Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Time for AELP's second course!

On the AELP menu today: making whoopie pies, interviewing with the admissions staff, and some are homeward bound!

The students were back at it today in the kitchen with the New Hampton dining staff as they mastered the art of making whoopie pies.  The students learned how to make the chocolate cake batter from scratch as well as the sweet cream filling.

Coco, from China, and Ellie, from Russia, work with New Hampton kitchen guru, Sheryl, to whip up the batter! 
Julia, from Russia, gives the mixing machine her undivided attention.
Lucrezia, Andreana, Hiro, and Li work together to bake up some yummy desserts!
The students were then asked to change their chefs hats for thinking caps as they made their way to the Admissions Office to interview with Admissions staff.  The goal was to offer students an opportunity to experience an interview in the United States, entirely in English, and with a native English speaker.  Many of our AELP students plan to attend American schools and universities and, if so, will need sharp speaking skills for the round of interviews they'll have to endure during college choice time!
Students sit and chat as they wait for their names to be called for the interviews.
As the students were asked to think about their futures, two specific students, Fernando and Max, had to leave for theirs!  Fernando flew home to Spain today and Max left to visit family in the States before he returns for full-time studies at New Hampton in the fall.  We wish Fernando and Max the best of luck and thank them both for being such wonderful additions to the AELP family this summer!
Good luck, Max and Fernando!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Between Courses, A Student Showcase Sorbet

As Culinary Arts week continues, we'd like to take a moment to cleanse the palette with a touch of Student Showcase sorbet, as it were.

Teacher Kate has been working hard with the students of her class in the development of their writing skills by exploring metaphors and similes.  Last week, she asked the students to use descriptive phrases and figurative language to describe their favorite season in their home country.  One of her students, Ellie, from Russia, used personification to paint a picture of the "positive and negative characteristics of autumn, just as if the season were a real friend," Kate says.  
May we present our resident writer, hailing all the way from Russia... Ellie!!
We asked Ellie if she'd be okay with us showcasing her work here on the AELP blog in the midst of our Culinary Arts week.  Ellie said she'd be honored.  Our response?  We're honored.

Miss Fall Story
by Ellie
I want to tell you about my friend, Miss Fall.  She comes to visit me every year and stays for 3 months.  I look forward to it, and like a child, check my calendar every day, hoping she will arrive soon.  She's a very beautiful middle-aged lady, very elegant, and also all of her movements are graceful and effortless.  Moreover, this woman has a good education and it's interesting to talk to her.   
There is one curious fact about her: she's very moody.  Sometimes she is so delighted, her eyes shine like the sun in a blue sky.  Her fabulous clothes are very colorful: green, red, orange, brown, yellow.  Her smile is incredibly bright.  Some days, she looks dreary and depressed.  She can sit in the garden and cry all days long without any pause. 
Children don't really like her, they love our neighbor Miss Summer, who makes for them fresh fruit and ice cream.  The kids enjoy playing in a green field near her pretty house.  However, I'm the opposite and I spend wonderful time with Miss Fall: we drink hot chocolate, while we sit on the cozy sofas and watch the fire.  We talk a lot and I often ask my friends to come and join us. 
When the time comes, Miss Fall leaves, but I am sure she'll come next season.  

Thank you so much, Ellie, for allowing us to share your wonderful story and thank you, Kate, for creating a classroom environment that supports this level of creativity for students of a foreign language.  Well done!

Monday, July 22, 2013

You Bake It, You Buy It =).

AELP is back in the kitchen and baking up a storm!

Students dove back into the Culinary Arts theme this afternoon in the New Hampton School kitchen by turning yesterday's new-found skills into today's dessert!  
Time to make the cupcakes!
Looking as sweet as pie!
Ellie, from Russia, will soon learn that the reward for mixing is licking the batter off the spoon!
The students worked together to make banana cupcakes with a homemade vanilla frosting.  These they brought to the night's activity:  dinner out at a local Japanese & Chinese fusion restaurant.
AELP is ready to feast at Green Ginger!
Coco, Sakura, Ellie, Fernando, and Kohsuke dig in to the dumplings and sushi!
Rudolf, from Russia, orders a light meal for dinner ;).
After dinner we enjoyed the banana cupcakes the students had made during lunch.  AELP staff (and the staff of Green Ginger) gave a hearty congratulations to the students on a job well done!  A yummy cupcake was the perfect way to round out the Japanese-Chinese fusion meal.  [And some might say that two cupcakes were an even better way to round out the meal!  ;) ]

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Now We're Cookin'!

Taste buds are humming as we kick off this week's theme of Culinary Arts!

In classes this week, students will be learning about the components of a healthy diet, exploring the differences and similarities between regional dishes of the United States and around the world, and learning key English vocabulary that can be used in their future travels through the grocery stores and restaurants of English-speaking countries!  

To gain an understanding of the foods used in the meals they eat here at the New Hampton campus and what goes into creating healthy and delicious dishes for so many, the AELP group ventured into the kitchen today to get chopping.  They worked together to dice, mix, and prepare the evening meal for the visiting camps and full-time staff at the school.
AELP students are ready to cook! 
It takes a lot of hands to prepare a big meal!
Smiles always help to make a job more fun!
It also doesn't hurt when the job is making cookies!
Fortified with new vocabulary from morning classes and the afternoon's hands-on experience in the kitchen, the students took place in a taste-testing competition tonight.
Rudolf, from Russia, offers Kohsuke, from Japan, the first taste!
Coke versus Pepsi, American cheese versus Muenster, peanut butter versus Nutella, Pickle-flavored potato chips versus Spicy Buffalo & Bleu Cheese-flavored chips... you name it, the students tried it!
Hiro, from Japan, looks on as Filippo, from Italy, taste tests peanut butter.
Andreana, from Italy, waits as Veronika, from Czech Republic, decides what she's trying!
While recognizing the difference between Coke and Pepsi may have been too close to call, and pinpointing raspberry as the flavor of one of the two jellies offered was the most difficult, the students all agreed that the taste-test competition was a hit.
Sakura, from Japan, bravely tries the next secret item while Lucrezia, from Italy, records her decision!
Thanks to the New Hampton kitchen staff for opening up their doors to the AELP students today and inviting us back for some baking fun later in the week!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

AELP Is Havin' a Whale of a Time!

