Things are starting to look up.
I’m finally teaching ESL. My “class” consists of a mother and daughter. Both of them are much better at English than had been implied. The mother needs practice with listening and speaking, while her daughter needs practice with reading and writing, so it’ll be interesting figuring out how to help them both. Monday afternoon I met with them for the first time, accompanied by Gloria (the pastor’s daughter), who translated as needed. We went to a mall near their house and, when the library was too crowded (yes, there was a library inside a mall), we found a table in the food court. It worked just fine. I spent most of that time conversing with the mother; she seemed to do fine, and I’m not exactly sure how to help her further. The daughter spent most of her time with Gloria working with her on writing. I met them again Wednesday, same time and place, this time without Gloria. Thank goodness for Google. It’s helping me a lot with ideas.
Taking the subway home after Monday’s ESL lesson, I had some adventures. I hadn’t slept the night before because I was trying to figure out what to teach (or that was my original intention, but never mind), so naturally I was tired. There were quite a few stations between my current location and my destination, so I thought, “I’ll just nap for a while. I’m sure I’ll wake up on time.” I woke up to hear the name of a station I had never heard of. Turns out I went much farther than planned. 😛
I got on the subway heading the opposite direction and went back to where I was supposed to be, no problem, but somehow managed to take a different exit from the one I normally took. I came out with no idea where I was. I knew I was on the right street, but not which direction to go or how far away from the house I was. Eventually I realized that I was right across the street from where I normally exit, so you can imagine how intelligent I felt. Remind me to look at landmarks across the street every now and then so I won’t get confused and panic. 😛
For Wednesday’s lesson, the adventure was in getting there. I got to the right subway station, but all of the signs directing us to the buses talked about buses going along the wrong street. So I thought, “Okay, I’ll just go out onto the right street and find a bus stop.”
I walked for half an hour before I found one.
I then got off the bus a little earlier than I was supposed to because I was worried about going too far by mistake, but that worked out all right because I met a man who needed directions. From me? Well, I guess he was desperate. I actually knew what to tell him, because he was headed for the same street I was. Anyway, that’s one positive thing that came from the craziness. I arrived at my destination much later than I had planned. 😛
Oh – bread. As regular readers probably know, I tried baking sourdough bread before with limited success. (I found out that it might have been because my starter was too new, but that’s another story.) Discouraged, I decided to try regular yeast bread. Crazy girl that I am, I refuse to use any white flour if I can avoid it, but rather than substitute whole wheat flour into a regular recipe, or use a “whole wheat” recipe that called for a mixture of white and whole wheat, I got smart and looked for a recipe designed specifically for all whole wheat flour. I found one.
My first attempt went pretty well, but after baking I decided to ensure it was done by cutting one of the loaves in half. I was disappointed to see that part of it looked uncooked, so I baked it a while longer. And longer. And longer. When nothing changed after about an hour of additional baking, I finally gave up. What the heck. I’ll eat it like it is, I thought. Much to my surprise, after cooling for a while, it looked completely normal. I found out that bread cooks for a while after it’s out of the oven, so the appearance of the center was probably normal. The bread was good; it was somewhat dry, and needed something spread on it to make it really good, but people liked it anyway.
Anyway, I tried again Tuesday, this time trusting that it was done after the recommended baking time. I wrapped it in a damp cloth to keep the crust soft and left it alone for a while. After resisting the temptation for a while, I finally gave in and ate a slice.
It was soooo good. Not dry at all, but moist and chewy and delicious. It didn’t need anything on it. Neither did the next slice. 😛 I don’t know if the better quality was due to not being horrendously overdone, or because I substituted the molasses in the original recipe with honey instead of just leaving it out, or both, but whatever. It was good. Very good. And now I’m fighting the urge to eat more.
ALSO. Last Thursday, Gloria, Anna and I went to a mall (not the one where I’m teaching ESL). And there I saw…
This is the first WalMart I’ve seen since coming to Canada. And it was part of a mall. Wow.
Life is interesting. 🙂