Book Nook Cafe discussion

101 views
Travel > Deb in the City

Comments Showing 1-50 of 161 (161 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments Last May & June our daughter spent 6 weeks in Vietnam. She liked that long vacation, feeling that staying in a country is the best way for her to feel she's been there. Upon her return she decided to learn how to teach English to people who are learning it as a second language, even though she (the "teacher") doesn't speak the first language. At first she volunteered to learn how it goes. Then she decided to take a course in the subject. Well, my friends, there are courses like this offered around the world. Somehow the one in NYC was pricier than ones in Europe. The upshot is she leaves at the end of the month for a 2 month course in Prague. Not only will she have the desired long stay there, she'll be learning how to teach in order to do the same elsewhere. (She has explored the Peace Corps and hasn't ruled it out.)

Why mention this? Because i leave tomorrow for an extended stay in NYC. I'm taking over my daughter's lease in Queens while she's gone. Once i get there i will have computer access but on the Amtrak ride there, i won't. Just thought i'd let folks know, in case you wonder why i'm not posting.

Then, i'm going to be gone at least until the end of July, if not well into August. DH will come to visit me three different times, usually for 3 weeks. He doesn't want to miss the Texas planting season. :-) During his first visit we're taking the train to D.C. to FINALLY see those Terra Cotta Soldiers of China.

So, i'll be climbing up to the third floor apartment, sleeping on a futon & living the life in NYC...well, Queens...this year. I'm SO excited, as i've always wanted to spend more & more time there. I should get my fill this time. I already have my Metropolitan Museum membership, which i tend to use to its full extent.

I'll keep you posted on how things go there!

deborah


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 207 comments What a wonderful opportunity, Deborah, for both you and your daughter! When you know when you are going to be in DC, if you have time to meet my DH & I for a lunch or dinner, let me know. I'd love to make another connection. Enjoy the train ride, and get ready for YOUR climate to change. :o)

Smiles and hugs,
Donna


message 3: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments Donna, thank you for the good wishes. I'm tickled that i'll be able to spend a week with DD before she heads to the Czech Republic.

We have tickets for the museum already but i don't know the timing. We are only staying overnight, arriving late, though. When DH returns home i'll find details.

deborah


message 4: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1085 comments Deb -- How exciting and fun. I'm with you on everything except sleeping on a futon. LOL I've always enjoyed the AMTRAK ride from NYC to Washington. Not bad at all!! And of course you get off at the station pretty much in the middle of everything.
Can't wait to hear all about it. I'm really jealous.

Barbara




Sherry (sethurner) (sthurner) Oooh, a good train ride and a change of scenery. I look forward to hearing about all of it.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments Deborah, this sounds like great fun. Lucky you.

How long is your train trip from Texas to NYC? I would love to take a long train ride like that.

I always wondered how people taught ESL without knowing the foreign language, but apparently this is quite common.

When your daughter is not overseas, what does she do in NYC?

If the futon bothers you, you can invest very little money (@$80) in an AeroBed and it is heavenly. But be sure to get the brand name.

From NYC if you ever want to head to PHL, I would love to meet up with you there. Or I will let you know if I am going to be in NYC.


message 7: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Feb 18, 2010 09:45PM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 60 comments madrano wrote: "Last May & June our daughter spent 6 weeks in Vietnam. She liked that long vacation, feeling that staying in a country is the best way for her to feel she's been there. Upon her return she decided ..."

What a gift, Deborah! I wish you could come up to Boston to visit!

Six weeks apartment sitting in NYC is indeed a dream come true. Enjoy!



message 8: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments Thanks for the comments. I'm excited. The Amtrak trip from Dallas begins tomorrow afternoon at 3:40. We arrive in Chicago early Saturday afternoon, heading for Chicago that night. I'll arrive in the city Sunday evening.

JoAnn, you read my mind about futon back ups. We have a great AeroBed here, so it's my first choice. Last weekend i spent two nights on a lousy mattress at my in-law's home. It reminded me of all that can go wrong. LOL

DD worked for CosmoGirl! magazine until it folded. She's been freelancing as a copy editor since then. The pay is great but with no benefits, of course. Fortunately she'll be able to continue with a couple of those jobs while she's in Prague.

If i head north to Boston or south to Phila. i'll let you know. I envision plenty to do in NYC. Already i have much lined up. I'll have her apartment to myself for two months, then she'll be back in town. However, she intends to spend most of the remaining two months at her boyfriend's home. We'll see.

deborah


message 9: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 13584 comments Deborah: I already have my Metropolitan Museum membership, which i tend to use to its full extent.
------------

That's my favorite museum ! Enjoy your stay in the Big Apple. :)


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (SarahReader) | 68 comments Deb, all the plans sound very exciting! I'd love a few months in NYC, and I'm also excited for your daughter. There is NO BETTER way to travel the world than to work and live in another country, and there are opportunities to teach English everywhere.

