Day 205 (21 January 2011) – Busman’s Sabbatical

Meet Laura (our next door neighbor and the girl on the right) and her good friend Ariane. Melinda and I have been providing Laura an opportunity to practice conversational English every Friday and the last two weeks she’s brought along Ariane. Wow, what nice kids. Given how much I enjoy teaching and teenagers, it’s no surprise that this is a fun activity for me, hence the title of today’s post (if you don’t know, a “Busman’s Holiday” refers to a person on vacation engaging in an activity similar to what he does for a living).

I had to provide today’s lesson by myself as Melinda accompanied Chloe to a new babysitting job some distance from our house. Laura, who is a fan of the TV show “Desperate Housewives” and who has learned a fair amount of English from it, will be traveling to Washington D.C. in February and wants to get in as much English practice as she can. Today we focused on various slang terms, Laura having asked me to help her understand the more idiomatic uses of words like “puke” and “kick.” She heard them on “Desperate Housewives” but didn’t understand them in that context; you know, “you make me puke” and “I’m going to kick your a$$.” I suggested that “hurl” may be a more common term than “puke” for someone her age, but cautioned her to be careful with its use. Regarding “kick,” I provided multiple definitions that concluded with her saying, “I get a kick out of the TV show ‘Desperate Housewives.'”

The girls also got to experience nachos, we talked about the importance of the phrase “trick or treat” on Halloween, and I explained multiple uses of the word “plug.” Ariane was so pleased with the nachos that she said to me as they were leaving, “I will do Nachos at my house.” Nice.

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