Dickens lives! (Blog Action Day 2011)

I am proud to be taking part in Blog Action Day OCT 16 2011 www.blogactionday.org

Blog Action Day 2011.

This year it is about food.

Food for thought too.

***

Food, food, glorious food.

***

How many of us teachers have students sitting in our classes that are hungry, were hungry yesterday, and will go hungry tomorrow, and so inevitably underperform?

I do. Not many of them. But even one hungry student is one to many.

I can’t do much. Whenever there is a test I try to pass around some cookies or chocolate (not the healthiest stuff, I know), to increase their sugar level at least so that they could focus. And I know I should do more.

***

Talking about food is always a great topic in English classes, right? Well, not quite. Sometimes it can be a sensitive issue. Even simple questions like “How often do you eat meat?” can stiffen up some students. And no, they are not vegetarians, it’s just that their single parent cannot afford to buy meat.  Last year I discovered that Christmas is not a safe haven, especially for children from broken families.

***

And what’s your students’ favourite flavour? Chocolatey, fruity, savoury, astringent, dulcet, or succulent?  All nice words but all wrong: what they really love is monosodium glutamate. Period.

Or maybe a question mark?

***

What’s Dickens got to do with food and BAD 2011?

We mark the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens on 7 February 2012. Dickens is not just a Victorian writer whose characters are well-known around the globe. The issues he described in his work transcend his time.  Hunger is one of them.