22 November, 2011

Gastronomy Students in Level 4 & 5

I am still waiting to hear from you. I would like to plan a make-up final exam on Thursday or Friday of this week if possible. Please contact me before the exam Wednesday, as I will be less likely to extend the possibility of a make-up exam if you do not.

Barnes Foundation - Level 4 & 5

Here is a link to watch the documentary Art of the Steal, which talks about the story of the Barnes Foundation. If you have any questions about vocabulary, because I can't find a subtitled version, don't hesitate to ask.

For those of you who may have missed class, you can find the summary of the Art of the Steal on wikipedia to be a helpful resource to the basic topics we covered. Both the documentary and the wikipedia are biased on the topic, as it is a highly debated topic. For a more thorough history on the foundation, you can look at the wikipedia page on the Barnes Foundation. There you will also see images of the painting that are in question. You can also visit the website for the new location, in Philadelphia on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (the museum corridor). The new location will be opening with a black-tie gala event in May 2012 for privileged members.

20 November, 2011

Speed Dating Profile & Quetions

I thought this had already been posted. My apologies.

Male Example: REX

You are in your thirties but you don’t want to settle down yet. You take great care about your appearance. You like sports and action films. You work for an advertising agency. You like going to the pub, restaurants and the cinema. You smoke 20 cigarettes per day, but don’t admit to it easily.

Female Example : SANDRA

You are 25 years old , but you find men of your own age immature. You like going to the cinema and theatre. You do amateur dramatics and are attracted to outgoing (extrovert) men. You hate smoking.

Now create your profile card. You can create an imaginary person, or base the card on yourself. Take a look at the questions that may be asked to help you prepare. Be creative and have fun – but stay professional!

Speed Dating Profile Card


Hometown/Current town:


Professional Goals:



Bad Habits (ex: biting fingernails):

What do you want/not want in a partner:

Interesting/strange facts about yourself:

Example Questions

1) What do you do for work? It may reveal the professional status of a person but little about his personality. So move on to another question.
2) Where are you from? - This reveals background. It throws better light on the person.
3) What is the one thing about yourself that you would like me to know? More insight into personality.
4) When was your last relationship and how long did it last? A probing question that will open up the communication.
5) What are you looking for in a relationship? You can both instantly compare whether you match in this area.
6) What do you think is the most important value in a relationship?
7 ) Do you want to marry or have you ever been married? This is important, as it will reveal if both are moving in the same direction - towards or away from marriage.
8) What do you look for in a husband/wife? Try to elicit an honest answer.
9) Do you want/do you have any children? An important question if you are looking for a long-term relationship and your partner is not.
10) What do you do for fun? - This will throw light on whether your leisure activities match. Are you a bookworm and she an outdoorsy person?
11) What are you most proud about? This reveals the basic values of the person - whether he/she values money or adventure/ intellectual pursuits.
12) Is religion important to you? 24x7 living together means understanding on certain basic issues like religious beliefs.
13) Do you follow politics? Are you a Democrat or a Republican? You can spar on your political affiliations.
14) Do you believe in love at first sight? You can decide whether he/she is a romantic person or not.
15) What is your most treasured possession and why? What a person is sentimental about reveals a great deal about his personality. Is it his bike or a locket presented by a sister?
16) What is your favorite month of the year and why? Does he like to sweat it out in summer activities or curl up like a cat in winter?
17) Which is your favorite book/movie? Both of you can discuss why you like a book or a movie - throws further in sight into personality.
18) Which is the last book you read? A conversation starter.
19) Which is the one job in the world that you would love to do? Throws light on likes and dislikes.
20) Which is your favorite music and your favorite singer/band? Do you share musical tastes?
21) Do you like animals/keep pets? Are you going to clash on this issue - one an animal hater, the other a pet lover?
22) How do you spend your spare time? This is important, as it will really help if both love to do the same things in spare time.
23) Where do you see yourself in five years time? Watch out if he has no definite goals for the future and is in a rut. A positive mark for her if she has her life and career planned out positively.
24) If you were an animal in the wild, what would you be? Silly, amusing question to get the laughs.
25) Do you believe a cup is half empty or half full? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
26) If you could travel back through time, what single mistake would you correct in life? What are the deepest regrets of a person?
27) You have got six months to live, what will you do first? Insight into personality.
28) Is sexual compatibility important to you? Do opinions match?
29) Who was your hero, as a child? Insight into personality.
30) If you won a lottery, how would you spend your millions? Amusing question just for laughs.
31) Which was the first crush you ever had? Reminiscing sentiments.
32) What makes you laugh/cry? Really important and throws light on personality.
33) If you have friends coming over, what would you cook?
34) Describe your perfect holiday. One thinks frozen Alaska, the other sunny Australia.
35) Which T.V. program would you never miss? Do our tastes match?
36) What is the last CD you bought?
37) Are you a morning person or a night person?
38) Would you like to climb a mountain or trek across a desert? We will never agree on holidays.
39) What adjective would a close friend use to describe you? Friendly or idiotic.
40) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
41) Into which personality’s shoes would you like to step for a day? Says a lot about your taste.
42) Who is you favorite actor/actress/celebrity and why?
43) Who is your favorite sportsperson?

44) What is your favorite sporting activity?

45) Which is your favorite genre of movies - comedy/thriller/action?

