Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy & Sad

Today I was happy. I got a second opportunity to be a guest lecturer at the Queretaro Institute of Technology (in their foreign language department). I spoke to an advanced English class (level 6).

For a lesson plan, I chose a short fairytale by Danish children's writer, Hans Christian Anderson. Many of you may be familiar with it, "The Princess & The Pea." I did a dictation exercise, reading the short work line by line to the class. They had to listen, understand, and write what they heard. Later, we compared the original printed version (handout) to their own writing. Then, we read for pronunciation. Then did a oral translation. Then discussed new vocabulary words, and certain verb formations.

All in all, it was a delightful class. They all paid attention, and the department chair sat it. Genial!

But yesterday, I was sad. I've been volunteering every day at a local shelter for abused children. Tuesday was the day that many of them had parental visits at their former homes (some supervised, some not). After lunch there was a little girl who'd been on such a home visit who stood in the corner of the playground (outdoors), and slapped the wall, continuously, while sobbing. One of the ladies who works there tried to calm her down. No luck. I sat down on the ground next to her and tried to calm her down. No luck. So, it was the end of my shift, and I left. With the little dear still crying uncontrollably and hitting the wall. The image stays with me.