JoAnn, you wondered about teaching English (English as a Second Language) without speaking the student's language. This is certainly the norm in this country. I am the ESOL teacher (English for Speakers of Other Languages) at my school. In any group of students, I might have children who speak Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Vietnamese and Russian, plus a few miscellaneous languages. There is no way to teach in all of their home languages at once, even if I KNEW their languages! As a result, we use only English, and build vocabulary through experience, pictures, mime and objects. It is very challenging after you get past concrete experience to more abstract concepts. For example, I've been trying to introduce "democracy" "taxation" "colonization" "boycott" "goods" and other civics and economics vocabulary recently. It's very slow and frustrating. These kids are required to take the same standardized tests in science, social studies and reading as the other students, but it's challenging to teach the concepts to English learners.

The immersion method of learning (teaching entirely in the target language) has many benefits. For one thing, it's cheap - you don't need to find bilingual teachers! Personally, I learned my foreign languages in a structured, bottom-up method (conjugating verbs, grammar exercises, etc.), and it's more comfortable for me. But I never developed the kind of fluent, native-like speech of students who learn a new language in an immersion context.


message 11: by kate/Edukate12 (new)

kate/Edukate12 | 183 comments Deb, what a wonderful adventure!! You'll have to fill us in every chance you get.

Sarah explained ESL immersion teaching beautifully. I have 8 ESL kids in my class. 7 speak Spanish and one speaks Vietnamese. Except for one, all had some English and several were fluent speakers, though they need work with writing. I usually have more who struggle so this has been an easier year. My one little girl who came in with no English has done amazingly well. It is exciting to watch her blossom and become ever more confident. Every once in a while one of my other Spanish kids helps with difficult explanations or helps me understand what my emerging speaker is saying, but for the most part we started at zero and have moved quickly. I'm most excited that she raises her hand now and participates in discussions. I can also send her on errands to the office without a friend or emailing the office beforehand so they know what she wants. I sent her up the other day to get copies for me and completely forgot to buzz the office after she left so they would know. She came back shortly with the copies and I asked her if she had done ok. She looked at me with mild annoyance and said "Well, yes!" She was clearly stating the obvious. : )

Kate


message 12: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 60 comments Sarah wrote: "JoAnn, you wondered about teaching English (English as a Second Language) without speaking the student's language. ..."

Sarah, thanks for your explanation. I've always wondered about this too.


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 207 comments This discussion of ESL reminds me of the part in the book we read recently, Tender at the Bone, when the author's mother (can't remember her name) decided she wanted to speak French, and took her to a school in Canada and left her. I guess that's 'immersion.' But it's a sink or swim proposition, and it seems to work.

How many times have we heard someone say.....or thought it ourselves?........'You're in America, speak English.'

Donna in Southern Maryland
Where is it 42 degrees this morning, and the sun is shining. It feels like we may have turned a corner, and this snow will finally start to disappear. We still have at least 10 to 12 inches on the ground around here, and I'm really SICK of it! :o)


message 14: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 13584 comments It's unfortunate that the weather in NYC has been so bad since you arrived, Deb. Yesterday was a cold steady all day rain.

And now they are forecasting for tomorrow and Friday 6-10 inches of snow.

I hope they are wrong and it's just rain.


message 15: by Mary (last edited Feb 24, 2010 01:48PM) (new)

Mary (madamefifi) A girlfriend of mine fell in love with a gentleman from Mexico, here on a work visa, who spoke no English. 2 years later they are married, he is a US resident, and still speaks little English, but she is now fluent in Spanish! That's immersion at its most romantic though I guess it should be the other way around.


message 16: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments LOL, Mary! It just goes to show you! Good story.

deborah, who is rather disappointed in the NYC weather, but reminds herself that she knew it was going to be winter!


message 17: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments Sarah, thanks for your explanation of how you teach English to such a variety of non-English speaking students. It sounds to me as if it is the person doing the teaching that is the most important component. Good for you! What ages do you work with?

Kate, how much time do your students spend (daily) with an ESL teacher?

I remember once having a first grader from Argentina come to the school in which I taught. This was long before the day of ESL. She had no English, and spoke only German (I do not even want to go there). But within a month, she was speaking and understanding English, and within a few months was fairly fluent. It amazed me, as I have encountered nothing but failure with foreign languages myself.

