Monday, March 22, 2010

English Corners Gone Wrong

Today, I hosted my first English Corner of the semester.  English Corners are when your students come to practice their English with you in a smaller, casual setting, and usually involves snacks and some sort of conversation-inducing activity.

I scheduled our Corner for 6:30 and ordered three large pizzas that put me out a heft fraction of my humble monthly salary.  I enlisted my wonderful friend and educator extraordinaire, Frieda, to take on one of the small groups, since Chinese students get so excited at the prospect of talking with a "Native Speaker" who isn't already their teacher.  I rearranged my furniture.  Jason generously helped me to clean my place up, go grocery shopping, and carry all the heavy stuff on our way back.

6:50 rolls around.  Frieda and I are sitting on my couch waiting.  Pizza is getting cold.  I'm getting hungry and therefore cranky.  No one shows.

I could have gotten upset.  I could have complained about how my students-- all in their mid-to-late twenties-- are incompetent and incapable of doing anything without their overbearing mothers.  I could have... easily.  I almost did.

Instead, I had a lovely evening with my wonderfully wise friend.  I now have a week's worth of food  which I can feed other hungry mouths with.  I have a clean house and no dishes to do.  I went grocery shopping, which I would have put off until I realized I was out of toilet paper (and we all hate that).  I got to experience a glimpse of lifelong partnership with a generous man who will become my husband. 

Not all flukes are failures.

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