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Jennie Marsland

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Member Since: Mar, 2010

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Harmony and contrast (poems)
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Blogs by Jennie Marsland

A Different Flavour
7/1/2010 11:28:19 AM
Blog post from

A Different Flavour

One thing I can say about my job – it’s never boring.

For last two months of school I taught math and science in the morning, and did curriculum work in the afternoons, but this week I found myself unexpectedly shifted back to the ESL department until a vacancy can be filled. Putting the lack of notice aside, I was pleased. I’ve missed working with these women.

One thing I find fascinating is the contrast between the way our students – all young Muslim women in their twenties – dress in public, and what they wear in private. Long coats, hijabs and, for some, veils cover skinny jeans, low-cut tank tops, make-up and jewellery. The ones who are the most modest outside school are anything but in a women-only environment.

For some, the same can be said about their personalities. One student in particular – I’ll call her Miriam – is, to put it plainly, a firecracker in the classroom. She loves clothes, makeup, movies and popular music, is always laughing and teasing, and doesn’t hesitate to let go of her temper. She lives life with incredible zest.

This afternoon the sun came out after three days of rain and fog, so we took the ESL class down to the Halifax waterfront. We strolled along the boardwalk, enjoyed the festive atmosphere of the waterfront in tourist season and checked out a few stores, one of which was a confectionery.

Browsing the shelves and trying to ignore the smell of homemade fudge and ice cream, I came across something different. Remember those multicoloured candy necklaces you used to buy as a kid? Well, someone has taken the idea a bit further. I found this on Wikimedia Commons. Apparently, one size fits most. All I know is, I’d have to wear two of them. There they were, in neat little boxes next to the gummi bears.

I couldn’t resist showing one to the students. I handed the box to one; she puzzled out the label, then her eyes got big. “It’s CANDY!” The others gathered around, giggling.

Miriam burst out laughing. “What size? What size?” They examined the box, trying to find out. A hurried discussion in Arabic took place. Then Miriam, wearing a big smile, marched up to the cash with the box.

I get the feeling her husband probably enjoys a little something different, too.

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More Blogs by Jennie Marsland
• Music is the food of love - Monday, February 14, 2011
• This Weird and Wonderful Language - Friday, January 21, 2011
• News Flash! - Thursday, January 13, 2011
• New Year's Musings - Monday, January 03, 2011
• McShannon's Heart Holiday Contest - Friday, December 17, 2010
• McShannon's Heart is Available! - Wednesday, December 15, 2010
• Dialogue and Layering and Stuff - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
• Folk Friday - Wild Women and Inspiration - Sunday, October 24, 2010
• Fall Flavours - Tuesday, September 28, 2010
• Folk Friday and thoughts on Canine Grammar - Sunday, September 26, 2010
• A Few Days Out of Time - Thursday, September 02, 2010
• Some Thoughts on Dialogue - Tuesday, August 10, 2010
• Folk Friday #2 - Friday, July 30, 2010
• Tragedy in Romance - Sunday, July 25, 2010
• A shattered City - Wednesday, July 21, 2010
• Folk Friday #1 - Friday, July 09, 2010
• McShannon's Heart Update - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
•  A Different Flavour - Thursday, July 01, 2010  
• Echo's Excellent Adventure - Monday, June 21, 2010
• Summertime, and the livin' is easy - Friday, June 11, 2010
• A Visit with Trey McShannon - Thursday, June 10, 2010
• A Musical Push - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
• Review: Naked Edge by Pamela Clare - Friday, May 28, 2010
• Words and Music - Thursday, May 20, 2010
• Revisions, revisions - Wednesday, May 12, 2010
• Review: Highland Rebel by Judith James - Thursday, May 06, 2010
• What's In a Name? - Friday, April 30, 2010
• My Take on Description 2: Setting - Sunday, April 25, 2010
• MyTake on Character Description - Saturday, April 24, 2010
• Contest Time! - Saturday, April 24, 2010
• A Family Divided - Saturday, April 24, 2010
• Second Book Syndrome - Saturday, April 24, 2010

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