It’s My Birthday, I Can Teach if I Want To!

May 11, 2015

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Probably the most fun day of “teaching” I’ve every had! My students are incredible. Have I said that enough? I don’t think I’ve said that enough. Back when I first started teaching in April we got on the topic of food during International Health Day. We started talking about our favorite foods and typical foods that one might eat in the US vs Panama. Then somehow we came upon the topic of party foods and birthdays and as soon as you know it the students were organizing each other into groups to give me a Panamanian-style potluck in class for my birthday! WORD. With a little bit more planning and structure, we ended up having a few classes beforehand dedicated to learning food and cooking vocabulary so that they could make videos and/or power point presentations of their recipes and process of how they prepared each dish.
My role was to sit back, relax, learn a thing or two about Panamanian cooking, and be ready to eat. My students would remind me each day leading up to it “Bailey, you probably shouldn’t eat breakfast on Monday.” (I did my best to prep my stomach). We started off class with their cooking presentations, and afterwards – I couldn’t help myself – we watched an episode from the new season of MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 with Lil Wayne’s daughter. It was absolutely #priceless and showed another side of the US culture that’s for sure #bougie #spoiled #culturalimmersiononfleek (side note: had to describe “on fleek” … you know, just another day in the life as a college ESL/EFL teacher. My life is awesome).

It truly was a wonderful day with my students. I was proud of them for their presentations and my stomach was sooo pleased with the final results! It was a great way to spend my Birthday and a good send off before my trip back to the States for my brother’s graduation from dental school.

Birthday selfie with my students!

Birthday selfie with my students!

They had forgotten candles, so a few students ran over to El Rey supermarket down the street... but they didn't have any 2's or 3's... so they got 9, 9 and 5... because 9 + 9 + 5 = 23. I burst out laughing and almost cried hahaha I loved their nonsensical logic and made it that much more of a ridiculously wonderful day.

They had forgotten candles, so a few students ran over to El Rey supermarket down the street… but they didn’t have any 2’s or 3’s… so they got 9, 9 and 5… because 9 + 9 + 5 = 23. I burst out laughing and almost cried hahaha I loved their nonsensical logic and made it that much more of a ridiculously wonderful day.

The panamanian spread: corn tamales, chicken and rice, patacon cups with salchicha filling, sweet plantains, corn chicha, and arroz con leche. I might be missing something , but there were just so many things! I felt so special and honored that they wanted to share a part of their culture with me for my birthday!

The panamanian spread: corn tamales, chicken and rice, patacon cups with salchicha filling, sweet plantains, corn chicha, and arroz con leche. I might be missing something , but there were just so many things! I felt so special and honored that they wanted to share a part of their culture with me for my birthday!


The views and information presented in this blog are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the US Department of State.

 

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