Out For A Walk

Today, instead of using my break time to play Words With Friends or scroll through Instagram, I decided to go out for a walk. I did not let the fact that the sky was gloomy and the temperature was only somewhere in the vicinity of zero deter me.

Normally, these days, walks of any length are faced with a bit of trepidation. I have a blog in an artery and walking brings need for increased blood flow.  This results in a cramp like pain that can range from annoying to incredibly painful.   My doctor assured me that if I continue to walk, eventually, my body will create enough collateral arteries to facilitate good blood flow.

As I have written, a walk can induce a bit of hesitation on my part.

Today’s walk is by no means long. Long would be something like the Machu Picchu hike I passed on because of my experience with the discomfort.  However, a walk this long was still likely to produce enough pain to force me to take rests along the way.

What makes this Today’s Perfect Moment is that when the walk was over, I did not feel any of the old pains I had been feeling.  Obviously it wasn’t completely painless, but it was much less pain than I normally faced.  Also it receded from memory much quicker once I got to my destination.

If that isn’t Today’s Perfect Moment, I don’t know what is.

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Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, exercise, walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Chicken Sandwich

IMG_20181209_145951432It’s rare for me to cook for someone else.  It isn’t that I am a bad cook, bur rather that the opportunity doesn’t come up often.  Today was one of those opportunities and I did my best.

When I think of impressive meal, my first choice would be to make lasagna.  If made correctly/well, this is one delicious meal.  In my life, I have only made it really well once–and that was almost 30 years ago.  Why I still hold onto that memory is a wonder, but I do.  Spaghetti would be another go to option.  A friend considered that his ultimate seduction meal.  He was quite successful, so that too sticks in my head.

AS for today, I went with the humble, yet delicious chicken sandwich.  It is one of my favourite meals and I think I prepare it well.  I also like that it is out of the ordinary and not part of some successful or unsuccessful master plan that I have tried before.  I wanted something new and different and this is what I went for.

The ingredients were:

  • chicken
  • cheese
  • oregano
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • Ace Bakery Baguette
  • pepper
  • alfalfa sprouts

I must admit that it was messy and my presentation could have been better, but I stand by my work and feel pretty good about it.  Oh, and yes, it tastes great with a cherry Coke.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, cherry coke, comfort food, cooking, food, sandwich | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An ESL Home Run

“Wow! I asked every teacher I had to explain that to me and now I understand.  Thank you.”

In case you’re not sure what you’ve just read, let me explain. That is the sound of an ESL teacher hitting a home run.  That is the sound of vindication. You can probably hear the theme from Rocky playing in the background.

After many years of teaching, I have learned that one explanation is not suitable for every student at every stage of their learning. Their other teachers’ explanations were all probably pretty good, but just didn’t make an impression on this particular student.  On an entirely different student, or at a different time, those explanations might have been home runs.  As well, on a different student, or at a different time, my explanation might have been a complete dud.

However, today it was a great answer. Today it garnered a compliment and a satisfied student.  Today, it was the Perfect Moment.

 

Posted in advice, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, ESL, learning, students, teaching | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

An Award Asks for Advice

This is not the post that I had planned on writing, and it probably isn’t the post I am expected to write. I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by View From The Back.  Please go check out the blog.  While I definitely want to thank this person for the award, I really can’t won’t go through the steps of this award.

First and foremost, and more formally than I already wrote, thank you for nominating me for this award. I appreciate that you enjoyed my blog and I hope your followers will also.  Additionally, thank you for the many comments you have left me. I don’t know if my blog is reaching people, but this makes me think that I am.  I feel very strongly about the positive message of the blog and I love that it allows me to flex my creative muscles.  I hope my words make people smile, smirk, laugh, and nod in recognition.

Also, your blog is awesome.

While I am not going through all the steps of this award, I did want to pick up a thread of it. Sheree asked for advice for bloggers.  While I don’t consider myself successful enough to give great advice, I am sure I can say a little.

  • Write for yourself. You might measure successful blogging in terms of readers, or sponsors, or something, but if you’re not writing for yourself, it will become a chore.  Like everyone, I had dreams of overnight success and becoming an “influencer” hoping that someone would shower me with free cycling vacations.  If that had been my only motivation, I would have given up writing.  Instead, I found that I enjoyed writing.  I enjoyed finding those Perfect Moments each day.  I also found that other people liked them too.
  • Enjoy the community you have entered. There are some great people and great blogs here.  Read and comment on the things you’ve read.  There are people who are working very hard on their blogs and their blogging, and they can use your support.  “Likes” are great, but comments are even better.
  • Work on your blog. Don’t be afraid to tinker with it.  You might have a great blog from the beginning, or it may take time to develop.  I am still working on mine and I know it still not aesthetically where I want it. 
  • Work on your writing. I am guilty of being a poor editor of my own work.  I do not take enough time to edit.  Sometimes this is because I am writing before I go to sleep and can barely finish the piece.  Sometimes, I just can’t look at it anymore.  Sometimes, I am just lazy.
  • If you’re in need of instant gratification, pester your Facebook network into viewing your blog.  It will work once.

