Noel has finally left the D.R., but not before flooding the country with heavy rains and causing 73 deaths so far. I haven’t been out of the camp recently, so I can’t say what the surrounding countryside looks like after the storm, but apparently we’ve not been hit hard in this area; it seems most of the damage was west of Santo Domingo. I asked my students about their families, but everyone is ok. The fields have drained off very nicely and were drying out swiftly under yesterday’s sun and stiff breeze. Let’s hope the country doesn’t have to suffer this type of weather again any time soon.

The coaches tell me that the first game will be played on Monday, against Toronto. A week after that, some of the upper echelon of the Yankees will be visiting the campus, including, rumor has it, Brian Cashman, the General Manager of the club.

Here’s a Sept. 12th article in Dominican Today [EDIT: The link is gone] about the baseball camp. Two of the kids mentioned in the article, the guys with the 800,000 and 1.1 million dollar bonuses, are in my classes, and both are about 17 years old. Can you imagine! I hope their families are using the money wisely.

Classes are going along nicely, and it’s hard to believe that after this week, there are only about 3 1/2 weeks remaining in the camp; afterwards, I move into the capital for a couple of months. Since I’ve been trying to focus a bit on culture for this brief period, some of the advanced classes have been exposed to music–folk, jazz, rock ‘n roll, rap, etc.–from an American point of view, while learning English. How? Well, we look at a lot of the history of the music, so correctly forming and using the past tense with all its irregular verbs is appropriate. This kind of stuff is always fun to do, for me and the students, since it takes the focus off the overt, more traditional learning of, for example, grammatical forms. Next up: maybe some baseball history, like who became new managers of the Yankees and the Dodgers at the end of the 2007 season? More later.