Early July Materials

Hello Students,

The lemons at La Zagara — our new favorite restaurant on the isle of Capri in Italy
My wife & I enjoying a Grecian sunset from a balcony of our ridiculous American “Royal Carribean” cruise ship

Happy July to all of you, I hope you are having a great summer so far — with fair weather! It’s been very rainy, cold & windy here in Edinburgh, Scotland but I’ve heard it’s been too hot in Italy. When I visited Rome for a few days a few weeks ago, it was hot but not unbearable — much nicer summer weather than the UK.

Representing Detroit in Rome
My wife Jessica & I in Roma celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary a few weeks ago. We got rained on in Rome on our first day but we didn’t mind!

Several students mentioned the materials I send are too depressing sometimes. Hopefully current events aren’t making you glum, I have included one article about the extreme situation in Venezuela right now but besides that I’m hoping these materials find you well and leave you feeling positive.

By the way — my work email is now up & running properly again! So feel free to email me at adam.fitzgerald@glt-talent.com — but I will also continue to check my personal email — adamfitzsmith@gmail.com — for emails from you.

Here’s an interesting article that inspires hope in our fight against pollution & climate change

Recently an artist I know name Tashif Turner from Detroit was arrested while spray painting a mural — a mural that he was hired by the city to paint. It’s a ridiculous story, which shows how American police can sometimes be very out of touch with the directives of their own cities. But luckily, justice prevails.

In a related story, I wanted to share this look into my old stomping grounds of Detroit. I lived in the city from 2008–2018, so I saw many changes. I think the mural initiative is a great way to make the city look better. Do you think these paintings make the city look better or worse?

This story would almost be funny if it wasn’t real life — why are so many world leaders similar to cartoons? Here’s the NPR (American / liberal) perspective

Here’s another perspective from the BBC

An interesting story about Hong Kong and its mixed history

Here’s an unlikely story — snow… in Mexico!

This is an article from The Guardian explaining more about what’s happening in Venezuela —

Here is a story about the heatwave in Europe

This is an interesting story about health & diet —

Recently a student of mine sent me an article about a young girl who has been traveling all over the world — now that same girl has done a TED Talk, so I wanted to share this with you to get your opinions

Here is the original article my student sent me —

In a conversation recently with a student I mentioned Terrence McKenna — I’m always so surprised to hear so few people know of him or his pioneering work. He & his brother Dennis are very intelligent Americans who have been working hard to save rare plant species all over the world. Here is a short, funny, insightful & brilliant clip of Terrence’s take on the word “drugs” — there is English captions if needed. Terrence spoke fast but clearly.

As I mentioned in my last post, my grandmother was not doing too well. Last week, exactly three weeks since my wife Jessica lost her grandfather, my grandmother Patricia Fitzgerald passed away. She would not want anyone to mourn her with sadness, she was one of the kindest, most gentle and least judgmental people I’ve ever met.

My grandmother, Patricia Fitzgerald, when she was 18 — both her & I have always really loved cats. She was the sweetest woman. My mother posted this photo online & said “‘Words, words. Never ending flow.’ Those were the words written next to my mom’s senior picture in her yearbook. The never ending flow stopped a few days ago and the silence is deafening. Mom loved and was loved. You can’t ask for much more. She loved people, but she might have loved animals more. She never met a dog or cat that she couldn’t befriend. Mom was a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me ….. she was just mom, and I loved her.”

She lived 91 years and I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with her and my grandfather Jim. He passed away in 2012, so I’m happy to think of them as being together again. In their honor, I wanted to share an article I wrote for the paper about the importantance of grandparents, family & role models — using my experiences with my grandparents as examples.

Because it’s summer, I wanted to share another article I wrote a year or two ago about the importance of getting away from everything once in a while.

If you want to know more about me, my family & / or our history in the newspaper business, I have included some other articles.

Here is an article that was put together by my father Wes Smith (now the publisher of The County Press, a position he inherited from my grandfather) after my grandfather Jim Fitzgerald passed away.

Here is a rather funny article my good friend Alex Petrie wrote about my grandmother Patricia Fitzgerald after interviewing her last year.

This is an article I wrote when a very close family friend & educational mentor of mine passed away recently. She was the vice principal at the elementary school I went to, which was a charter school — almost like a public school with private school funding. If you want to know what inspired me to become an educator, this gives some of that history.

For those of you wondering — I was born Adam Fitzgerald Smith — Jim & Patricia Fitzgerald are my mother, Christie’s parents. When I was about 24 or 25 I legally changed my name so Fitzgerald became my last name, rather than my middle name. Now my name is Adam Wesley Fitzgerald. I never really knew my dad’s side of the family, he left his family and started his own at a young age, never really looking back — so I left his family name and took on his name to honor him specifically, while also choosing to honor my Irish writer roots on my mother’s side by using Fitzgerald as my last name. Because if you were going to by a book, would you rather by a book written by A. Smith or A. Fitzgerald? Food for thought :)

For grammar help this week — I decided to choose a simple subject — the semi-colon ;

Many native English speakers cannot manage to use this piece of punctuation properly — so I wanted to send this resource about proper semi colon use

For music this week I wanted to include another favorite artist of mine

his name is Devendra Banhart — he is actually a Venezueulan-American musician. He was part of the “freak-folk” movement of indie music in the mid-2000s, which I never personally got into. Years later, a friend of mine showed me his 2013 album “Mala” and it became one of my favorite records ever — that and the follow up “Ape In Pink Marble” — which I actually wrote a short review about for my own “Underrated Records” series of articles I write about criminally overlooked music.

This song is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard — it combines his South American influences with his Asian influences — Devendra is an artist in several mediums — he creates the artwork for his own albums and has paintings and drawings in many galleries and museums throughout the world — he’s also released books of poetry and almost ten albums in his career.

Because he is Venezuelan & American, he sings in English, Spanish & in this song here with his ex-girlfriend Ana Kras they also sing in German together — he is very eccentric & uses a lot of humor in his songs — like in this song about two people who broke up singing to each other —

Here are the lyrics for this song -

Just like this song, Devendra sings with humor about heartbreak & love

Here’s a song he sings in Spanish —

He’s very diverse, intelligent, creative & clearly very talented. Hopefully you enjoy his music & eccentric humor as much as I do.

At one of my favorite places in Scotland (or the entire UK for that matter) North Berwick — a small seaside town not too far from Edinburgh. My wife & I have loved living in the UK & exploring the EU, but we are returning to the US on July 26th. Lots of craziness in our lives right now, as you can imagine.

Thank you as always for your time. Have a great week and keep in touch, I look forward to speaking with you. Contact me if you have any questions.

Take care & all my best to you & your families,

Adam

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