Tutoring strategies and Italian food

Yesterday, I had my very first ‘business dinner’. Like I have told before, I am working part – time at a tutoring institute and giving lessons in english, german, and elementary school maths. I began working last year in september, but wasn’t able to come to a dinner before, because they are always put on a friday, and I had courses last year on fridays until 6pm. It always starts at about 6.45 pm, but I would have never managed to come at time. I always wanted to, since I was new and didn’t know many of the teachers. And I also  missed some trainings last year, as well as the Christmas dinner. 

The first group meeting I attended was this year in June. But I couldn’t go to the dinner afterwards, because I was invited to a party. The first meeting however was without a training presentation. Then we just talked about our plans for the summer break classes, and the usual formal things. In the teaching this year, we learned again how to successfully treat the pupils especially at the beginning and ending of classes, for example:

1) we should nicely greet the pupils and ask them how they are doing, how school was, check the attendance, ask for grades or exams. I, for example, check the attendance first, and ask what they have done at school. I have never really asked how they were doing, but I plan to do it now for the future.

2) In the teaching part I am almost doing everything right, walking around the table, bending forward to them to explain, and of course, giving them some work to do. One thing I forgot doing, is asking about the subject matter of what they learned last week.

3) At the end of the class, the last five minutes should be announced before, so that the pupils can finish their last exercises, ask questions or ask the teacher to correct their exercises, and repeat what they have learned. Then, when they are about to leave the classroom, everything should be cleaned and tidied up properly, the teacher should say goodbye to them and eventually wish them good luck for their exams, and finally, wipe the board, turn off the light,  shut the windows, and leave. In this final part I do everything according to the plan, except asking them to repeat again what they have learnt today. 

We were also shown some videos with good and bad examples in comparison to which we should respond. At the end, we were supposed to go in groups and brainstorm about what we usually do in the beginning of a class. I was with four other teachers, all female, in the elementary school group. Two of them were new, and we also exchanged how to treat problem students, especially those at elementary school, but we were a bit disappointed that they didn’t say anything about those problem students at the teaching. We also mentioned this at the end when we gave feedback to the presentation. 

I personally found the teaching quite interesting, although it might sometimes get complicated to stick to it in real life since human beings are diverse and every pupil has to be treated as an individual. 

After that extensive session, I was very happy about the dinner. Since most of the tutors are students themselves, it wasn’t quite hard to find a conversational partner with similar interests. One of my friends from back at school is alsoa tutor there now,  and we also study together. But he sat somewhere else at the restaurant, so I talked with the ones sitting next to or in front of me. With 4 or 5 people I kept talking about movies, books, music, manga, anime, and travelling. 

The food was also excellent. Our chef has reserved a table at an italian restaurant. My favorite kitchen. The menu was huge so it was difficult to decide upon a dish. Since I a, ready had tortellini this week with my friend Merve, and didn’t feel like eating pizza, I ordered Spaghetti Napoli. We were always doing it at home with an instant Napoli sauce, so I wanted to try the real Napoli. It came with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, and garlic. I took very long to eat it, since it was still quite hot and the spaghetti was quite long. But it had a great, light and fresh taste. 

I stayed until about 11 pm and left with 2 other tutors. The food was paid by the institution, so I didn’t have to pay anything, which was a big win situation ;)

I am already looking forward for the Christmas dinner. 

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Free Day, Baking and Cooking Day: 30 Days Challenge

Today, the 3rd of October is a feast day here in Germany, “Tag der deutschen Einheit” (Day of the german entity). On 3rd October 1990 the Berlin Wall was being plonged. Germany has a lot of fest days which means no work, no school, everything is closed except for restaurants and cafes.

This meant that my sister and father were at home, too. My sister and I decided to cook and bake today so that our mum wouldn’t do a lot. However, she has already planned to fry fish today, so we decided to only make a noodle salad and vegetable skewers. And strawberry cupcakes as desert.

Day 18: Cupcakes, Caprese Pesto Salad, Vegetable Skewers:

1. Cupcakes:

We started with the cupcakes. We got the receipe for the dough from here: http://cupcakesandberries.blogspot.de/2012/11/cupcakes-mit-nutella-schoko-haubchen.html

And the receipe for the frosting from here: http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/1923241313595323/Strawberry-Frosting-fuer-Cupcakes.html

They are both in German, so I will just explain how we made it.

