New York Botanical Garden: Chihuly

The arresting artwork of Chihuly around the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

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A hui hou ❤

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Certified in NY and Survived

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My fellow CELTA grads (closest to the camera) and our students (everyone behind the table)

Living in New York for a month was the best decision I ever made. Like everyone else, I explored the many pungent tunnels full of angry homo-sapiens, who I assume choose 72-hour work weeks in finance by the looks their miffed expressions and Prada bags under their eyes. But that’s just my unfiltered opinion based on a fickle observation.

The last 5 or 6 times I was in the vivacious NYC, I fell in love with different parts of her personality. One of them being the angry homo-sapiens with Prada bags and what not who took the course with me.

My CELTA course experience is one that I will never forget…mainly because it kicked me in the ass and because of the people that were there to pick me right back up. We picked each other up.

From 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, 5 days a week, for one month was my choice. It was the fastest way to get certified before graduation and get a job. Granted, it was very expensive to do this particular program but I guarantee you, it’s well worth it. You definitely get what you pay for and more.

They bury you in handouts and guides and templates and worksheets to prepare you for teaching the next day (yes, meaning the second day of the program you teach ESL students, but only a segment of the class). It’s like someone throwing you into the water after giving you all the tools you need and quickly briefing what each tool is for. It really felt like I was drowning in front of the class. And at the end of every day, your teacher gives everyone who taught that day feedback from their observation while you were drown–I mean teaching. And everyone gives each other feedback as well, which was the best part. We fed off of each others constructive criticism and praise and learned other teaching techniques from one another.

And that’s just the first week.

By the second and third week, you’re a pro at the intermediate level. You get a hold of your timing, your techniques, your groove. And each day is filled with activities and workshops. Mind you, you are constantly creating your own tedious lesson plans. You plan the introduction, the target language, the appropriate activities corresponding to that target language, the potential error corrections and feedback to provide at the end, and so on…EVERY. OTHER. DAY. I had a couple mini breakdowns to be honest, but my good friend who sat next to me on the first day was the best. Every lunch break, we’d go have a drink or two at a bar and vent the shit out of each other.

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TWO MARGARITAS EACH to get through the day.

My CELTA course class started out with 12 and ended with 10. We lost two due to the pressure and intensity of the course. It really is an experience you have to push through and survive to reap the rewards. I definitely learned a lot from every person in that photo up top. If you are thinking about this program, I have no doubt you can do it!! It’s just a matter of if you believe you can too.

A hui hou ❤

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Certified celebration on our last day at 230 Fifth ❤

A Walk in Central Park

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my thoughts on a bench

I’m sitting here in Central Park and I’ve seen so many movies where celebrities have walked in the pathway right in front of me. It’s a long and wide walkway lined with street lamps and benches for people to sit, eat, think, the list goes on…but each bench has it’s own metal plate attached in the middle. Mine has a dedication:

“And here’s a hand, my trusty fiere,

And gie’s a hand o’thine;

And we’ll tak a right guid-willie

waught for auld lang syne”

For Ian Smith

At first I was going to sit on the bench to the right of me, which has a blank plate on it. No dedication, no quote, no poem. Just a symbolic blank slate waiting for an identity. I saw it as a new beginning, a reset button, room for creativity, freedom, art, the unknown-intimidating, yet alluring. It raises all these questions: What can I do? What will I do? Do I do this now? Or later? Where will it be? How can I be different? As I write all these questions down, the sun reveals itself for the first time today. Only for a second and he went back into hiding behind his somber friends.

Central Park really is the place to escape the city. A place to just be. I don’t smell the distress or prosperity of the city. I can just feel the balance. An artist sits next to me with what looks like a sketch pad, a pencil, and a tool that’s used for smearing? or it could just be an eraser…

Well look at that, two forms of art two benches apart.

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I didn’t plan my route around the park, I just wanted it to be spontaneous:) and look at that, a bike-riding gentleman chillin right in the middle of Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell.

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I kept walking straight for another ten minutes watching the musician play his saxophone, many sketch artists creating works of art for people, a family walking their two little girls, and I could smell the hot dog stands emitting that seductive scent until I reached the…

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On the right of the lake (in the photo) is the Loeb Boathouse where you can enjoy lunch and some drinks with some friends!

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I apologize for the very bad quality of this photo haha but I saw this not-so-little guy on the edge of the steps chillin waiting for more pieces of bread 🍞

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A hui hou<3