16 November, 2011

Level 4 & 5: Wednesday's Notes/Final Info & Review

**UPDATED - An Idiot Abroad Link Monday, 21.11.2011**

Today in class for Levels 4 & 5, we finished reviewing the questions for an article together.

We ended class by watching An Idiot Abroad Season 1, Episode #2 - India.

We will have the final on Wednesday, November 23rd. Please inform me of any scheduling conflicts. Topics covered will include:
  • Tourism Marketing Presentation - Various topics, see related blog post.
  • Internet Vocabulary & Review from the first Quiz
  • Speed Dating - make sure you are familiar with how to introduce yourself, and ask an introductory question to someone else.
  • Questions - I'm going to be looking for examples of questions you could ask in a work situation. I will also be looking for questions in response to an article.
  • Idiot Abroad - be familiar enough with the episode to answer reaction questions about Karl's trip to India.
  • Monday, November 21st, we will be discussing the Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who's death marked the start of the Barnes Foundation. This foundation was started to protect his private art collection, which is now valued at over $25 billion.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to post them in the comment section.

Level 3: Wednesday's Notes/Final Info & Review

Today in Level 3, we finished reviewing the questions for an article together. After I gave a brief summary of Thanksgiving. We talked about what the class already knew of Thanksgiving, and I explained the history:
Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated the third Thursday of November each year in the United States. (It is also celebrated in Canada, but not on the same day) It is based on the story of the first Thanksgiving feast (a large dinner) shared between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans (or Indians). Only 50% of the Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts survived the first winter. That spring, the Natives showed them how to farm, hunt, and fish. The exact date of the first Thanksgiving is unknown, but it's purpose was for everyone to give thanks for the harvest and each other. This tradition continued, and George Washington declared the first feast of Thanksgiving as a country in 1777, during the Revolutionary War. Now Thanksgiving means eating turkey, pumpkin pie, celebrating good times with family and friends, and being American!
We ended class by watching Season Five's episode #9: Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap of How I Met Your Mother. It reinforced the idea that Thanksgiving is about family for Americans.

We will have the final on Monday, November 21st, at 8 am. Please inform me of any scheduling conflicts. Topics covered will include:
  • Tourism Marketing Presentation - Various topics, see related blog post.
  • Internet Vocabulary
  • How to Describe Celebrities - we played a version of Times Up and it's to test what you learned by playing it in English.
  • Speed Dating - make sure you are familiar with how to introduce yourself, and ask an introductory question to someone else.
  • Questions - I'm going to be looking for examples of questions you could ask in a work situation. I will also be looking for questions in response to an article.
  • Thanksgiving - be able to give a brief explanation of the meaning of Thanksgiving
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to post them in the comment section.

13 November, 2011

Mid-November Update

Before the vacation, we had our first Quiz, as well as Presentations. Some of us had a chance to play a version of Time's Up, a game called Celebrity as well, where we described celebrities or famous people without using their names within a time limit.

On returning from Toussaints, we played Speed Dating. This activity allowed each member of the class to create a dating profile, and have many fake dates in a short period of time. The sample profile and dating questions can be found by searching 'speed dating' within the blog.

Wednesday November 9th, we also had a Questions lesson, in which we discussed commonly asked questions, and responses between a tour guide and their group. A list of these questions and responses follows. Consider which of these questions could be asked in a work environment, or changed to ask in a different work environment, other than tourism. We discussed how the best question in your secondary language should be, 'What is this/that?' This is all you need to know in order to ask for more information about anything!

Tour Guide Responses:
Think about how these can be used in any circumstance.

Do you have a question? Do you have any questions?
I'll try my best to answer your questions.
I don't have the answer to that. I'm afraid (Excuse me, Pardon me) I don't know
Is there something I can help you with?

There are responses which can give you time to think about a response.
That's an interesting question.
Hmm, that's a tough (difficult) question.
I've never been asked that before.
I'm not sure but I can find out for you.

Tourist Questions:
The questions in blue have been changed to be appropriate for any work environment.
Where is the _____ ?
What is that over there?
How long has ______ been here?
Where are we going now?
Where are the bathrooms/ restrooms/ toilets? Where is the ladies'/ mens' room?
What time is ______ open until? When does the museum close? What are your hours?
Which ______ do you recommend?
Where's the best place to buy ______?
Is there something cheaper? Will I get a discount?
What else is there to do here? What else can I do?

Tour Guide Explaining Rules or Etiquette
It is forbidden to take photos.
Please meet back here in an hour.

What are the cultural differences here?
Are there any rules to follow while visiting?

It is customary to tip servers and bartenders in the United States.
Although the trip is all-inclusive, it does not included alcoholic beverages.
In this region, we bow instead of shaking hands.

Today, Monday, November 14th we did an activity in which we read fellow classmates articles, and then came up with questions to ask our partner about the article they chose. We will finish this activity on Wednesday.

I used an article, about a retrospective Exposition of Diane Arbus at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, from the New York Tmes as an example, with the following questions:

Where is Diane Arbus from ?
What is she famous for?
Where can I see her photographs, and how do I get there?
What is her subject matter?
What makes this show different from others?
How much will it cost to enter?
What do you think of the show?

The final for this year will be on Wednesday, the 23rd of November. It will feature a short review of the first Quiz, as well as questions about the Presentations, and include topics from Speed Dating, the Questions lesson, and the video lesson we will have on Wednesday this week.