Four hundred and ninety fourth åsic- The Yellow Wall and The Blue Wallpaper

I used to teach in another classroom a couple of years ago. When I started off teaching there, I had an opportunity to decide for myself what the classroom would look like. I think that is one of the reasons that I liked it there. When moving out , I removed all the details because I wanted to give the new teachers the same opportunity to do whatever they wanted to make the classroom feel like ”theirs”.

This is something I wrote when I was still teaching in my old room: 

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is an American short story read  by many, but how many of the readers have spent a fortnight of pure creative language learning in a yellow classroom ? The teacher had painted her classroom herself and turned the dark dull room in the basement into a positive oasis for learning. All walls were painted in a bright yellow colour. Her combination of gifts from previous students, her own creations or things she had got here and there, together with wisdom on little plaques or instruction posters with different themes like weekdays, phrases or words for certain occasions, gave the impression of a nice and welcoming place where the soul of learning was more important than anything else. Soul in English almost sounds like sun in Swedish, sol.

My classroom is not painted by me and it is not yellow either, but I have hanged The Blue Wallpaper myself and I have added a lot of blue accents, such as glass, fabric or decorations. Blue is my fave color and it also lead my thoughts to water or to a realxing feeling that makes me calm. In one of the corners of my room I have a waterdoor… In another corner are verbs connected to language use. The many hearts on the window to our pentry is decorated with thoughs or words on the theme LOVE. I think my students are important in many ways. I also find their background, culture and languages important. I think it is necessary for a classroom where languages are taught, that you actually can see that we speak different languages. All those languages are important. Knowing several languages is a true wisdom!

BLÅTT och GULT

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The teacher I visited in NJ, USA was teaching about weather expressions in Spanish when I was there and both the students and herself were happy… and yellow is the happy color that perfectly suits a classroom for Spanish lessons. A saying by an ”unknown” author that suits the yellow classroom very well:

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow
Annonser

Four Hundred and Nintieth Asic- Learning Among Friends

This blogpost was first published three years ago when I was visiting NJ, USA a couple of weeks. The following few days you will have a new chance to share what I experienced ”over there”. Enjoy! 


My first minute at school in Pitman

 

Yesterday when I took a walk to the school where I will spend the coming two weeks, I was surprised to find a welcoming greeting outside school. This morning when I arrived for my first day there, I was even more surprised to find another sign welcoming me to my school visit. As if this wasn’t enough, I have felt overwhelmingly welcomed by each and every one of the people I have met in Pitman Middle School. Both students and teachers met me with warmth and generosity.

There are plenty of things I noticed that are different from what I am used to. Even if I now teach adult students, I can miss teaching younger students especially if I meet such nice kids as the ones I met today! Many of them were making impact just by being themselves in their regular surrounding. 

Both students and teachers I met today seemed eager to know more about Sweden and that made me happy. I had anticipated a more anonymous role in this school, but I am very, very happy that it turned out to be so interactive, because it makes it really interesting. I will thus have multiple chances to explore the very soul of this particular school and get a chance to understand the nature of the school system in NJ.  The many opportunities to share thoughts and reflections from my experience of teaching with my new friends in this school will be like a treasure to get back to later when there is more time. Now I merely need a good night’s sleep in order to be fit for what tomorrow may bring of new experiences.

Last time I visited a school in NJ I marvelled at the dress code. I then wrote in Swedish, but I have summoned up that text in English as well:

https://asaole.com/2014/05/18/miniaaseri-a-slingback-would-kill-me/

 

Four Hundred and Eightysixth Asic- My New Favourite Tree

Quercus_rubra_1.jpg (582×671)

For a couple of weeks I once had the opportunity to experience a very mild and nice autumn in Pitman, NJ. One of the days we had +28C which is not at all like the temperature for September or October in Sweden. In my 485th åsic,

https://asaole.com/2017/09/17/fyrahundraattiofemte-aseriet-fargglatt-prassligt-och-valdoftande-hostens-prydnader/

I wrote about the maples in Sweden and how I used to collect the colourful leaves in the autumn. I have always loved trees and since I live in a part of Sweden where forests are a part of the nice scenery, I always find a walk in the forest very soothing if I need to relax or find new energy. I walked along nice streets in Pitman, where mainly tall maples and oaks give gardens their share of fallen leaves. One kind of tree was unfamiliar to me, but I could tell from what it looked like that it had to be a maple or an oak, so I picked up a leaf and brought it with me to #Pitman Middle School, where I asked everyone I met: ”Is this a maple or an oak?”. Most people said: ”I don’t know but I think it is…” and then two people very quickly said: ”It’s an oak, no doubt!” Now I KNOW it is an oak, since I have done what most people do nowadays… I googled it… It turned out to be a red oak.