The dough:

While preparing, pre-heat the oven on 190°.

– 120g margarine or butter

– 80g sugar

– 1 package of vanilla sugar

stir all these into a fluffy mass. Then add while stirring:

– 2 Eggs

– 120 g flour

– 1 tsp baking powder

Now fill the mass in cupcake forms and bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

While this was baking, we started with the frosting.

– 250g strawberries (fresh or deep-freezed)

– 200ml milk

– 1 pack of custard powder

– 175g butter

– 175g cream cheese

–  sugar

– food coloring red (Only if you want to)

At first, we heated the frozen strawberry with 150ml milk in a little pot.

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Then we chopped the strawberries with an immersion blender so that no little pieces are left inside anymore. Seperately we mixed 50ml milk with 2 tbsp of sugar and the custord powder. Add this into the heating strawberry-milk mixture. Continue heating it, until it has a pudding-like texture.

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After finishing, let it cool for a few minutes. Then mix the butter, the cream cheese and 50g sugar and stir it until it has a a fluffy texture. After finishing, add it to the cold strawberry-pudding mixture and stir it together. If you wish, you can add some color to the mixture. Then fill it into a decorating bag and top the baked cupcake dough with it. Add some cute decorations and everything is ready.

In our case, we had a problem with the frosting. The receipe we had found was a bit complicated. Our frosting was too liquid after we had heated it with the custord-powder-mixture. The custord powder became very disgusting after a while and a pudding-skin had developed on the surface. I hate that. And now I notice that we forgot to add the butter in the last procedure with the cream cheese. After we had also mixed that together with the strawberry-pudding-mixture, it was still to liquid. We tried it on a dough, but the cream was not standing upright, it was sinking. Then we put the mixture into the fridge again, and started to prepare dinner. After dinner we finally decorated the dough with the frosting and the decoration, and this was our result:

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2. Caprese Pesto Salad

I got the receipe from this blog: http://myhealthykick.com/2013/10/01/caprese-pesto-salad/

  • 200g multigrain penne pasta
  • a handful of cherry, grape, or heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp pesto
  • a few leaves of fresh basil, torn
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

While we were waiting for the frosting to get more solid, we started prepareing the salad. At first, we put about 200g of pasta penne into the cooking water and boiled it for quite a few minutes. While it was boiling, I cut the cherry tomatoes, the yellow bell pepper, and the mozarella.

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After the noodles were cooked we let them dry on a sieve for a few minutes. Then we put the noodles, the cut vegetables, the Basil, and the mozzarella into a bowl. After that, I prepared the dressing by mixing 2 tbsp of olive oil and balsamico vinegar, 3 tbpsp of pesto, and pepper and salt together and put it on top of the salad. It already started to smell so good. My sister stirred it together and it was finished.

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3. Vegetable Skewers:

I got this receipe from this blog: http://imjustthisawesome.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/recipe-vegetable-skewer/

Ingredients:

  • Bell peppers (one big or two small ones per person)
  • Zucchini (half a zucchini per person)
  • Mushrooms (six to eight mushrooms per person)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Peppers
  • Skewers

This dish is quite easy and healthy. Of course you can’t get full only from this, but we already had the salad, and my mum wanted to fry fish.

While I cut the vegetables for the salad, my sister cut the mushrooms, the bell pepper and the zucchini. Then she mixed the cut vegetables with olive oil, pepper, and salt with her hands. It wasn’t too oily, so that the vegetables didn’t swim in it. After that, we sticked the vegetables into skewers. We had skewers with diferent vegetables on them, not only one vegetable per skewer.

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Put the skewers in the oven and heat it on 200° for about 20 minutes. You’ll notice that the juice of the mushrooms will squeeze out.

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Sorry for the bad quality!

My mum had also prepared a green salad and after the fish was ready, we had a big dinner with two salads, vegetable, and fish. Everything quite healthy. If I would live alone, I would cook a lot fo dishes with vegetables. I also have to learn how to cook Musakka and Karniyarik (Turkish Aubergine dishes. I will post them as soon as I learn them from my mum. They are so yumm!)

Already looking forward for my next food/cooking post. It has been a while now since the last time I cooked at home. My challenge still goes on, even if slow ;)

Thanks for reading. Bye!

