Early July Materials
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org — but I will also continue to check my personal email — email@example.com — for emails from you.
Here’s an interesting article that inspires hope in our fight against pollution & climate change
Scientists discovered a mushroom that eats plastic, and believe it could clean our landfills.
Certain parts of a woman's menstrual cycle do seem to go hand in hand with the desire for chocolate ice cream and…
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.
Artist Sheefy McFly won't face charges for arrest while painting for city of Detroit
CLOSE Tashif "Sheefy McFly" Turner stands next to one of his murals near 7 Mile and John R. in Detroit on Saturday…
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?
These before and after photos show how murals have changed Detroit for the better
Browse through these before and after photos to see a selection of Detroit murals and the bare walls they brought to…
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
Trump And Kim Meeting: The Start Of A Deal Or 'Just Some Nice Pics And Pageantry?'
It is too soon to tell whether the much-hyped meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un on…
Here’s another perspective from the BBC
North Korea media hail 'amazing' Trump visit
North Korean state media has hailed the impromptu visit made by US President Donald Trump to the country as "an amazing…
An interesting story about Hong Kong and its mixed history
Clashes as Hong Kong marks handover anniversary
Police in Hong Kong have clashed with protesters marking the anniversary of its handover from UK to Chinese rule. In…
Here’s an unlikely story — snow… in Mexico!
Ice 1.5m thick as Mexican city hit by freak hail
Six suburbs in the Mexican city of Guadalajara have been left carpeted in a thick layer of ice after a heavy hail…
This is an article from The Guardian explaining more about what’s happening in Venezuela —
Venezuela: hyperinflation leads to new banknotes for second time in a year
Banknotes of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 bolívar denominations will begin circulating on Thursday, the central bank said
Here is a story about the heatwave in Europe
Europe swelters as heatwave continues
Europe has experienced another sweltering day as a heatwave that has already claimed several lives continues across…
This is an interesting story about health & diet —
Bad Diets Are Responsible For More Deaths Than Smoking, Global Study Finds
About 11 million deaths a year are linked to poor diet around the globe. What's driving this? As a planet we don't eat…
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 —
This 21-Year-Old Woman Claims She's The Youngest Person To Travel To Every Country
On May 31, 2019, a 21-year-old American woman named Asquith, who won the title in 2013 at the age of 24, and join the…
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.
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.
Adam Fitzgerald Smith: | The County Press
LAPEER - Some people are not close with their grandparents. I never got the chance to know my father's parents as well…
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.
The VIEW from here | Lapeer Area View
Every year I take a trip with my father to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to experience the back-wood wonders of The…
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.
Newspaper career spans 45 years | The County Press
Jim Fitzgerald, former editor of The Lapeer County Press and columnist for the Detroit Free Press passed away on…
Here is a rather funny article my good friend Alex Petrie wrote about my grandmother Patricia Fitzgerald after interviewing her last year.
Alex Petrie with Pat Fitzgerald | The County Press
Honestly, I don't even know where to start. I covered so much ground on this week's Mug Shot that I could probably…
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.
There is a light that never goes out | The County Press
Betty McCauley's passion for education was contagious. I caught the bug young, inspired by the enthusiasm of educators…
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
Semicolons help you connect closely related ideas when a style mark stronger than a comma is needed. By using…
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.
Adam's Underrated Records #6
"Ape In Pink Marble" by Devendra Banhart Stories of Criminally Overlooked Albums by Adam Fitzgerald…
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 -
Devendra Banhart - Your Fine Petting Duck
Your Fine Petting Duck Lyrics: I'll take you back / Cause I don't really love him / No, no, no / Give me that / Won't…
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.
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,