The fallen red oak leaves has the same SOUND as the fallen Swedish maple leaves when you walk through them… Another day I took a shortcut home and ended up very far away from home in an empty yard…learning that just as ”genvägar är senvägar” , shortcuts tend to be longcuts…

One good thing by taking the ”shortcut” was that I had to walk on a narrow path in a little forest, passing a railroad to get back home. The fallen leaves in a thick layer sounded like the maple leaves from my childhood and around me both squirrels and chipmunks ran about. I knew I was very close to houses, but the trees and animals made me fly away in thoughts for a while. The beauty of coloured leaves is still the same, no matter where I am. It gives me a feeling of gratefulness to see all the colours, hear the dry sound of the leaves as I walk through them. The sunrays hardly pass through to the ground and there are merely dark soil and old leaves for the squirrels to run about in. In its lack of colours, the ground already seems ready to meet the winter. In my lack of inner compass, I also seemed ready to meet the winter… Luckily I made a correct guess and soon found my way back to Broadway again…

Fyrahundrasextiosjätte åseriet- 35 000 views!

 This blog has now had 35,000 views!

In my blog I share thoughts and experiences from my life and teaching career. Occasionally I also write book reviews or share my experiences from trips. Most of the content is written in Swedish since that’s my mother tongue. Some of the posts may be interesting to an English-speaking reader. Please look for ”In English” in the menu to the left. Thanks!

Nu har bloggen haft 35 000 visningar!

Tack alla ni som läser det jag skriver. Ibland gör jag djupdykningar i något som för stunden känns intressant, som till exempel ett författarskap eller en aspekt av lärande eller undervisning. Om du tittar i menyn till vänster under ”På svenska” kanske du hittar något läsvärt.

Där finns till exempel #Musikupplägg att samtala om. Under sommaren 2016 handlade ett antal blogginlägg om upplevelser från en turistresa i USA. För att hitta dem är det enklast att söka här på bloggen med #Turist i USA. Naturupplevelser i Sverige har också fått plats här, till exempel en resa i trakten runt #Högakustenbron, men även naturupplevelser som ett besök i skogsmiljö vid #Predikstolen. Efter sommaren återgick bloggen till att vara en mix av reflektioner om undervisning, boktips och däremellan en del minnen från lärargärningen och först ut bland dessa inlägg var ett inlägg om svenskan som #Melodins språk. I augusti jobbade jag med reflektioner om #läsning och #läsundervisning. Dessutom har jag gjort en djupdykning i #Theodor Kallifatides författarskap, där del 1 är ett åseri som heter #trehundrafyrtioåttonde åseriet.

Under hösten 2016 skrev jag om mina erfarenheter av bröstcancer. Om du vill läsa om det så kan du hitta det första blogginlägget här:

https://asaole.com/2016/10/04/trehundrasjuttionde-aseriet-brostcancer-i-kropp-och-knopp-del-1/

Läser du vidare i höst, så hoppas jag dela med mig av fler undervisningstips både här, på #viärlärare, #asaole och på min YouTube-kanal #åseriklipp. Tack för att du läser! ❤

 

 

Fourhundred and forty-sixth Asic- If you give a Magpie a Cookie…

Mouse

Years ago when my oldest daughter was a couple of years old, she got this little book as a gift from one of my dearest friends in the USA. I was told by him that the story was very much appreciated by young children and along with the book my daughter also got a little stuffed animal in the shape of a mouse, dressed like the mouse on the cover of the book. The book is the kind of repeating story that children love to listen to and there are many other books similar to this in many other countries, for instance in Sweden where I live. We learn to love the stories, although adults tend to love the first few times we read them, while children seem to like them although it may be the hundredth time its read to them…

I was thinking of this book today, because the story about the little mouse who is likely to want more and more from the boy in the book, is acting like the magpie in my garden. I was sitting in my garden today, together with one of my friends. It was lovely weather and we enjoyed the sunshine after a days work. We were first right under the oak tree, but after a while when the sun was moving, we moved, too, since our bench was now in the shade. We left the set table with cookies and tea under the oak tree…but moved the bench to a spot where the sun was still warming.  Suddenly my friend said: ”Look! The magpie is stealing something from the table!”

