Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Welcome to the jungle

This is a bit overdue, but I am more than a little stoked about the recently launched jungle collection from Davids tea has me swinging from tree to tree in excitement. I am so happy that they have straight guayusa tea now!

I could not pick a favorite of the bunch if I had to. Iced cocoa canela with soy and agave is pretty marvelous, though :) Try it if you haven't already.

The addition of straight guayusa to my tea arsenal has rekindled my alchemical fire. Since the flavor is pretty subtle, it can easily be mixed with any of the fruity herbal teas to kick them up another notch. What's better than midsummer nights dream? Midsummer nights dream + focused energy from guayusa :) Mixing with exotica is also a tasty experiment. Maybe I should mix it with wintergreen woods to fuse the North and South American woodsyness.

Hopefully that gives you some inspiration for your own tea mixes. If you find an excellent mix, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below! Fun and games for all!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Turn the page

Yesterday was a very sad day for me. The very first person to ever serve me tea at Davids tea made her last tea for me.

Her time as a manager at Davids tea has come to an end and she is now pursuing her dream, working in the fashion industry!

It's a little bittersweet. On the one hand, I am extremely happy that she is off to work in her dream job, but on the other hand I will certainly miss her presence behind the counter. It was amazing to talk tea with someone who was obviously passionate about all things "tea".

I too changed career paths earlier this year and it has brought me a tremendous amount of happiness. Hopefully her new path will lead her to breathtaking new vistas.

Sometimes the dreams we have as children fade away. Sometimes, that's okay when those dreams are just fantasies. When those dreams are real passions of ours, though, we shouldn't let them fade. We should chase them until we catch them and delight in the fact that we are living our dream.

On our journeys, other travelers will walk by our side for a time, but when our paths diverge, all we can do is wish them all the best and carry on.

So, to the person who served me my first majestic cup of davids tea, I bid you adieu. Hopefully your journey will go splendidly. Wherever you go, I'm sure you'll get there in style.

Live long and prosper,


Friday, 10 August 2012

TESL teacher training

As of this week I have completed phase one of three of my TESL teacher training at Saint Mary's university in Halifax, NS.

The teacher of teachers was one Paula Cheal.

I came into the course with no expectations of what we were going to learn, which in hindsight was probably the best foundation for actual learning. I have been teaching various mathematical disciplines for some time, but, as I quickly found out, teaching a language is a different cup of tea altogether.

On thing that didn't even cross my mind is that the language you are using to teach the students is the same language that they are attempting to learn. Tragically, this means no linguistics acrobatics for me in the ESL classroom.

Perhaps the most surprising thing for me was the idea of "teacher talking time" versus "student speaking space". I altered the last to keep the alliteration train running :) I won't be able to do that in the class, so this will be my gymnasium!

Basically, in the ESL teaching world, the educational paradigm is flipped on its head. In a traditional classroom, we have an "information fountain", the teacher, from which the thirsty travelers, the students, quench their thirst for enlightenment in their subject of choice. In the ESL classroom, however, we have a wise sage, the teacher, who shows the desert wanderers, the students, where to look without telling them what to see.

This wise sage accepts the wanderers as they are, for he was once a wanderer like them. He knows which roads lead to water, and which roads lead to mirages. He only knows the roads that he has walked down. He just so happens to have walked more roads than they have.

This sage does not condemn mistakes. They teach us where we are stuck. The sage merely suggests different ways to move forward. We all wander in different ways, you know, so you never know which directions will lead other wanderers to water. There will be other wanderers along the way, though, and they may have traveled roads which you have not yet seen. 

The sage must speak slowly, clearly, and give the wanderer only enough information to go in the right direction.

I am a man who loves paradigm shifts, so this information was quite valuable indeed! Anything that helps me step through to the next level is awesome in my books.

When you treat every other wanderer as a sage, then the world can be your teacher. Hopefully these courses will help me teach the world :)

Live long and Prospoer,