathleen I have just laughed until the tears dripped off my chin. Just dropped in here via purple coo and read away as you do and thought Celeste was a child!! I was thinking what a heavy load some mothers' have to bear and was wandering what this child's difficulties were ....until I came to the 'peeing' bit!!Whaaaaat! Then it eventually dawned... Kathleen you have made me laugh so much!! Dont know if it was intentional...but thanks...I needed that

Pondside said...

I had a Siberian years ago - he shed all year, just more sometimes than at others! There were days when my living room floor resembled a dust bowl, with fur rolling across like tumbleweed!
Glad to hear that your new class seems like a promising bunch!

Faith said...

I don't think I could cope with shedding dog hair. Yorkie is only small and his hair doesnt really come out anyway - it just grows really long.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Hi Kathleen, your conversation classes sound very interesting - do you conduct them? Is it an English speaking class? Sorry to appear thick but I've been catching up with your other blogs too and am getting a little confused!! Not difficult for me...

Crystal xx

Guinness & Shiloh's Family said...

Your converstation class sounds terrific. Much like book discussion groups I have with the kids at my library, actually.
Huskies shed all of the time, so I hope you like grey & white! All of my yarn projects are loved with copious amounts of dog hair - 2 huskies & a GSD will do thet. We must vaccuum our dust buffalos daily and I should learn to spin that dog hair, but I don't like the idea of getting caught in the rain with anything made from that yarn - wet dog smell! I loved the Celeste gotcha story you left as comments on Kathleen's blog. sweet.
Denise

FunkyMunky said...

I wish I'd had you as a teacher when I was at school. I was one of those who hung around at the back terrified of making a mistake! None of the teachers really bothered with the quiet ones at my school.

I thought Celeste was a person at first too - it was the big feet & teeth that made me suspect she wasn't. Enjoyed reading about her anyway!!