To her surprise I was merely saying ”Oh!” in the same kind of voice we use for cute little animals we love, or for little children… I had to tell her that this was most likely ”my” magpie from the birds nest in my apple tree on the other side of our house… And my friend looked as if the next thing to say would be ”So?!” It turned out that we had different experiences from magpies and their behavior, but shared the point of view that they are pretty smart. I decided to give the magpie a cookie. But I didn’t act at once. Instead we chatted on and after a while the magpie returned for another try at the table… My friend commented that maybe It would be TOO much of an offer to give the magpie ALL my cookies, so then I clapped my hands and the magpie flew off again… After it was gone, I removed every cookie except one. I left it on the chair and my friend and I got back to our bench a few meters away to wait and see whether the magpie would dare to try and get the cookie… She did!
drömmarMy only disappointment was that the magpie flew off to a garden two houses off from mine…

Really?! I couldn’t believe I was feeding the wrong magpie!!!…and with freshly baked cookies, too!!

Now I only dread the rest of the story, because if you give a magpie a cookie, she will most certainly come back for a glass of milk…but when I give her the milk, she will ask for a straw…

More about my magpie experiences are found in this link:

http://wp.me/p4uFqc-1e

magpie #skata

Fyrahundratrettionionde åseriet- Restaurangbesök i London, inte vilken skitsak som helst! #Londonfrossa

Häromkvällen när jag och min väninna skulle äta innan vi gick på Billy Elliot i London, så fick vi leta en god stund innan vi faktiskt hittade en passande restaurang. Vårt första val denna kväll hade varit att äta på en pub, men det visade sig att de inte öppnar köket på kvällstid förrän kl 18. Därför sökte vi vidare och hittade Jamie Olivers restaurang vid Victoria station.

Jamie's Italian Victoria

Jamie’s Italian Victoria

Menyn var helt inspirerad av Italien, precis som restaurangens namn antydde och på menyn fanns både det ena och det andra som lockade. Vi valde varsin Ceasarsallad, min med lax och väninnans med kyckling. Jamie hade lekt lite med originalreceptet i sin version och lagt dit rostade hasselnötter i stället för de vanliga valnötterna… Det var verkligen en lyckad kombination med den rökta laxen!

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Desserten, en fantastisk cheesecake med custard och bär, gick inte heller av för hackor. Det var en fantastisk smakupplevelse som jag sent kommer att glömma.

Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake

Men efter denna delikata måltid insåg jag att Jamie Oliver verkligen inte ser mat som någon skitsak vilken som helst… Han går ”all in” när det gäller reklam…

Jamie's Italian

 

 

Till och med i toaletterna på restaurangen finns nämligen namnstämpeln i porslinet… Det är inte skit samma vem vi tänker på när vi går på toa där alltså… 😉

En skitsak från restaurangen!

En skitsak från restaurangen!

Kvällen före hade jag och väninnan gått på måfå i Bayswater för att även då leta efter en lämplig restaurang. Plötsligt ser vi till vår fasa att en av restaurangerna verkligen HETER Toa Kitchen:

Toa Kitchen i Bayswater, London

Toa Kitchen i Bayswater, London

Det kan vara skitsvårt att hitta en bra restaurang och man går både länge och väl, bedömer hur det kan tänkas smaka av maten som finns på menyn… men ibland blir man avskräckt redan innan man går in…Min fundering blir nu, hur många svensktalande som vågat sig in för att avnjuta maten i just denna restaurang…

Igår fick i alla fall Jamie’s Diner vid Piccadilly Circus besök av oss… Det är en annan konceptrestaurang i Jamie’s Olivers anda, denna gång som en typisk amerikansk ”diner”, med röda galonsoffor och amerikansk femtiotalsmusik i högtalaren. Maten smakade gott, men till skillnad från Jamie’s Italian, där hela miljön kändes relativt exklusiv, fanns här i stället en helt annan betydligt ”billigare” känsla, nästan på snabbmatsnivå. På bordet där vi placerades stod två rejält skitiga glas, men eftersom kyparen avlägsnade dem när vi hade beställt vår dryck, så valde vi att stanna ändå. När hamburgaren äntligen kom, noterade vi att den låg på ett rutigt papper, som snart nog hade blötts upp av en fantastiskt god Cole slaw som spetsats med fänkål och rödbetor… Med hänsyn taget till de skitiga glasen nyss och hur stället i övrigt kändes, fick vi tanken att papperet låg där som skydd från en inte helt ren bricka därunder… På Jamie’s Italian vid Victoria däremot, så kändes det rakt igenom gott, proffsigt och RENT OCH FRÄSCHT, vilket uppskattades! Noteras skall att MATEN var jättegod på båda restaurangerna.

