Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Bedtime story.

I am continuing the family tradtion, and have been reading The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien to my children. I still have wonderful memories of my father reading it to me when I was young. It's a terrific book. The experience is twicefold as I enjoy rereading it and seeing my children discover Tolkien's world for the first time. If you haven't read it yet please do, you won't be sorry.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

A day in the Vértes hills.

Saturday was work day here in Hungary, and as such there was school. However at our school, instead of regular classes the elementary school students went on an outing to the Vértes hills. We had a nice hike in the woods and visited the ruins of the Vitányi castle. The weather was lovely and there was time for picnicking and football (soccer) .

Great little game! How well do you know your world?

If you have a few minutes take a look at the game at the bottom of the blog page, or visit the website at http://www.travelpod.com/traveler-iq/game1 . This one is about the world but there are ones about every continent and many countries. Thanks to Dávid Novák for pointing it out :-) Be careful they're addictive.
Have fun!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


May Saint George slay all the dragons that plague our lives.

St George is the patron saint not only of England but of many different countries, regions and cities. In addition he is also a recourse for those with many different illnesses and professions.

Hymn of St. George:

"Liberator of captives,
and defender of the poor,
physician of the sick,
and champion of kings,
O trophy-bearer,
and Great Martyr George,
intercede with
Christ our God that
our souls be saved."

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Hound of Baskervilles... Yup we've read them all. The Importance of Being Earnest...? We're preparing that for stage. These are some of the readers the grade 9 students in the English specialization at St Angela's have read this year, and the school year isn't finished yet
Next up is the Death of an Englishman.

Pancakes for all !!!

Due to the municipal transportation strike on Friday, April 18th many students were unable to come in to school. I asked myself the question, what to do with classes of between 4- 9 students. Cook, of course! So with the help of some very culinarily talented grade 9s and 11s we made pancakes out of 3 kg of flour and almost 4 L of milk and had a great time feeding any and all who cared to follow their noses to the industrial arts room's kitchen. I stopped counting after the 50th pancake. There was maple syrup from Canada, jam, and cocoa. Many thanks to I.A. teacher Zsolt Huszár for the use of the kitchen.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Catching up with Canada. The Visegrád Summit

Glorious Visegrád was the scene for the IATEFL Hungary's Culture and Literature SIG conference Catching up with Canada. I gave a talk on Canada, touching on fun facts, multiculturalism, Canadian geography and place names and the song A Real Canadian Girl by Stompin' Tom Connors. I think it was a fun mix of information and some hands on methodology with ready to use classroom exercises. It was great to work with fellow Canadian Nina Lauder (who also encouraged me to try blogging). The participants were from at least eight different countries if not more, and it was terrific to chat with colleagues from neighboring countries. The fun times were already underway on the bus trip to Visegrád from Budapest. The venue was absolutely incredible, thank you Dorottya Szabó for a weekend at the Hotel Silvanus. And thanks Mark Andrews for the opportunity.

"Put your finger here; look, here are my hands" John 20:27

"Put your finger here; look, here are my hands" Are the words spoken by Jesus to the apostle Thomas according to John's Gospel 20:27. It was the title I gave my presentation on teaching through experience. The talks were given at the Catholic Pedagogical Institute in Budapest on November 8th 2007 for secondary school teachers and November 27th for elementary school teachers. The talks presented the many different and sometimes alternative ways the staff at Saint Angela's Franciscan School impart knowledge, and skills. Teaching through life and love. Many thanks to Mária Komáromi.

E pluribus unum. The USA...land of the free and home of the brave?

The USA is a great country and it was a fun and exciting challenge, as a Canadian to do a 90 minute power-point presentation on it. I first presented it at the Catholic Pedagogical Institute in Budapest November 29th 2007 for secondary school teachers. Last week on April 14th I gave the presentation three times to grades 9 through 11 at Saint Angela's Secondary School, as part of their St. Angela Days events. I covered quite a lot of ground and included lots of images and sounds. The slides illustrated everything from the topography to popular culture.

So here we go...

So here we go... Thanks to some encouragement I've finally decided to open a blog dedicated to my work. Well, yes, I will include some less professional moments. Many thanks to Nina for her help!