My daughter had Spanish classes before school (voluntary) from grades 1-6. In 7th and 8th grades she took the equavalent of Spanish I, spread over two years. Then she took Spanish 2 and 3 in 9th and 10th grades. She always got A s in her classes.

In the middle of 10th grade, we put her into a private school which used the immersion method of teaching foreign languages. How many ways can I say "disaster"? She knew nothing!!! So she was put into a Spanish I class for the rest of tenth grade and she realllly struggled even with that. She had a great teacher who never gave up on her and got her through the next two years, somehow. But it was such an ordeal.


message 18: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments JoAnn, what an incredible story. It must have jarred her. Good for her & the teacher for staying with it.

deborah


message 19: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1085 comments I took Spanish in school and did decently, but language was never my strong suit. However, every once in a while I worked with constituents on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. And I did better at using the language than before. And even worked in a bank for a bit with some workers in the neighborhood who spoke Spanish and who liked me. I include the like part because I was always trying to get them to go to the clerk who really spoke Spanish because I was in fear that I would tell them something wrong about what they were doing with their money. I could understand them, but wasn't doing so well on my end of the conversation.

Barbara


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 207 comments I took Spanish for 6 years in Jr-Sr High school, then 3 years in college. At that time I spoke fluently, and could think and even dream in Spanish. Now, I can just about order dinner and ask for the bathroom. If you don't use it, you lose it! But I bet if I was in an immersion situation, it would come back quickly.

Donna


message 21: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments It's funny we are talking about this. Tonight i learned that the church down the street from this apt. is offering free classes in conversational Spanish for beginners. I still have one conversation memorized from my high school Spanish book. If anyone there is named Louisa & she has a cold, i could really converse!

deborah


message 22: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 60 comments madrano wrote: "I still have one conversation memorized from my high school Spanish book. If anyone there is named Louisa & she has a cold, i could really converse!.."

Snort! That is too funny, Deborah. Like me in any French-speaking city; I would have no trouble asking for directions to the library, LOL.


message 23: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1085 comments I got really good at telling people on the phone that the person they were calling "No esta aqui" as in isn't here. And call back "manana." LOL

Barbara


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 207 comments Donde esta Louisa? :o) Deb, I'm thinking of you and Alias with all that snow. I heard 24 inches in Central Park. Hope you packed your boots! :o)

Donna
PS. I have no idea how far apart you and Alias are. Are you planning to have an excursion together? Lunch? Museum? Play?


message 25: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments I didn't pack boots but i'm here to tell you they seem very efficient in getting the snow out of the way. We walked to the library in Astoria yesterday & most of the sidewalks were already cleared. The streets were clear from the traffic. Overnight plows got the rest. I was able to walk around with the help of an umbrella as a third leg & my DD's hand around my arm. LOL!

Today we went into Manhattan (the Met!) & things looked great there, too. The streets were decent but Central Park was full of snowpeople & kids sledding. Neat! I'm impressed.

Alias & i haven't figured out how/when to get together but it'd be a crying shame to miss this opportunity! Pero Alias tiene cattaro ahora. Woo-Hoo! My Spanish conversation is paying off. At least i think that's how you spell "cold" (the illness) in Espanol. Maybe cataro?

Adios!
deborah


message 26: by Alias Reader (last edited Feb 28, 2010 09:04AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 13584 comments Alias & i haven't figured out how/when to get together but it'd be a crying shame to miss this opportunity! Pero Alias tiene cattaro ahora. Woo-Hoo! My Spanish conversation is paying off. At least i think that's how you spell "cold" (the illness) in Espanol. Maybe cataro?
-----------------------

I don't know a word of Spanish. So, I don't know what you said. When I put Cataro in google it came up with something about a mouse or a cat that likes to eat eggs. Are you calling me a rat ?
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define...

But since you are going to be here a few months, I am sure we can meet up in Manhattan for a museum outing or Starbucks when you stop to use their facilities. :)


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 207 comments Alias said: Are you calling me a rat?

Laughter is the best medicine for colds, Alias, with a side order of......cheese! :o)

Donna


message 28: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments LOL! No! I wouldn't do that...at least not so you could see. It's supposed to be a cold. I'll have to look that up, eh? "Catarro" is how it's spelled correctly, i find.