Annars förknippar jag London och England med pubbesök och på en pub kan man hitta olika rätter som är typiska. Mindre pubar kan ha lokala avvikelser, men det finns också kedjor där det är ett och samma koncept oavsett vilken pub man hamnar på. En sådan kedja är Taylor Walker. Vi besökte två av dessa pubar för att smaka den traditionella rätten Fish and chips, som är friterad torsk med pommes frites och kokta gröna ärtor samt en separat remouladsås. På bordet finns alltid vinäger att droppa på om man vill. Det brukar jag göra! Mums! Tidigare kunde man hitta gatuförsäljare som sålde fish ‘n’ chips serverat i tidningspapper, men nu hittade vi ingen sådan försäljare, utan fick hålla till godo med den standardiserade pubvarianten…

Fish and chips på Taylor Walkers

Fish and chips på Taylor Walkers

 

Det finns många stadsdelar i London som präglas av en viss nationalitet, där man till exempel kan äta kinesiskt i var och varannan restaurang eller där indisk mat dominerar. Vi provade en kinesisk restaurang i Soho och var mycket nöjda med maten. Dessutom var toan fräsch på den restaurangen…apropå ovanstående skitsnack! 😉

Kinamat i Soho

Kinamat i Soho

I Bayswater hittade vi en fräsch restaurang med god indisk mat. Den hette Masala Zone och där fanns en rad traditionella indiska rätter, i varierad styrka, både vegetariska alternativ och med olika kött som bas. Min lammgryta var jättegod och alla de små rörorna som serverades till denna Thali var klart godkända. För mer om dem, besök gärna hemsidan:

Masala zone i Bayswater

Skulle man inte vilja äta lunch, så kan man alltid stämma av hungerkänslorna genom att inta Afternoon Tea någonstans. Det finns många olika nivåer på service och bakverk. Den ena gången kanske man vill lyxa till lite extra och i så fall finns både Fortnum and Mason och Harrods, om man tycker sig ha råd med några hundra extra. Vi valde en kedja som heter Patisserie Valerie och finns över hela staden. Det var helt OK fika, både vad gäller smörgåsar, scones och de små bakverken, men servicen var långsam och damen som torkade borden gjorde det med en urgammal disktrasa som hade sett sina bästa dagar, vilket störde min upplevelse.

Afternoon Tea

En annan trevlig paus gjorde vi på ett fik i Notting Hill, som hette Paul Rhodes Bakery. Där var det inte lika stressigt i rummet, utan lugnt och skönt som avbrott till det annars så höga tempot. Du som har läst ända hit förstår att skälet till att jag orkade trycka i mig all denna mat var just att jag promenerat gata upp och gata ner genom Londons centrala delar… Nu väntar betydligt magrare måltider i den stundande vardagen… 🙂

Fourhundred and thirtysixth åsic- London, always safe and secure! #Londonfrossa

IMG_1811I’ve been to London several times and it doesn’t really matter how often I visit this busy city of the world. There are always new things to see. The London fire in 1666 or the Blitz during the second world war are both examples of disasters from the past. Nowadays London may suffer from occasional terror attacks, but just like before London seems to be a city to trust… I always feel safe and secure when I walk the streets of London. I never worry. To me, the people I meet seem just as relaxed, too, as if there wasn’t anything to worry about. I do however notice that the huge trees in the parks do suffer… they seem to be victims of a no longer clean environment. Maybe the smog will win in the end?

To me it seems as is the only serious threat London City may not cope with in the end IS environmental issues. This morning I watched the BBC for a weather forecast, but I also caught a glimpse of the news where a report of recent pollution was in focus. Obviously some parts of London deal with levels above what is recommended.

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When speaking about environment I have noticed that many things here are organised, such as the painted walls outside Royal Festival Hall. The minute before I noticed this ares, that may be a skateboard park, we had walked past a tunnel for pedestrians, right under Waterloo Bridge and I had noticed that there were almost no tags or grafitti on the walls. I guess the authorities have invited the grafitti-painters to share their artistery in a limited area…I enjoyed what I saw! ❤