ESL Teacher, Humor, Lifestyle

Chicken and Candy

My beginning English student told me that he had eaten chicken and candy for dinner.

I hesitated a moment before I clarified that.

Who am I to judge?

Maybe he DID eat chicken and candy for dinner.

It sounds like great comfort food.

A few shots of whiskey would make an excellent dessert pairing.

I was very disappointed to find out, on questioning him, that he had actually eaten chicken and vegetables for dinner.

I am now rethinking my own dinner plans for tonight.
Mostly True Memoirs

Fish Massage

My ESL students today were talking about fish massage.

It’s really a thing.

You take off your shoes, roll up your pants, and stick your feet in a fish tank.

Hundreds of fish swarm you and eat all of the dry skin off your feet.

They uploaded some pictures to show me how it’s done.

They are tiny little fish, not piranhas.

But still, it looks creepy.

And not at all sanitary.

I’ll pass…

Mostly True Memoirs


Can laughter make you smarter?

This was a very interesting question posed to me today.

My answer, as an ESL teacher, is a qualified yes.

Qualified because the non-stop class clown jokes are distracting and not at all helpful.

However, it is a public speaking axiom that when the audience is laughing, they are leaning in to listen.

With that in mind, I always try to get at least a chuckle out of every class session.

In teaching conversation, the human connection is far more important than grammar rules or vocabulary lists.

If I can garner so much as a hint of a smile, I know I will have a successful ESL session with that student.

Mostly True Memoirs


I’m the language teacher.

I’m the one who is fluent in English.

But sometimes my students leave me utterly speechless…

Today’s English topic was “At the Gym.”

The class started talking about yoga.

Fair enough.

But then one man said that he refuses to practice yoga.

“If I practice yoga, I will turn into a woman.”

The rest of the class agreed.

They discussed men they knew who began doing yoga.

And then turned into a woman.

Oh goodness.

That’s not how it works.

And this is NOT a discussion topic that I intend to moderate.

I redirected the conversation to swimming.

Note to self – NEVER discuss yoga again.

Mostly True Memoirs

Spanish Lesson

I was in line at the grocery store.

The old guy in front of me had on a shirt with a Spanish phrase.

Underneath, it said, “you are my friend.”

The woman behind me said, “That’s not what that means.”

“You’re right,” I said, “That doesn’t mean ‘friend’.”

“I think it means ‘jerk’.”

“Let’s Google it.”

The old guy protested his innocence.

He swore he didn’t know what it meant.

But he was cracking up.

And he spoke with a Spanish accent.

His sincerity was questionable.

By this time the clerk was interested.

So were the rest of the folks in line.

It turns out that the phrase does not mean “you are my friend.”

Not even close.

But we all had a good laugh.

And now I know a new expression in Spanish.

Mostly True Memoirs


We took the kayaks out to Lake Palo Pinto for their maiden voyage.

We rowed and rowed and rowed and rowed and rowed.

And then realized that we had to row back in.

It was windy and hot and uphill in every direction.

I lost my will to live somewhere around the Palo Pinto Dam.

It sank right to the bottom of the lake.

When we returned, we had a cold beer and a hot meal waiting for us.

So it was all good.

If anyone ever finds my will to live out there,

just reel it in,

and I’ll come and pick it up.

Mostly True Memoirs

Happy Birthday, Brandon Morrow



Happy birthday Brandon Morrow!

Brandon Morrow is my hero.

He’s a world-class athlete.

AND he has type 1 diabetes.

Both of my sons have type 1 diabetes.

I’ve always looked to Brandon Morrow as a role model.

It’s not easy to have T1D.

Some days are really rough.

But if Brandon Morrow can succeed,

we can succeed too.

Happy birthday Brandon.

Go Cubs Go!