LOL, re. Starbucks. You bet!

deborah


message 29: by Alias Reader (last edited Mar 04, 2010 01:29PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 13584 comments Deb, did you like the selection at the Queens library branch? Or did you go to the Main Queens branch? The branches tend to be very small. But you can request any book. You can do this online or at the library. From what you say about TX libraries, this has to be a big improvement.


message 30: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments LOL, Alias. How right you are! The improvement is incredible. And the ease in getting a book remarkable. I'd forgotten & am almost bitter that this convenience isn't available in Tx.

ANYway, the closest Queens branch is tiny with little fiction at all. However, it has a large children & YA section, so i won't begrudge them. Tomorrow i'm attempting to get to their Central Library in Jamaica, where it appears they have most of the books which i've listed from posts on GR. I'm looking forward to it.

Otoh, it's frustrating because there are so many readers here! I tried to get in line for The Help & Game Change but there were so many, i decided not to do so. I'm hoping before i leave those requests will slow down. Actually, DD forgot to give me her PIN #, so i can't request yet. Soon...

deborah


message 31: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 13584 comments Deb, you can just say you forgot your pin #, and they will let you change it.

As for the branch libraries, they are usually one every 2-3 miles. I have 3 within walking distance from my home.

At this link for Queens Public library if you look at the drop down window on the left side of the page, you can see the list of all the libraries in Queens. When you select one, you can get the address and other info.

http://www.queenslibrary.org/


message 32: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments LOL, Alias, and thanks for the info. Actually, i JUST got back from the Queens main library. Thanks to Hot Stop, which tells me which rapid transit to use, it was a breeze to locate.

AND i have high hopes of getting The Help there, too. They have around 100 "hot" books which are available for 7 day loans. While TH wasn't there this time, Noah's Compass by Anne TylerNoah's Compass by Anne Tyler was. Surprisingly IT can be renewed two more times. I found that odd but am happy, just in case i don't gobble it up as quickly as i imagine i will.

deborah


message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 13584 comments Deb, you sure have experienced some very unusual weather for NYC. First the big snow storm and yesterday that wind and rain storm was like nothing I can recall in recent memory. The wind was actually scary and lasted a long time.


message 34: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 60 comments Deborah, I thought of you this morning while watching CBS Sunday Morning. There is a play opening on Broadway about Tallulah Bankhead, with Valerie Harper of "Rhoda" fame playing Bankhead. It looks really good. I didn't know she was such a pistol (Bankhead).


message 35: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Deborah, I thought of you this morning while watching CBS Sunday Morning. There is a play opening on Broadway about Tallulah Bankhead, with Valerie Harper of "Rhoda" fame playing Bankhead. It looks really good.."

I saw that this morning too. Valerie Harper sure was doing a good job.


message 36: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments I read Miss Tallulah Bankhead by Lee IsraelMiss Tallulah Bankhead by Lee Israel in the '70s & was fascinated by her, although i'm not sure i much liked her. When i read that Harper was on Broadway portraying her, i found myself hoping for tickets. THEN DH said he hoped we could see a show while he's here, so i'm looking at that. Of course he's a musical kinda guy, so i may have to go it alone. Still, he always liked Harper...

Alias, i know what you mean about this weather! To be honest, however, DD's apartment is rather sheltered (facing a brick wall 10' away), so i wasn't aware of the extent of those winds. Saturday night i walked two blocks to visit DD's friends with a baby. In that time i passed 3 "dead" umbrellas, totally inside out. So, i had a sense of what i was missing. But all the electrical outages were a surprise. I guess i'm lucky in that sense. However, i'm feeling antsy in this apartment, which is about the size of our bedroom in Texas! LOL

deborah


message 37: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 13584 comments Deb, you might want to check out TKTS for discount Broadway and off Broadway shows. You can usually get them half price. And good seats, too.

It's on the street divider in Times Square. It's for same day shows.

http://www.tdf.org/TDF_ServicePage.as...

If you had a TV you would see that the damage was great. There were countless downed trees that fell into houses and cars. And unfortunately 6 people in the tri-state area died. Many areas are flooded; especially NJ.

Hundreds of thousands are still without power.
At Kennedy airport winds were clocked at 75 MPH.


message 38: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments Wow! I truly had no idea. My sister chastised me because i thought it was only a bunch of rain.

Thanks for the TKTS info. We bought from them years ago when they had an office at the World Trade Center. It was so easy there--no lines!

deborah


message 39: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1085 comments I learned yesterday that one of the people who was killed by a tree in NJ had children who go to the same school as my friend's grandchild. Everyone is very upset as you can imagine.

Barbara


message 40: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 13584 comments I'm sorry to hear that, Barbara. The pictures on the news are a horror.

Deb, do you have a radio? I would absolutely need one if I didn't have TV.