19.09.2013 – 30-Days-Challenge: Cooking

Day 16 – Pizza:

Today, we met at my friend Nina in Stuttgart to make a pizza. In fact, it was the student dorm of her boyfriend Patrick, but she is staying there at the moment, because of the construction works at her dormitory. My Italian friend, Giuli, also brought Panacotta to eat them after the pizza.

As we arrived at the dorm, Nina was just preparing the dough. Then my two other friends, Giuli and Sami, startet cutting the vegetables, and I started boiling the broccoli. After half an hour or so everything was ready. We daubed the dough with tomato paste and started topping it.

We had: ham, salami, mozarella, bell pepper, Tomato, Olives, Courgette, and Broccoli. And a lot of spices one of them Oregano (There was more, but I didn’t pay attention to what Patrick used).

ImageWe forgot corn and parmesan cheese, but we already had enough toppings :)

Why Nina laid the pizza in aluminium foil was a riddle for us. I think she said that it would bake faster. I am not sure. As far as I know, aluminium is not very healthy when heated together with food. And as we put the pizza out, the foil was sticking to the pizza base: We forgot to oil it. Somehow, Patrick managed to pod the foil off the pizza, but Sami was sceptical about the aluminium traces. I also thought about how my mother made it. She always puts baking paper under the pizza. Then she also doesn’t have to oil it, because it is already oily. The next time I will have to tell Nina that, and if she doesn’t have baking paper, I will bring some :D

But after smelling the vegetables on the pizza, we forgot about that, and cut the pizza. It was tasty, although the dough was lacking a little bit of salt, the toppings were compensating it.

ImageI ate about two slices. After that, we also had another one, a smaller one in the oven. This time, my friend oiled it. Sami waited for the smaller one this time. The crust was very thin of that one, maybe too thin, because the toppings were too heavy for it so it broke apart when we ate it. But it was good. After that one, we decided to go over to the dessert Giuli brought from home, the Panacotta.

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Actually, the Panacotta is not eatin in these bowls. At first, we have to tilt it on a plate and put the sauce over it. But it wasn’t wrong to eat it from the bowl as well. The reason why they tilt it first is because the surface is more solid than in the inside, so it serves like a base. Because I was too lazy to clean my plate from the pizza crumbs, I ate it from the bowl. The strawberry sauce was sooo tasty, and the Panacotta itself all the more!

I really enjoyed the food. And my friend Nina even had another round of dessert. She had prepared an Anpan to fill them with Lotus paste and Nutella. This was like Heaven!!! Hot, soft dough filled with creamy, melted Nutella <3

After finishing eating, Nina showed us the Istanbul photos they had taken. Very beautiful. After that, we slowly prepared to go leave for home.

It was a relaxed day with yummy food. A few things went wrong though, but it still was fun. And tomorrow, I will be cooking at another friend’s again :) Lookind forward to it!

Present, Italian Food and a surprise

Hello, everyone! Today was a good day. But it started bad because I ripped my dot-tights with my nails, and also discovered that my heart-tights also have a ladder in them :'( I wanted to cry! It was the most horrible morning since a very long time.

But today at work, a funny thing happened, indeed! My pupils always talk rather than learn. One of them mentioned Justin Bieber, and then everyone freaked out distastefully. They told they hated him, and would never ever listen to that. I was quite relieved to hear that and was hopeful again, that our world is not doomed to end in the hands of stupid teenies who can only rave about stars like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. I think the generation before them was really gone gaga, so I hope that the new generation will be smarter.

After my lessons, I went to my university town with one of my old friends with whom I did my A’levels two years ago. She was just back from Turkey, Bursa (yeah, I know, it seems like all of my friends have been to Turkey this year), and we wanted to meet up before I would go working from Monday on for one month. I still had to give back 5 books from my term paper, and she had to get her oral communication credit. After that, we went eating at an Italian restaurant. I took Lasagne al Forno, and she took a Pizza with pepper and onions.