I hope these pieces of advice are useful.

Thank you again for nominating me and sorry for not nominating anyone else. There are lots of great blogs out there.  My advice would be to look through the comments people have left on my blog and check those bloggers out.  They took the time to write to me and they should be rewarded.

Posted in adversity, advice, Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, award, blog, blogging, blogposts, free stuff, growing your blog, increasing blog traffic, success, travel writing, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

I Didn’t Mean to Buy the Chocolate Bar

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I really shouldn’t go to the dollar store. It isn’t that I don’t need more useless house crap–though I don’t.  It is just that I spend my money on junk food when I go there.  It might vary depending on which dollar store I visit, but I invariably come back with an armload of either chocolate or pop–soda to some of my readers.

Today, I came back with this new chocolate bar. Apart from chastising myself, this blogpost also serves to relate my interactions with people.  Despite my outgoing nature, I am a bit shy.  I make small talk, but I don’t initiate it.  However, small talk is what led to the purchase of this chocolate bar.

I was navigating around an elderly pair of ladies. One had parked her walker in front of the stack of chocolate bars.  As I scooted around them, the lady apologized for being in the way.  I explained that she wasn’t in the way and that I wasn’t in a hurry, and all those other pleasantries Canadians adopt in those situations–cute smile, raised shoulders, skootching hand directions indicating where you might be going.

The other part of the roadblock was also one of the salesclerks. She, with fabulous red hair, exquisite tattoos, and lots of piercings, was camped out on the floor putting some stuff on those peg displays–you know the ones that drive you crazy because they are either too hard to take stuff off, or you take one and they all fall off.  She apologized for being in the way as well.

I mentioned that it was probably better that way because it kept me from spending my money on chocolate as I indicated a shelf of two-for-one Hershey bars. I shouldn’t have done that.  I should have headed for the cashier and kept my head down.

The salesclerk, looked at the shelf, her eyes getting larger, and said that they featured chocolate bar was her “new favourite”. Usually, I like my chocolate to look like either dark chocolate or milk chocolate.  This looked like neither.  It really wasn’t my type of thing.

So, despite my best intentions to lose weight and stay away from junk food, but also wanting to try something different, I bought a couple. Maybe I just realized that the bag of almond m&m’s looked lonely in my hands.

When I got to the cashier, she took one look at my chocolate bar and said, “These are great. They taste great but their terrible for my diet.”  The cashier beside her echoed her sentiments quite enthusiastically.
So, I left the store having interacted with 5 people carrying a handful of chocolate.  If there is a moral to this story, I can’t find one.

Oh, and yes, it was actually delicious.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, chocolate, comfort food, dollar store, dollar tree, dollarama, experiences, food, food shopping, funny story, review, snacks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Really?

 

IMG_20181201_083149319Life is weird. Okay, I said it.  I meant it.  Life is full of weird little coincidences and sometimes I am lucky enough to spot them.  Just think of all the ones I miss.  You might be wondering what an air freshener from a car dealership bathroom where I was getting my oil changed would factor into this.  Or you might be wondering if taking a picture of an air freshener from a car dealership bathroom is in fact the weird point.

Let me explain.

For years, and I could easily mean decades, my Brazilian students have mentioned Bora Bora whenever they were asked about vacations, or honeymoons, or exotic places.  I always noted it, but never really gave it much thought.  Actually, at first, I was a little sceptical.  You see, when I was young, I just thought the name was made up for Hollywood use.  I never thought it was a real place.  After my students mentioned it, I did some Googling, and found out about it.  Though it looks beautiful, I can’t imagine myself spending any time there.  (I have never seen a bicycle trip advertising that as a destination)  It is also probably prohibitively expensive.

Now, years later, though I might not be able to go there, my bathroom can smell like I’ve been there and transported it home.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, blog, blogging, blogposts, coincidence, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As Thought by the Teacher

A quarter of a century of teaching builds calluses. I like my students, but I have learned to accept that they come for a short time and then are gone.  I don’t mean to be aloof, but after pouring my heart and soul into the teaching, there isn’t much left.

