What is THAT?! Observing to reproduce…

I don’t mean reproduce in the sense of creating babies. I mean to reproduce sounds, thoughts and actions. I failed today when I pretended to be a cruise ship (to teach the word ‘cruise’) in class…My students could not contain their laughter. My simulation was closer to a drunken train. Obviously I have not observed cruise ships carefully enough. I have not come to empathize with them. After laughing a lot with my students I took away an important lesson. Observation and empathy are key for learning, communication and success. We need to empathize with the things and people that surround us. We never know when we may have to reproduce. We might not be able to know how a cruise ship thinks and feels, but we should aim for that with students, colleagues, friends, family…and all the members of those networks we find ourselves woven into…

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El mundo es un musical… keep your scripts flexible!

Do you ever feel a bit like you’re in a musical without music? That the people in your daily life are characters in a funny, exaggerated play, each with their own scripts? It’s easier to imagine in a espanglis world where mixture and distortion become creativity, swinging between the unknown and the familiar. In fact, there’s no better way to learn and speak another language… and to live. As Mr Shakespeare said: “All the world’s a stage”. So we must embrace the role we’re playing (our current ‘character’) and empathize with the other ‘characters’. But OJO, our scripts cannot be rigid. Communication and life require constant editing, directing and producing.

Yet neither communication nor our lives have to be perfect….just enjoyable, shared and meaningful. So, the next time you feel negative about something, try to connect to the musical vision. Picture someone who takes themselves veeeery seriously break out into song, dancing or saying something outrageous. Include yourself in your ‘musical’ but… among the medley  of competing scripts, keep yours flexible!