Archive March 2011

Ate. Watched TV. Played video games. 0

Dear Bradshaw,

I like my job. Really I do. But it can be a pain in the pancreas sometimes, particularly when I teach young kids or early teens. Their English tends to be limited and their lives uneventful. As a consequence, they have little to contribute toward conversation and, often, because their parents are paying for the lessons, they also have minimal desire to learn English.

For this reason, I sometimes avoid using the textbook and try to get them talking, to deviate from our typical hour of English and to build up their confidence in speaking. As a result, our lessons usually go like this: continue reading »

29 people like this post.

10 Facts about J.S. Bach 0

(in honor of his birthday March 21, 1685)

1. Johann Sebastian Bach was born 326 years ago in Eisenach (Thuringia), Germany.

2. He was a composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist.

3. He came from a family of accomplished musicians, beginning with his great-grandfather who was a professional violinist.

4. Though best known for his virtuosity and compositions on the organ, his first music lessons were on the violin. continue reading »

28 people like this post.

Go outside, get a little wet 0

Dear Bradshaw,

While splashing through the streets of Rome, frustrated by the slippery cobblestones, ubiquitous puddles, crowded, narrow streets, and cars and buses that threatened to splatter me with filthy water, I gritted my teeth and clenched my fists thinking, “This rain sucks!”

Thinking about it now, I realize how ridiculous I was being. After all, water is the All and/or Everything of life on Earth. Without it, not even an amoeba could exist. Meanwhile, we are supposedly eighty percent water so, in a sense, to complain about rain is to complain about myself. Heck, without water, there would be no rainbows, no rivers, and no Harvey Wallbangers. continue reading »

26 people like this post.

Sticks and stones 0

10 Facts about Albert Einstein

(In honor of his birthday, March 14, 1879)

1. Albert Einstein was born 132 years ago in Ulm, Germany.

2. As a result of his speech problems as a child, his mother believed he was mentally challenged.

3. Sick in bed at five years old, his father gave him a compass. Einstein was fascinated that the arrow always faced north, and decided there must be a mysterious force behind things. continue reading »

12 people like this post.

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