Friday, December 18, 2009


I just had a wonderful "end of the semester" evening: cooking Russian food (vareniki) with adding some Maldivian flavour (tuna) and filling everything with the joy of being with amazing people. The meal was followed by a nice movie "In Her Shoes". It was a nice light story to watch, but it had a touching poem read in it, which I really liked. This is
"One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop:
The art of losing isn't hard to master:
so many things seem filled wih the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look, my last,
or next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities. Lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Teaching and learning issues

As a memeber of TESOL I have just participated in a virtual seminar titled "Closing the Achievement Gap for Limited Formal Schooling and Long-Term English Language Learners." This theme was especially topical because yesterday we had Rita McDonald speaking about WIDA standards where she touched upon the same issues. Partcipating in this type of events I realize more and more what a difficult job American teachers are doing and how challenging it is to teach in an American school. From 9 years of personal teaching experience I can say that teaching is not an easy task. And I taught Russian students in Russia, where all students speak Russian and literacy rate is about 98%. It is difficult to imaging teaching in this country where the population is so diverse with different cultural background and some people come without any formal education at all.