The tenth post of the expedition – the live album from the legendary Woodstock appearance

As I mentioned last time, I have now been here three months exactly, and I am exactly half way through my stay with this family. So I think it is time for reflection as much as looking ahead to what the next three months have to offer.

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was staying timidly quiet in the back seat of the lift from the airport, with the youngest boy staring equally timidly up at me, and the realisation as I started to unpack that the bottle of wine I had brought over unfortunately didn’t survive the journey. However at the same time it feels like a distant memory, although it has been not even five weeks, that my English companion left to study a CELTA, something she should be done with by next week. In this mere month-odd I have really settled in to a good routine, and now more often than not I see a friendly face when I go out at the weekend, even if it is only my own in the mirror behind the bar.

On the day I arrived, I was two months away from visitng Rome, which seemed an age in the relative unknown of what lay ahead, and yet that is already a month in the past. That was an amazing adventure, if only for a few days, and I hope to have something similar in these next few months.

Which brings me nicely to the next three months here, and what lies ahead. As I said, I hope to have another adventure somewhere in this country. I feel like somewhere else in the south requires a visit, however I’m not too sure where. But this may be dictated by other people. Milan, while nice, isn’t the ideal place to visit for the casual tourist visiting their friend in a foreign country, so I think a more typical tourist destination may be called for, should any of my friends want to visit.

June will bring with it the end-of-year madness known to school children all over the world. I may start to take a more proactive approach to helping my older child prepare for his English end-of-years (I know, since when did I do proactive?) and try and get some feedback on grades he’s been getting so I can really focus on helping improve where it’s most needed. As I was warned, I’m not entirely convinced by the quality of teaching and grading – the youngest came back with top marks for an English test, despite several spelling mistakes. Evidently it was good enough to beat the system.There was never a more appropriate time for that well-known Alice Cooper song to come on than when I was writing this paragraph.

June will also bring another new experience to add to the ever growing list – me left in partial charge of numerous children for a week or two. Think your favourite sports day as a child, with the addition of an after school drama club, and some proper English lessons thrown in for good measure. Long time readers will know of my love for all things improv, so I’ve been thinking up hair brained ways to incorporate Irish drinking songs, limericks and film noir into teaching English to under-11s. Suggestions in the comments please.

And then after that? All I know for certain is that I’ll be returning to England in about three months until I have a reason to return, as an au pair, bonafide teacher, or miscellaneous hobo writing about the cat he lives with.

Which reminds me, if you want to see more of this miscellaneous hobo’s writing, including stuff that won’t be published on my blog, check out the link I posted last time. It’s for a website I’m writing for, due to go live soon, with your favourite rambling blogger as a featured writer, so hopefully it’ll be right up your street.

Jack out.


About Jack
A small-time traveller in a big-time world

7 Responses to The tenth post of the expedition – the live album from the legendary Woodstock appearance

  1. Expat Eye says:

    I’ve done Limerick lessons with summer school kids and they were always a great success! They can come out with some random stuff but it’s usually very funny! Good luck with it!

    • Jack says:

      What age/level were the kids you did limericks with? Did you have to give them any sort of framework or just leave them to it?

      • Expat Eye says:

        They were 13-17ish, I would say it’s more suited to intermediate and above as they need to know enough words to be able to rhyme! But I did it with a pre-int class and they really surprised me by how creative they were- some of them were quite rude but very funny! I gave them a few famous examples and we went through the rhythm and rhyming structure together – 1, 2, 5 have to rhyme etc. Make them repeat the rhythm in dum dum dum form – gets a few laughs!

      • Jack says:

        I’m not sure how successful it would be with under-11s, and I’m anticipating a real mixed bag as English teaching is notoriously sub-par in Italy. Nothing like a good excuse to watch old episodes of Whose Line though!

      • Expat Eye says:

        And Mr Bean! They love that stuff! Starting with animal noises is usually a good ice-breaker as they make different sounds in different languages. E.g. in Poland, a dog says ‘how how’. You could stick some pics of different animals to the whiteboard and give the students post-its of the different noises and they have to run to the board and stick them to the right animal. Then a few verses of Old McDonald – good fun!

      • Jack says:

        Brilliant idea. I know that sheep in Japan go ‘meh’. And cats go ‘nyan’!

        I’m drafting my next post right now with some ideas. I went to an improvisation workshop when I lived in Brighton so I’m trying to adapt games we played there and cram them full of language.

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha ha, indifferent sheep! Meh. 🙂 Look forward to the next post!

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