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Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

homeward bound

I’m spending today in the San Francisco airport, waiting for my overnight flight back to New York. I loved teaching on the cruise ship and didn’t really want to leave. I’m definitely thinking of doing another contract in the future…

Just had to add a couple photos from the last tour I went on: snorkeling in Ketchikan.  It was a blast.  The drummer from the orchestra went with me.  This may have been even better than the whale watching tours!

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My sister Carolyn just spent the last cruise onboard with me. We had so much fun! Here’s us sailing out of San Francisco:

Here we are on the ship sailing in Tracy Arm Fjord:

And here we are playing some serious shuffleboard:

We also went glacier viewing, disco dancing, and whale watching, enjoyed several shows in the ship’s lounges, ate a lot, and laughed a lot. Fun, fun, fun!

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the home stretch

Just a quick note to let you all know I’m still alive and well. This will be my last cruise since I fly back to New York on August 16. My sister thoroughly enjoyed her cruise with me – we had a blast together. I’ll try to upload some photos in a few days when I have a better internet connection in Juneau.

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Butchart Gardens

A few days ago I went on a tour at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, which was absolutely lovely! I know some of my adoring fans out there are gardeners, so I would highly recommend a visit to this place if you ever have the chance – it’s supposed to be one of the best gardens in the world.

My sister is on board with me this cruise and is currently touring the gardens herself – I’m sure she’ll love it. We’ve been having a good time together on the ship and she has really enjoyed seeing both the luxury passenger areas and the behind-the-scenes work of the ship. Tomorrow is another sea day so she might come to some of my classes. We’re also planning a trip to the sauna tomorrow. What a life!

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ESL Classes Tour the Bridge

I made arrangements with the Staff Captain to have my English classes tour the bridge, where the captains and officers on watch navigate the ship. Most of my students have never been there, so they were EXCITED! They took pictures of everything: the equipment, the ocean view, the radar and GPS monitors, each other, the officers on watch, the deck cadets, the commodores, the Captain, the signs and posters – everything. It was like herding cats once they started snapping photos, but you could tell they really enjoyed it. Here are the two groups of students who went on the tour:

And a picture of me on the outer wing of the bridge.

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whale videos

Visit my site on Youtube to see some videos I posted from my last whale watching tour…

http://www.youtube.com/user/shanson1

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… for being able to speak Spanish! Word has spread among the Latino community that the English teacher habla espanol. When I asked one of the room service stewards how he knew I spoke Spanish, he told me that a Mexican crew member told him my Spanish is very good. I am so excited! Crewmembers I don’t even know greet me in Spanish when they pass me in the hallways.

I think this has also given me a little more credibility professionally. Several different crewmembers have asked me if I speak any other languages. I get the feeling they ask this with the expectation that I, like many Americans, only speak English. Something in their face changes when I answer that I majored in French and now speak Spanish. They seem to respect me a little more knowing that I too have struggled with a second language.

And just so I’m not blowing my own horn too loudly, one example of my limitations in espanol: I was at a disco a couple weeks ago and a Mexican came up to me and said something in Spanish. I asked him to repeat it (in Spanish) 3 or 4 times. Then he switched to English and said “I’m sorry. I thought you spoke Spanish.” I replied “I do, but not in here!” They play the dance music so loud that conversations are challenging – I can hardly understand my own language at the discos!

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