Today, which marks the end of an intensive 12 week course, was a little different. The class progressed well and I thought it would end pretty calmly.  Instead, my students seemed to find themselves a bit surprised when it was over.  Perhaps they had been avoiding thinking about it, or perhaps they had been in denial–if those are indeed two separate things.

As a teacher, those moments are golden. At the last minute the class gels and you realized the last twelve weeks have been really good.  At the last minute, you wish it could be another few weeks.  At the last minute, all the missed assignments, annoying questions, late arrivals, distractions, and repeated mistakes fade into the background.  At the last minute the jokes are amplified and awkward moments diminished.  At the last minute, you wish it wasn’t going to end so suddenly.

My students have a big test (written and oral) next week. Only then will it be all over.  Only then will one have perspective.  As for now, I’ve got a good group photograph.  As of now, I’ve got Today’s Perfect Moment.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, ESL, FCE, students, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Coffee Moment

beverage caffeine cappuccino coffee

Photo by Malidate Van on Pexels.com

 

 

You generally won’t find me sitting around in coffee shops. It isn’t that I never patronize them, but rather I am more of a beer with a friend than a coffee with a friend.  I have also watched too many Friends episodes and can’t understand why they always got to sit on the couch–except of course that it made the most sense for TV.  It certainly changed the coffee shop landscape.

I seem to be drifting off topic.

So, while you won’t often find me in a coffee shop, it does happen. Also, perhaps due to the rarity, but most likely due to the company, whenever I do find myself talking an hour away in a coffee shop, it probably qualifies as Today’s Perfect Moment–in this case Yesterday’s Perfect Moment.

Yesterday, I carved out a moment from an afternoon that started out as a pretty humdrum morning of students taking mock exams and those students not taking it seriously enough. Perhaps things will be better today when I make them do mock oral exams and (insert sinister laugh–which I am excellent at doing) mark them severely.

Drifting off topic again.

An hour’s worth of conversation, a decent cup of coffee, and a weird street view that was mostly of construction and angry people walking by.  I hope I have painted an interesting picture for you.

Do you have a favourite coffee shop, or nook you like to drink in?

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, coffee, conversation, ESL, students, teaching | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Kick Out Of Bananas

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I have written before about gifts my students have given me. Today is another one of those situations, but with a little twist.  You see, usually the students bring things from their country.  These can be folk crafts, snacks, post cards, key chains, and alcohol–yes, I saved that one for last on purpose.

In today’s case, my student brought me something from their country that they bought here. They had gone shopping to a Korean grocery store and came across Banana Kick.  I mentioned this once when showing them a video of kydeanderic who are two jvloggers.  In the video, Kyde and Eric are visiting Korea town in Tokyo and Kyde heaps a lot of praise on this particular snack.  If you’ve watched these videos, you would take her food advice pretty seriously.  She knows her stuff.

So, if you’re keeping score, that means that

  • My student actually paid attention to something I said.
  • My student remembered something I said.
  • My student thought of me when they were shopping for food–if I am shopping for food, I am most likely thinking about myself and my grumbling stomach.
  • My student wanted to do something nice for me.

All in all, a pretty easy choice for Today’s Perfect Moment.

By the way, I have always found banana to be a hard flavour to replicate without tasting like chemicals. While I cannot say there was no taste of chemicals, at the very least, this did actually taste like bananas.  The students disagreed.  I had to fail them for that.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, banana, comfort food, ethnic food, food, food shopping, grocery shopping, Korea, Korean, shopping, snacks, souvenirs, students, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cyber Monday Yields A Travel Deal

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Cyber Monday is usually a bust for me. I rarely need anything and I rarely have money to splurge.  It is even rarer for me to actually find an incredible deal.  A ten percent sale is common enough not to get tremendously excited about.

Oddly enough I found a travel deal.  It was one that has been on my radar for the past month or so.  I was really looking for a cycling trip but couldn’t book the one to Chile because it was full.  I toyed with the idea of going to Sri Lanka–I will probably do that eventually.

It isn’t a cycling trip, but at least there is a day of cycling mixed in there somewhere. There will also be some surfing and some rafting and a bunch of other stuff.  I am headed to Costa Rica on a G Adventure and I am excited.

The next step is to figure out how to add a Costa Rica section to the drop down menu under My Travels.  I have done it before, but the process seems to elude me every time.

Posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, bargain, cyber Monday, tourism, travel, travel writing, vacation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments