My Dogs

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As I said in my first post, I teach English as a Second Language. Specifically, I teach students from all over the world. Most of my students have the goal to study at a university somewhere in the United States.

One of my favorite things about my job is the big and little cultural exchanges that happen everyday in the classroom. These exchanges happen between me and the students, and between students from different countries. It feels like a micro United Nations at times.

With that being said, my job is also to impart my culture to my students-to help them succeed in both the academic and social world of the United States.

So how does the topic of my dogs come into the story here, you ask? In my grammar class.

In the beginning of every grammar class, we review the simple present tense, including pronouns (I, you, he/she/it, we, and they). We go through each pronoun and practice the usage.  We get to “it” and I usually use an example like table or chair.  See where this is going?

We, Americans, have a special love affair with our pets; there are other cultures in the world that view pet ownership in the same way.  Our pets are not “it”, but “he” or “she”.  I think that any pet owner reading this would agree; if someone refers to your beloved pet as “it”, you may be mildly insulted.  This is where my cultural awareness teaching comes in.  I always use my dogs as an example here.  By the end of the class, my students are very familiar with my “he” and “she” dog.

Cozmo is the lighter of the two dogs.  He is the dog that views every person or dog as a potential best friend.  His favorite place to be is in the park, pretending to roam the savannah like a lion.  Layla, on the other hand, is a little shy.  She doesn’t really like to meet new people or dogs.  She is quite content with her pack of humans and Cozmo.

Hello, Bonjour, Salaam Alaikum, Hola

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I’m a teacher of English as a Second Language by trade… and Culturally Curious by nature. What does culturally curious mean? I want to know the story of the person I met on the airplane or driving the taxi. I want to know the story behind the beautiful ceramic plate in my hands. I want to know the story of the building I walked by. There are so many stories I want to know.

My passion for travel, fueled by an interest in different cultures, started at a very young age. I lived the first 5 years of my life in Asia. Upon graduating from high school, I was an AFS high school exchange student. I spent a life changing year in Tunisia, North Africa, living with an amazing host family and attending a local high school. After I graduated from university, with a degree in International Relations (of course!), I moved to Japan and taught English for 18 months. In addition to living overseas, I have had many opportunities for travel, both in the USA and abroad.  Through all of these experiences, I have been very lucky to make connections with people all over the world.  These connections have lasted a lifetime and this is my place to share these stories and to hear others’ stories as well.

Along with me on my travel adventures are my husband-Dan, my son-Daniel, my daughter-Sophia, and our two dogs-Cozmo and Layla.