Archive for August, 2007

Back to work!

Posted by sue on 29th August 2007

I’m back to teaching already this week– just one class for now, but I’ll be busier starting next week. My class right now is a group of three Brazilian women who are true beginners, and this is my first experience with a group of people who really can’t speak English at all. We generally teach English entirely in English, using translation to students’ native language as little as possible, but with a beginner group a bit more translation is necessary to get them started. (Luckily, I have managed to learn a bit of Portuguese by now so I’m able to translate some basic words.)

What’s great about teaching beginners is that it forces me to get focused and do nothing extraneous. One of my particular challenges is that I sometimes talk too much in my classes. This is a problem because the goal to have the students do most of the talking–they learn when they have to do it, not when they’re listening to me. Well, I’ve quickly found that my talking is even more futile when the students can’t understand me, so after two days in this class I’ve already been trained in the use of brief instructions and basic teacher sign language!

Posted in Portugal | 27 Comments »

Lisboa Antiga

Posted by sue on 22nd August 2007

I’ve arrived safely back to the land of Port wine, fado music, and Vasco da Gama.

I’m reminded that, as a contrast to much of the U.S., it’s also a place where coffee is hardly ever served in paper cups, clotheslines are more common than clothes dryers, and there is decent public transportation. It would be a pretty pleasant place to live if only I could speak Portuguese! I’m going to try to take more pictures around town to post– looking through my photo library, I realize that I hardly have any pictures of Lisbon. You always take the place you’re living for granted.

Posted in Portugal | 29 Comments »

On the way back to Portugal

Posted by sue on 19th August 2007

I’m heading back to Lisbon tomorrow after my U.S. vacation. Len has been off on his own U.S. jet-set, and will be back in Lisbon on Friday, where we’ll get back to work.

Since my Aloha to Lil, Gary, and Heather trip to L.A., I’ve been back in Iowa for a few days to visit my family. The first few days were pretty brutal– I helped with some construction projects on the family homestead, which reminds me how much I don’t miss the morass of home improvement that I was stuck in when we were working on our house in Culver City! Then I drove to Des Moines to celebrate my one and only nephew’s birthday with the whole family (he’s 9 and this is the first time I’ve ever been around for his birthday– does that make me a bad aunt?).

I kind of wish I could stay longer, because my high school class is having our 20-year reunion on September 1, but I really want to get back to Lisbon to get on with learning Portuguese and teaching. We’ll probably be there only about 9 more months, and I have to get on it if I want to be able to speak Portuguese and make some friends there!

Posted in General | 38 Comments »

SIGGRAPH 2007 and Bad Luggage

Posted by len on 2nd August 2007

We’re heading to the U.S. for the second of our official “Escape from Europe, What Were We Thinking?!” tours.
If you’re in Los Angeles, San Diego for SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Graffiti and PHalafel), or Iowa then you can see our impossibly dull Middle East/Europe slide show!
Going from August 3rd to August 14th in LA, then Iowa, Denver, D.C. You name it! We’re there!
Unless you name other places.

Posted in General | 44 Comments »