Things I wish I had known…

This whole video may not be that interesting to most of my students, but it’s an example of things I wish I had known when I was younger:

My high school had lots of unusual traditions. One of these was that the juniors (11th graders) were in charge of making maple syrup. We had to tap the trees and boil the sap, and filter the syrup … everything this video explains but in a much simpler way, with very little technology. I’ve blocked much of the process from my memory; I just remember how much fun it was to be able to stay out all night with my classmates and stoke the fires. We didn’t have all the fancy machines seen in this video, but we did have a lot of fun.

This video is also good for a little Canadian English input… (Many, many bonus points if you can point out some differences between American and Canadian English!)

Some discussion questions / writing prompts:

  • What were the most memorable moments from your high school experience that weren’t connected to classes or studying?
  • Did your high school have any unsuual traditions? Did you, as a group of students, have any important responsibilities?
  • Can you explain how to make something as complicated as making maple syrup?
  • Did you “pull all-nighters” (徹夜)in high school? Why? Have you pulled an all-nighter since you’ve been at university? Why?
  • What do you wish you had known when you were an 11th grader?