Lucky me, it was another Friday off (the final one). There’s no practice tomorrow, so the players were again allowed to leave the camp early to return to their homes. The schedule will get back to normal this coming week, when 40 or so more players will be checking in to the camp. All of the new players will be going to Tampa at the end of February, some for a month or so and some to stay and play minor league ball. Most have been to the U.S. before and have decent English language skills, so I’ll be able to do a lot more with them in class, focusing mainly on Content Based Instruction (CBI). In CBI, the focus is on the subject matter, rather than on the language itself. So, for the players with the higher English skills who have been to the U.S. before, I’m going to teach the historical aspects of baseball, including the race issue, the advent of Latin American players into the majors, the history of the Yankees and more.
For those advanced speakers of English who are going to the States at the end of February but who have not been there before, I’m going to emphasize situations, like going through airports, staying in a hotel, using public transportation, etc. For the guys who will be staying here for the Dominican Summer League, the language itself will be a primary concern in the classroom, mainly conversational English.
At any rate, I’ll have my hands full soon, with the occasional Friday off nothing but a remote dream. Not that I’m off today, of course–I did have office hours at the beach in Boca Chica while working on the upcoming week. One of the waiters at the establishment where I hold Weekend Office Hours told me that Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera and another Major League Yankee player–probably Edwar Ramirez–had ambled down the beach just a few minutes before I arrived. If they had come back, I would have said hello to them and asked them if they knew whether or not the fans in New York City send off their baseball equipment trucks to Tampa with kisses. (For an explanation of this bizarre form of pagan idol worship, read the comments at the end of the previous post. Click on comments. By the way, OGM is one of the few people who post comments on the blog. Forgive her–she’s from Boston and is a very devout baseball and Red Sox fan. (Gag) 😛 Feel free to post a comment, though, whoever you are, if the mood strikes you. Just click on “No Comments” or ” 2 Comments” or whatever at the end of any blog entry.)
I’ve finally finished posting the remaining Laos photos to the Gallery, so I should be adding Montana photos soon, as time permits. I’ll let you know.
Speaking of Laos, I read an article this morning about the continuing efforts to clear the country of unexploded bombs (UXO) left over from the Vietnam War. A short quote from the article:
“Laos is one of the most heavily bombed countries in the world, suffering from intense ground battles and aerial bombardment during the Indochina War.
More than 580,000 bombing missions resulted in more than two million tonnes of bombs being dropped during the 10 year period of conflict. About 30 percent of these did not explode on impact.”
Read the rest of it here. Very tragic and so completely immoral. More later.