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Unfortunately, my friend didn’t feel well as we sat in the restaurant. She had a slight circulatory collapse and had to lay down on the bench seat of the restaurant. The owner of the restaurant, an old, little, cute man came to us right away and asked if she was okay. I said that she has problems with her circulatory. And he went to the back of the restaurant right away to get a box with a pillow on it, so she could put her feet on it. He was such a cute, little man I just wanted to cuddle him! But fortunately, she got better after 15-20 minutes. The owner was also very happy about that, and patted her cheek :D In the meantime,  I have already eaten most of my Lasagne. My friend also wanted me to taste something from ther pizza and I also took piece from that (I know, not a very good idea if I actually want to lose weight). When we finished, we asked for the bill and left.

We slowly walked into town, and realised that we actually wanted to go the other way.

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The city hall of Tübingen

We had to go to the library once again, because my friend had to lend some books for her term paper, and she didn’t do that before, because then, she would have to carry them with her all the time.

At the library, I discovered two volumes about Sherlock Holmes. The books were enormous and beautiful.

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After the library, we went for the train.

I have also bought a new book from the bookshop there.

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Nathaniel Hawthrowne’s “Scarlet Letter” for 2.49€

I have already watched the movie “Easy A” with Emma Stone starring, and I have loveeed the movie. It seemsl ike it is the modern adaption of “The Scarlet Letter”, so I was really interested in it. I will try to read it if I find time.

My friend also had some little cute presents for me from she got from Turkey.

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Isn’t the owl necklace just lovely?
And the skull earring with the earcuff just looks so special I think. Although skulls are no longer in my fashion interest, I have to say that this skull is a very beautiful one with a white stone as brain :)

Today was really an eventful day. And I have finally found out where I will be working on Monday: It will be Augsburg. A beautiful little city near Munich.

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I am already excited, and I still have to prepare a lot until monday:

1. Go to the hairdresser (already mentioned)

2. Throw in my absentee ballot

3. Buy a ticket to Augsburg

4. Do a Packing List (already mentioned)

5. Organize my mp3-player

I will do point 1, 2 and 3 tomorrow. The rest will be due at the weekend probably.

Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!

Holidays: Summarized

Part 4: Going out and partying

Two weeks before on saturday, I went out to drink some cocktails with my friend and my sister. It was the week after I have finished my term paper :D yes, everything seems to be depending on this little piece of activity. We went to a bar in Stuttgart, called Barcode. I have been there before, and I really liked the ambiente and the coziness.

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The cocktails are tasty, too. My friend had a white russian, my sister a cosmopolitan (I think), and I had a singapore sling. It was a little bit sour, but I liked it :)

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One day later, my friend celebrated her birthday which originally was on the 17th of March. She celebrated at a bakery and paid the cakes for us. I had a raspberry roullade, and hot chocolate.

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Mmmmh!! When I look at that picture, i feel like I could eat a ton of this *o* Roulades and cheese cakes are my favorite sorts of cakes :) And of course banana-chocolate cakes :)

Last week on wednesday my friend celebrated her birthday at a club. It actually was fun, but at the end, a little bit stresfull and I had an argument with my sister. But all in all, the evening was fun.

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This picture is a bit blurred, but we have our reasons for that ;D There aren’t so many pictures of that night, because I was a bit drunk at the beginning, and towards later my battery was quite low, so I couldn’t take photos.

Yesterday, I was eating Italian food at an Italian restaurant. My friend wanted to invite me on a meal, because I have helped her with her term paper last friday. I ordered Tagliatelle with quatro formaggi sauce. It was sooooo yummmmyyyy!!!! <3

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So this were my semester holidays so far. A lot of disappointments, problems, and to-do’s. And of course, a lot of time for reading, watching movies and doing things with friends. I am actually looking forward for the semester to start, because then it won’t be so long until the Lana del Rey concert on which I am going on the 20th April in Frankfurt. I am also looking forward for the new “Great Gatsby” airing at cinema in May. I have watched the old “Great Gatsby” at the weekend.

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I actually liked the movie. The symbols, like the green light and T.J. Eckleburg’s eyes were very well shown in the old movie. And Robert Redford is amazing, and so handsome *o* He is my new crush :D It really will be hard for Leo to top him. Daisy and Nick were ok, but I think Tobey and Carrey will do better :) Tom was really good as well. He was a really disgusting man. But I didn’t like Myrtle. She actually was well presented, but I am rather looking forward for Isla Fisher :) George was a bit too decent. I imagined him dirtier and more violent. He was quite a nice guy, prettier than Tom :D However, I am really looking forward for spring to finally arrive.