Also when walking around the city, I have a very tiny one that I always have with me. After past emergencies, I learned the importance of having access to information.

FYI---
http://www.wnyc.org/

NPR is:
820 AM
93.9 FM

Two really good shows on NPR are:

The Brian Lehrer Show
Airs weekdays at 10AM on 93.9 FM and AM 820;
Rebroadcast Tuesdays through Saturdays at midnight on AM 820
Real talk on the issues from New York to the world. Brian Lehrer hosts, with newsmakers and phone calls.

The Leonard Lopate Show
Airs weekdays at 12PM on 93.9 FM and AM 820;
Airs Tuesdays through Saturdays at midnight on AM 820
Host Leonard Lopate lets you in on the best conversations with writers, actors, ex-presidents, dancers, scientists, comedians, historians, grammarians, curators, filmmakers, and do-it-yourself experts.

Airs weekdays at 12PM on 93.9 FM and AM 820;
Airs Tuesdays through Saturdays at midnight on AM 820
Host Leonard Lopate lets you in on the best conversations with writers, actors, ex-presidents, dancers, scientists, comedians, historians, grammarians, curators, filmmakers, and do-it-yourself experts.

You can print out a full schedule on the web site. That's what I've did. -See link above-


1010 AM is news 24/7 They repeat the news every 20 mins. (you give us 20 minutes, we give you the world) Good for seeing the world is still here when you get up in the morning and the weather.:)


message 41: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments No, i have no radio, either. All's i got is this computer & music recorded on it & my ipod. However, thanks to the link you've provided, i can scout out what's available there. However, i must admit i'm not good at listening to the radio. Still, in all this silence! ;-)

Thank you.
deborah


message 42: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments madrano wrote: "No, i have no radio, either. All's i got is this computer & music recorded on it & my ipod. ."

Deborah, you could go sit in a neighborhood bar and watch the news.....just sayin'


message 43: by Bobbie (new)

Bobbie (bobbie572002) | 1085 comments JoAnn --
I just love your suggestion. And I can think of a few neighborhood bars that would do the trick...LOL

Barbara


message 44: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments Bobbie57 wrote: "JoAnn --
I just love your suggestion. And I can think of a few neighborhood bars that would do the trick...LOL

Barbara"


and Deborah might make some new friends!


message 45: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments LOL! DH arrives tomorrow. We'll see how HE does without tv & radio. You may need to come here & drag us both outta the bars!

deborah


message 46: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 669 comments madrano wrote: "LOL! DH arrives tomorrow. We'll see how HE does without tv & radio. You may need to come here & drag us both outta the bars!

deborah"


Oh, Deborah, this could be very difficult. Keep us posted.


message 47: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments Will do. Fortunately his to-see list is almost as long as mine, so we'll be tired by the end of most days. Still, we both want to see some sights at night, as well as prowl around the City (carefully, of course!)

Finally, we'll be planning our fall vacation, too. For me it'll be a relief to do it without background noise of tv running, even on mute. Full attention, we call it.


deborah


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 207 comments We sure are enjoying YOUR trip to NYC, Deborah! :o) What are we doing this weekend? LOL

Donna in Southern Maryland


message 49: by madrano (new)

madrano | 4653 comments Donna, i smiled at your comment because that's sort of the way i feel about your basement. We are going through the tear-down, the new discoveries, the insurance.

This weekend we hop on an express bus to DC. Our first stop is the National Geographic exhibit on the Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors. We missed them in Houston but fortunately they marched on to DC, where we're catching up with them. (My in-laws had to go to China to see them!)

Then we have some work there for a conference DH is facilitating at the end of the month. But we'll be "home" Saturday night. Sunday we are thinking about going to Greenwood cemetery http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green-Wo..., where a mess of dead people are buried, including Samuel Morse, Horace Greeley, Margaret Sanger, Louis Tiffany & more were buried. I have a fondness for cemeteries, so this would be a fitting way to spend a Sunday.

deborah


Donna in Southern Maryland (Cedarville922) | 207 comments Oh, goodie, Deborah, I LOVE cemeteries! I hope we have good weather. :o)

The first time I took my DH to Montgomery to meet my Mother, we decided to take a side trip on the way back to the famous cemetery in Macon, Georgia to see Duane Allman's grave. It was a lovely, peaceful place.

Donna in Southern Maryland
who had a fuss today when my son decided he needed to clean off our 60 foot long back porch....he'd throw everything away if I didn't watch him! Lord, let me live long enough to get a Yard Sale held!


« previous 1 3 4
back to top