Friday, December 03, 2004

Google me, Baby

So, did you ever do a Google search of your name?

I did with some hilarious results. Carol _______'s of the world include:

One registered Afghan Hound. (No kidding! Maybe I should post Carol the dog's head in my pic above. Wouldn't that be hilarious.)

An elementary principal in the States. (Everyone, get off the computer and do your homework!)

One person in a group pic of a sing-a-long in Singapore (Very poetic, don't you think?)

A conglomerate of two porn stars whose names are Carol,________. (Oh my, what a difference a little comma makes!)

A statistician. (Soooo not me.)

A survivor of something or other. (Hey, I'm survivor of life in Pakistan and frequent international moves, does that count for something?)

And finally, the real me: Carol in Islamabad quoted in an article by a certain young writer, Abez.

Glad to know I exist in Googleland.

How about you?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

"I feel like Eriza Doorittle"

Just returned from a class with a new student, teaching the middle L sound with the paragraph mentioned in yesterday's blog, so if you haven't read it yet, skip down and read it first.

Today was our very first class. My new student is a professor teaching Japanese here in Pakistan. She has very good pronounciation. On the initial pronunciation test, she nearly got a perfect score by very carefully reading the word lists, but when she started to read page 1 from the book, she began to substitute R's for middle L's. English became Engrish, finally-finarry, realize-rearize, police-poreece.

Ah ha! I had just taught this lesson yesterday! We rifled through the book to chapter 5 and I taught the chapter on the American L sound. Earlier this afternoon, I had preboiled two rupee coins, but had forgotten them at home. I told her this exercize calls for a coin in the mouth and with a look of horror on her face, she replied, "No, not Pakistani money!" I'm not sure she would have even agreed on the boiled coins if I had remembered to take them. We resorted to candy wrappers again. Halfway through the lesson she takes her candy wrapper out of her mouth and laughingly says, "I feel like Eriza Doorittle."

"Professor Higgins" returned home triumphant to boast of another success to her family, but before I would begin Abez asked, "Why are there two rupee coins in a pot on the stove?"

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Just Call Me Henry Higgins

I love this program!

After just 10 minutes of practice, I got an adult Japanese man to say his middle L's. How did I preform this amazing feat of linguistic acrobatics, you ask?! (interrobang) I use the American Accent program by Ann Cook. (Genuine, unsolicited testimonial.)

First she recommends you go through then T/D sound, then N, then modify the two positions to produce the L. (The tip of the tongue stays at the roof of the mouth, the back drops and air comes around the sides.) You force the student to hold the tip of his tongue to the back of his teeth by holding something small like a coin (we used a crumpled foil candy wrapper)to the roof of his mouth while he read a wacky paragraph with a gazillion L sounds in it.

He was repeating fine, then he read the paragraph alone, with just a few substutions of R for L, which I poked him in the arm for. Yep, I'm a very tactile teacher, but I never hit. He was also very excited and happy at his success, though his mouth hurt from having to use his tongue in such a totally different way. Anyway, I'm pretty jazzed about this. As his reward, he got to eat the chocolate that came from the wrapper.

And again... I love this progam! It's so much faster and easier than trying to figure corrective pronunciations out by myself. I once spent about 3 weeks getting a Korean man to say his Z's.

Want to experience this crazy exercise for yourself? Here it is. Hold a clean coin to the forward roof of your mouth using only the tip of your tongue while reading this paragraph with as much definition as possible.

"Little Lola felt left out in life. She told herself that luck controlled her and she truly believed that only by loyally following an exalted leader could she be delivered from her solitude. Unfortunately, she learned a little late that her life was her own to deal with. When she realized it, she was already eligible for Social Security and she had lent her lifelong earnings to a lowlife in Long Beach. She lay on her linoleum and slid along the floor in anguish. A little later, she leapt up and laughed. She no longer longed for a leader to tell her how to live her life. Little Lola was finally all well." AAT:page 83

Wise words to live by. Don't long for exalted leaders or loan your lifelong earnings to lowlifes in Long Beach. To paraphrase Ann Cook in the paragraph she has students repeat, disect and work thorough after every new concept, "... the only way to get it is to practice all the time... but the important thing is to listen well and sound good."

Carol San

Monday, November 29, 2004

Creative Recycling or Play it Again, Sam

Pakistan, being the poor country that it is, uses, reuses and re-reuses everything till it dies. Then they resurrect it and use it again. Here are two cases in point. Last year I saw a photo of a computer cpu being used as a barbeque grill. Yep. Its metal shell was all aglow with charcoal and complete with kebobs.

Recently I've seen some very creative uses of old CD's. Of course, there's the classic Koranic verse on the CD which every taxi in Pakistan must sport from the rear-view mirror. But recently I saw a bicycle covered with CD reflectors. And just two days ago I spotted a new and very interesting upgrade of that use: A motorcycle licence plate printed on the CD. It's the licence plate that reflects too! It was no hand painted job either, so I'm thinking there must be a cottage industry growing to make these things.

So Blogistanis, seen any good recycling lately?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

From Henrietta to Kate

After discovering our turkey to be all skin and bones, the family discussed our options. I asked Hubby if it were possible to go to Rawalpindi to get a nice plump chicken to roast beside Henrietta. A roasting chicken couldn't be purchased from any of the neighborhood chicken sellers since they don't have the equipment to defeather the bird they pull off all the skin- unacceptable for roasting. Only a poultry college in 'Pindi had such equipment, but because Hubby was sick with bronchitis, and Zaman was working his shift at the family restaurant, we had no one to send.

Owl told us about turduckins, turkeys stuffed with chickens stuffed with ducks, but we didn't have access to a duck either. But that idea lead to another. Could we give our Henrietta breast implants? We would have to change her name to Pamela, but I don't think she would mind. We called the family restaurant to see if they had a couple of extra chicken breasts they could donate to the cause, but no such luck. They had none to spare.

Daunted, we gave up and roasted Henrietta as she was. Our much maligned turkey made her debut on the holiday table. As predicted, she was all bone. We decided she did need a name change after all and redubbed her Kate Moss. Crayon took a photo with her mobile phone, and I need to fingure out if she has downloading capabilities.

Carving the bird was so strange. Usually you take a horizontal cut at the bottom of the breast and then 4 or 5 verticle cuts, however, she was so thin that I only got 2 thin cuts on each side of the breast before hitting the wall. Each of us took one small piece of meat, and then gorged ourselves on the ample sidedishes. Zaman tackled one of the drumsticks and commented it was more like eating the wing than a leg.

In keeping with the Rumi poem posted on the refrigerator - Hungry, you are a dog, angry and bad-natured. Having eaten your fill, you become a carcass: you lie down like a wall, senseless. At one time a dog, at another time a carcass, how will your run with the lions, or follow the saints? - we became overstuffed carcasses after the meal.

The guys went back to their movie, and we girls held a carcass convention on my waterbed. We rolled about, moaning, and bemoaning our lack of control, told funny stories that made our aching tummies hurt even more when we laughed, fell under the spell of turkey induced sleep thanks to the sorporific amino acid, tryptophane.

But in the true spirit of the holiday, a meal was eaten and enjoyed by family and friends. I want to thank my daughters Abez and Owl for all their help in with the cooking, my guys (Hubby and Zaman) for dressing up the for meal and leaving a Jackie Chan movie on the TV to join us, and friends Chai and Crayon for joining us with their warm and witty sleves.