a big beautiful mess

Posts in category ESL Teaching

Getting Good

Getting Good

It’s funny how mile markers make a difference. I teach Spanish to four-year-olds at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. When I started this job a year ago, and even four, five, six months in, I had Imposter Syndrome like the dickens. My Spanish wasn’t good enough, I sucked at marketing, I didn’t know how to […]

Elena Baikalova

Elena Baikalova

This is the third installment in the Great Siberian Adventure series. A co-Fulbrighter and I spent two weeks in the summer of 2012 teaching English at a kids’ camp in Kyzyl, Tuva. Our host and sponsor while we were in Kyzyl was Elena Dmitrievna Baikalova. Baikalova means “of Baikal” as in Lake Baikal, which is just the first […]

My Actual Job

My Actual Job

You may not know this, but in the (not quite) year since I returned from Russia, I have been  doing more than ruminating philosophically. I do, in fact, have a Job (though it could be argued that the capital J is unwarranted). I work at the Carnegie Library, in the Children’s Department, teaching Spanish, and […]

Confessions of a Lapsed Grammar Cop

Confessions of a Lapsed Grammar Cop

You know those people who, when faced with an offensive comment on the Internet, will point out its flaws in grammar and spelling rather than respond to the content? Yeah, I used to be one of those people. In my youth, I cherished my St. Martin’s Handbook as a Bible of all things grammar, and I […]

Positive Vibes

Positive Vibes

Lots of happy things to share with you today! [1] I have a confession to make. I’d been halfway considering buying a new pair of black boots for some time, something to wear to more formal occasions. I love my brown boots, but they are quite practical. Yesterday, an occasion that called for something fancier […]