Friday, February 23, 2007

Find the Helicopter!

Do you know where this helicopter is on campus? The first person to identify its location in a comment to this post will win a candy bar!

Warming Up...and Then Cold Again

We have had a couple of days with temperatures in the 40s and 50s, and a lot of the ice has melted. Some of the students on campus even wore shorts and t-shirts! There were puddles of water everywhere. Then, yesterday afternoon, a "Canadian Clipper" blew in with gusty winds which made the higher temperatures seem very low indeed. When it is very cold, I detour through Plant Sciences on my way from the parking lot to my office, so that I can warm up a little on the way. It makes it bearable.

There's rather a lot planned for today's class, but if there is time I intend to have the students reflect on what they have been learning in another class this week.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dirty Snow

What I really hate about snow is how after a few days, it gets grimy, like this. I hate thinking that the air I breathe is full of that black stuff--I just don't notice it most of the time. The dirty snow reminds me that I am breathing polluted air. :-(

This photo was taken in the parking lot near the Comcast Center.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Reflections on Week 4

We are in the computer lab, and everyone is blogging. I have asked the students to reflect on several things which happened this week.

After having unseasonably warm weather during the month of January, we have been in the deep freeze recently, and Tuesday night there was an ice storm which blanketed the area with several inches of hard, packed ice. You can walk right over the top of it without even making a dent! Some of the students who are from warm places and have never experienced snow might think this is snow, but it's not. The campus closed early on Tuesday and remained closed on Wednesday. I spent the day (1) making bean soup and (2) clearing my driveway. We had to whack at the ice to break it before we could shovel it (we even broke one of our shovels!), and each shovelful weighed a ton. I considered actually getting my bathroom scale out so I could weigh it, but I was too tired! We also used a pick-axe to break it up. That worked better than the blade of the snow-shovel. I felt like a coal miner, digging for white coal.

I assigned an oral presentation for this week. The students, working in pairs and threes, could choose from four projects, three of which were videos. In the past, I showed these videos to the whole class. Fridays were devoted to videos, and we all went over to Nonprint Media Services to watch them together. This semester, I did not have time each week to devote to the videos, so I assigned them as part of the oral project. I wonder which method is better!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Home Again

I'm back! My husband and I had a great time in Charlotte, North Carolina. We stayed with his cousins and went to a big party last night celebrating the engagement of another cousin. We saw many friends and relatives of my husband's and met lots of people we didn't know before, friends and relatives of the groom. I had a chance to experience what my students experience when they find themselves in the middle of a conversation in English, not understanding everything, and wanting to participate but not being quite able to (only for me the language was Greek, which I speak, but not very well). :-)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nina AFK

I will be traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend and will be afk (=away from my keyboard) until sometime on Monday, so if you send me an email, don't be alarmed if I don't respond immediately. See you on Tuesday!

Student Blogs

Student blogs are up and running! Students are already receiving comments from Hiromi in Japan, Dennis in Arizona, Carla in Argentina, John in Japan, and other far-flung bloggers and teachers. Some students have already begun to visit each other's blogs and leave comments, some encouraging, some funny! UMEI 005 is reaching out to the world!

Don't forget to give your blog address to your friends and family back home, so they can follow your progress at UM.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


What does Aziz have in his hand?

What do you think Nasser is going to do?

Everyone is behaving in this picture.

Sunday, February 4, 2007