Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thoughts & Noticings, Part 2

~ I wasn't a tea drinker before I came here, but I drink it daily now and enjoy it.

~ They do not really eat pumpkin here. I brought two cans of pumpkin with me from home ("tinned" as they would say, not "canned"), and made pumpkin bread to take to school, and pumpkin pie for my family. The girls in my host family had never eaten pumpkin before, but everyone enjoyed the pie.

~ As my host family pointed out to me, people here talk about the weather all the time, even though it barely changes; it's always cold, and usually gray and/or rainy. (On very yucky weather days, someone always says to me, "You're getting a taste of the Irish weather, aren't you?") The heat isn't kept on in the house during the day. It's in the 20s (Fahrenheit) at night, 30s-40s during the day, but the heat is on for maybe a couple hours in the evening when everyone is home.

~ Mathematics shortened is "maths," not "math" (after all, mathematics is plural).

~ It is interesting to teach literacy in a place where some letters are pronounced differently. For example, they say "zed" for "z" and "haich" for "h" (instead of "aich"). Some letter sounds are also different; for example, they say a short /a/ sound when the word "a" stands on its own. Many people also pronounce the /th/ sound almost the same as the /t/ sound, so the words "three" and "tree" both pretty much sound like "tree." (This is because of the way the sound is pronounced in Irish, and it also varies around the country.)

~ In general, I feel like my students and I understand each other pretty well, but this week, one of the junior infants asked me, "Do you speak English?" So maybe we don't understand each other as well as I thought... ;)

~ I have learned a few Irish words and phrases from school and life here - key words a few. One of my favorites is the word for pencil, "peann luaidhe." (If you're interested, you can Google the pronunciation because the link here isn't working.)

~ I also love hearing the Irish pronunciations of town names while riding on the Luas. My stop, Cherrywood, is Coill na Silíní...I can't begin to write a pronunciation for it, sorry. (Ask me to say it for you when I get home.) Without knowing Irish, it is impossible to know the pronunciation of written words because the letter sounds are so different from English. It is a fascinating language!

~ I was supervising the fourth class while they worked on writing sentences in Irish one day this week, and they got a kick out of me telling them to ask a classmate for help because I don't speak Irish. During the short time when I was the only teacher in the room, quite a few of them needed to go to the bathroom, and I think it was just so they could ask me in Irish and watch me try to figure out what they said!

Alrighty, here are a couple random pictures to end this long post:

~ This week I talked a lot about parades with the junior infants because they were so interested when I told them about the Macy's Thanksgiving parade last week. One day we made postcards with parade pictures, and I thought I'd share a couple with you. (Don't you love the chicken float on the bottom one?)

~ They eat a lot of Cadbury chocolate products here, and I especially enjoy these crunchy chocolate-covered cookies.


I'll talk to you again soon!
Slan leat <3

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