Jan 31, 2009

The week in review

This week has been busy! Final exams are over for the cycle and we get a couple of days' break until the next cycle begins on Tuesday. At the end of every cycle, there is a "Teacher Development" meeting, where the ICPNA bosses give us a heads up about any changes that they are making, and we get to attend seminars given by some of the best English language teachers and education professionals from around the world. This month, the seminar was given by Dr. Nezhat Olia. The topic was "Learning, Retention, and Forgetting." After hearing about Pavlov's Dog for decades, I finally found out what the dog did. The reason for these seminars and training sessions is that ICPNA does not require teachers to have a teaching degree or a degree in English, because universities in Peru often do not have very qualified professors of English, nor are their English programs very good. (Many operate on the theory that one does not have to speak the language or have a high level of fluency in order to teach the language. Just play the tape, point to the pictures, and copy from the book onto the board - no speaking involved.) So we have a need for continuing education. ICPNA has very high standards for their teachers. We are evaluated every month, have monthly trainings during the cycle, and have projects that we are required to produce in order to develop our teaching skills and enhance the English program at the institute. It's a lot of work but completely worth it.

I've also been spinning my little fingers right off, and finally finished the teal lace weight. I also picked up the red wool that Wild Tomato sent me last year. I'd spun about 1/3 of it, then got distracted and went in another direction. So I'm back to spinning it, and am now about half finished with it. In a few more days, I'll have it done (I hope!) and will have transformed it into yarn for a beret, fingerless gloves, or pair of socks. And, I started spinning another batt of bamboo, merino wool, and a TON of sparkly stuff. I'm very curious about bamboo and have started two spinning projects with fibers including bamboo. Bamboo has the feel of silk, but for me, it slips so much faster than silk. It's interesting and I can't wait to finish spinning it so I can make something of it.

And I think I have created two monsters: both O and Celeste. Apparently both have picked up habits from me and expanded on them somewhat. Today, when I came home from work, I discovered two knitting books in the laundry basket. O had been looking at them through the afternoon. How strange! He's never shown the least bit of interest in crafts, nor has he ever picked up a book about anything that doesn't involve pharmaceuticals (he's a pharmacist) and here I find evidence of hidden curiosity...hidden in the laundry. I'm so amazed. I wonder if it will continue.

And Celeste...she's learned to bring her leash when she wants to go out. But it's expanded now to more than letting us know when it's potty time. Now, she brings the leash when she just wants to get out of the house for no reason other than to play or see what's happening out there. When I arrive home from work, she brings her leash to me, even though she's already gone out with O just a few minutes before. It's kind of like she's saying, "Welcome home! Let's go out for a walk so you can relax and unwind. Now just tell me all about your day..." Talk about learning her lessons well! No only does she bring her leash when it's time to go out, but she brings her toys and puts them in my lap when she wants to play. I wonder if she can be taught to knit...


Margaret Cloud said...

Hi Kathleen, hope you enjoy the time off and I am sure Celeste will bring her toys and leash more often, on the days off. I had a cat once that would go into the laundry room and pull down her leash, take it to the sliding doors, to be tied out, she was such a nice cat, her name was Buffy, due to her color, I loved her a lot and still miss her.

Astrig in Maine said...

Hi Kathleen,
Great blog...a real window to your world.

Like you I'm a spinner, knitter and used to teach ESL for many years...

I'm planning a trip to Peru next month, traveling with my father. What would you say is a "must see" for someone with only two weeks of travel?

Cheers from Coastal Maine,

Kathleen said...


Hi! If I were planning a trip with only two weeks, I would definitely spend time in the Chiclayo/Ferreñafe area. Both have some fantastic pre-Incan ruins and museums that are very well done. Try to see Sipan and Sican. Beautiful, and they both give you an idea of the people and culture that the present-day Peruano descended from.

Not only that, but if you are a fish eater, you will love the ceviche. Northern-style ceviche is fantastic. Be forewarned, though, si no pica, no es ceviche norteño (if it doesn't burn, it's not northern ceviche.)

After the northern coastal region, I would take a bus down the Pan American highway to Trujillo and visit Huanchaco beach, the Plaza de Armas, and Chan Chan (if you're up to it. It's a HUGE excavation - an entire pre-Incan city!)

Then, head to Cuzco for the remainder of the trip. Go to Macchu Picchu if you're still wanting more excavations, or just take in the city and try the food. There's a great little restaurant near the Plaza de Armas called La Buena Mesa. They serve Italian food, Peruvian food, and they have an excellent selection of wines. Cusco is a little more expensive than either Chiclayo or Ferrañafe, but probably well worth the expense. If you are interested in visiting the mountains, try Cajamarca (east of Chiclayo) or Huaraz. Both are nice mountain cities. Try the cheese from Cajamarca! It's great!

In Huaraz, there are tour buses that leave from downtown and take you up into the mountains to see the Huascaran and the Pastoruri glacier. You can climb the whole mountain if you want, or you can take a pony ride half way up to the glacier. For 1 sol at the halfway point, a little man will pack you up there on his back, if you are so inclined.