Working Breakfast

I had an early lesson this morning – early for me, anyway. One of my students asked if we could reschedule for 0830, for our two-hour tutorial. In recompense, she would bring me breakfast. She had a deal.

I anticipated a pain au chocolat from Costa or something similar, and there would have been nothing wrong with that. But what I got was far nicer: two varieties of steamed dumplings, one pork and the other shrimp, prepared fresh at home and served with a spicy soy sauce. And coffee.

Processed with VSCOcam with s4 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with s4 preset

They were delicious, and also restorative. My jet lag is in its last fitful but vicious state, and this morning I was having difficulty establish a centre of gravity; but the dumpings provided substantial ballast.

A working breakfast is a curious idea, since breakfast is where you usually start to clear your head for the day, and by implication at a working breakfast you must start work without having done so. And a language-lesson breakfast is a different challenge, since both student and teacher have their mouths full, and not much can get done for several minutes. But as I have said before, there is always merit to introducing something real to a language classroom, which is by definition an artificial environment.

So we talked about dumplings (not a traditional breakfast food in China, as it happens – an error, I think, since they have about them something of the pork sausage); we talked about cooking techniques (frying versus deep-frying versus stir-frying). And we talked about breakfast in general. And above all else, it got both teacher and student in fighting trim.


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