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the AELP students are sliding and splashing in New England's favorite water park today!

Lincoln, New Hampshire, just a short half-hour drive from the New Hampton campus, boasts award-winning water park Whale's Tale.
Here, opportunities abounded for the students to challenge themselves and further explore the idea of healthy risk-taking that is encouraged here at AELP.
Entering the 'Eye of the Storm!'
Banzai Pipeline!
The Plunge!
Earlier in the summer, during a trip to Canobie Lake Park where students challenged their levels of comfort on adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, Fernando, from Spain, admitted that "the experience was good to remember, but not to repeat."  Today, however, with rides like The Plunge rocketing the students down slides at 40 mph, Fernando and fellow AELP students were confronted with challenges again and each of them met the challenges head on!
Coco from China, Filippo from Italy, Fernando from Spain, and Ellie from Russia are always ready to keep learning and adventure on!
Jimena, from Mexico, through exclamations of "Just look at this!" and "Oh my God!,  plunged headfirst into the experience and came away smiling!
Jimena, from Mexico, a natural adventurer!
We'd like to congratulate our students for allowing themselves to have fun today while taking healthy risks.  They confronted physical challenges and the mental challenges of navigating the attractions and rowdiness of an American water park.  Great job, AELP students!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lions and Otters and Bears, Oh My!

Back from Boston and ready to continue the week's theme of Science and Technology, the students set off for some natural exploration!

The students visited the Squam Lake Natural Science Center in Holderness, NH where they could observe "live, native New Hampshire wildlife housed in woodland enclosures" as they walked along the 3/4-mile trail.
The students were able to see black bears, bobcats, mountain lions, river otters, red foxes, bald eagles, hawks, owls, and more species native to the state.
A New England Black Bear!
They were also able to explore an interactive exhibit where they learned new vocabulary like 'adaptation', 'habitat', and 'interrelationships'.  The space included opportunities for the students to invent insects, crawl through an underground tunnel, and listen to nocturnal animal sounds.
Coco, Filippo, and Hiro getting caught up in the giant 'spider web'!
Julia, from Russia, who has really taken to this week's theme of Science and Technology, was happy as could be during today's Adventure Activity.  
At AELP, students learn to speak English and...wildcat?!
On behalf of Julia and all the other students who enjoyed themselves today and learned more exciting vocabulary and fun scientific facts, the AELP staff would like to thank Squam Lake Natural Science Center!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The AELP Parked the Car (and Suburbans) in Harvard Yard!

The AELP students were up and at 'em early this morning to head into Boston for a Harvard University education, Boston Science Museum challenge, and some American shopping!

It was a full day for AELP students and staff who drove first into Cambridge, Massachusetts for a tour of the country's oldest higher-education institution and one of the world's most prestigious schools, Harvard University.  The students toured the campus grounds, stopped off in the school's bookstore, and ate lunch in Harvard Yard.  They each took a turn rubbing the shoe of the statue dedicated to Harvard College's benefactor and namesake, John Harvard, as that's said to bring a person good luck!

Katharina and Fernando bring us good luck as we pose for a photo in front of the John Harvard statue!
After lunch we headed to the Boston Science Museum where we first visited 'The Greatest Places' on earth via the Mugar Omni IMAX theatre.
AELP students get ready to travel around the world via the IMAX theater in Boston!
AELP staff and students are ready to fly!
After the film, the students split up into groups and were presented with a challenge: what are three scientific facts you learned from the exhibits and what new vocabulary did you learn?  The students took off to explore and report back later!
Locating the countries of fellow AELP students!
AELP students attract electric currents with the tips of their fingers!

Learning about the planet's inhabitants 67 million years ago!
Kohsuke, Hiro, and Filippo showcase how they learn about science with their mouths wide open!
Smiling faces at the Science Museum!
When the group came back together, students shared facts and new vocabulary learned, like 'conductivity', 'fossils', and 'meteorology', to name just a few.
A meeting of the scientific minds!
To round out the tour of the Boston Science Museum, the AELP practiced their butterfly-whispering in the Butterfly Garden.  Here they were able to walk amongst free-flying butterflies of varying shapes, sizes, and colors!
So close you can touch them...
... and Ellie does :).
Jimena, from Mexico, smiles as our new friends circle around her.
Jimena, Ellie, Veronika, Coco, and Andreana (in front): as pretty as the butterflies!
Unfortunately, we couldn't stay with our fluttery friends for the whole day so we headed off to CambridgeSide Galleria for some shopping.    
Karen, the director, and the AELP students say goodbye to the Boston Science Museum.
At the end of the day, we asked the students if they had enjoyed themselves, to which all responded an affirmative, "Yes!"  Julia, from Russia, said that the museum was her favorite part of the day: "I wish I could live there.  If I lived there, I would spend every morning with the butterflies."
Julia, from Russia, full of peace and love :).