Saturday, April 28, 2012


One of the many wonderful things about teaching ESL is the traditional end-of-term potluck (or, as one of my students called it, “bring-food”). One quarter the four early arrivals helped me set up the tables and then we chatted while we waited for the other students to come in. Solomon (from Ethiopia) and Abdi (from Somalia) asked Panshen (from China) and Tammy (from Thailand) about the use of chopsticks in their cultures. As we had no chopsticks there, I took two pens and made some small balls of scrap paper so the two women could teach Solomon and Abdi how to use them. After a couple of minutes of failed attempts and lots of laughing on all sides, Solomon declared, “I see why you use these! It saves food because no one can ever get enough to eat!”