I'm somewhat worried about the students in my high beginner class. Many of them live in southwest Philadelphia, which is low-lying land that's not far from the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. Hurricane Sandy is approaching and is expected to merge with a winter storm approaching from the north just as it passes through our region. To top it off, we are expecting a full moon at the same time ... flooding could be at record levels.
I have called everyone and advised them that Tuesday's class is cancelled and that they should pay attention to local news. The general response is that they are watching TV and talking to friends and will be careful. Yet there is so much more I would like to ask, which is not so easy over the phone and in a second language. Are they prepared for extended power outages? Do they know where the nearest emergency shelter is? I can only hope that everyone will be smart and safe and get through this without serious incident.
The learners in my high intermediate group don't live (as far as I know) in neighborhoods of concern. This class is on edmodo and I posted a message yesterday advising them about preparing for several days without power.
Guess what the topic of our next lesson will be? Assuming that everyone is safe and sound, we'll have an unplugged exploration of everyone's experiences. We'll discuss what precautions everyone took and what we might do differently in the future. We'll recycle the language we touched on last Thursday as the storm first floated onto our radar (hurricane, cyclone, tropical storm, etc.) and expand on it as we discuss events.
In the meantime, I hope everyone is focused on wise preparation for the next two or three days ...