Early September Materials

Hello Students,

My wife Jessica & I enjoying medieval festivities, sunshine & mead
Recently I went to the Michigan Renaissance Festival with my wife (far right, in the red) and my sister Elaine. We met up with some of our friends, drank mead & watched all the people in their Medieval costumes. This picture is of our friends Michelle, Randy, my wife Jessica & Randy’s dog Russell.
My wife Jessica & our good friend BethAnne, the girlfriend (now fiancee) of our friend Randy

I hope you enjoyed the month of August. For those of you who just got back from holiday, I hope the transition back to working life has been gentle. Hopefully everyone is having a wonderful summer.

Last weekend I went to the Renaissance Festival with my wife, my sister & our friends. This weekend I am going up north for a getaway with my wife to Mackinac Island — a beautiful place with new cars between the Upper & Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.

It’s near the bridge that connects the UP & the LP

The bridge separates Lake Michigan on the west from Lake Huron on the east, but technically, obviously, they are the same body of water. The Great Lakes are all connected in a way, forming a divider of sorts between the US & Canada. Michigan (The Great Lakes State) is beautiful in the summer, so we are excited to visit the lush northern shores to visit Mackinac, Traverse City and our friends who live near Houghton Lake, a smaller inland lake.

So — if I am unavailable please send me an email and know I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Feel free to email me at adamfitzsmith@gmail.com or adam.fitzgerald@glt-talent.com if you have any questions, comments, concerns or if you need to reschedule a lesson.

Some of the biggest news in the world this week in the wild world of UK politics — the British Prime Minister (PM) has moved to suspend Parliament in order to “force through” a Brexit plan — he had to ask the Queen for approval, and she agreed! So now everyone all across the world is declaring “democracy is dead” (or, what was left of democracy is now officially dead)

The other biggest story in the world continues to be the Amazonian fires

In relation to the Amazon fires — a very actor who has made 2 different documentaries about climate change is putting his money where his mouth is —

This is an interesting perspective from VICE on how to help the Earth

Another article connected to “the future”

Here is an interesting perspective from a famous actor who is from Michigan — Jeff Daniels still lives in Michigan, in this interview he discusses modern America from the point-of-view most middle class midwesterners (how most typical Michiganders probably feel) — currently he is on Broadway in New York portraying the righteous Atticus Finch in “To Kill A Mockingbird” live

Another article about facial recognition technology

A sad story about what’s happening in the east

Here’s an American perspective on the British pound from NPR —

Another story about currency — specifically the US vs. China “trade war” —

An interesting update in the world of BitCoin

More protests in Hong Kong…

& Indonesia …

Hopefully Trump cannot do this…

Here is an interesting & mysterious article about the shady U.S. government

For grammar this week — something simple that even native English speakers sometimes mess up —

Another simple yet commonly misused piece of English grammar — demonstratives — that, this, those, etc.

This week for music I wanted to talk about one of my favorite musicians since I was a child — an American pianist & singer named Ben Folds — he recently put out a book I cannot wait to read, it details his long & varied career in music —

Originally he had a band called Ben Folds Five (it was a joke, as there was only 3 members) & they established a name for themselves as a unique piano-led jazz-inspired underground pop trio — during a time in the 90s when “guitar rock” & “grunge” dominated the radio — Ben Folds went the other way. Then Ben Folds Five broke up & Ben Folds went solo, to various degrees of success

Here are some of my favorites by him

My favorite album Ben Folds has ever created is probably his album “Whatever and Ever, Amen” with his band Ben Folds Five

His first solo album was “Rockin’ the Suburbs”

He’s an incredible musician with funny, thoughtful, humble lyrics

One of my favorite songs of his is the hilarious & sad “Army”

This song tells a lot about his life & shares a lot of his funny experiences that I can relate to as a non-successful American musician

Here are the lyrics so you can read about this great song from an overlooked album that deserves more attention

Recently famous African-American author Toni Morrison passed away, but I felt I should share her words that sound so relevant today

Lately I’ve been reading a book called “Breakfast of Champions” by the amazing Kurt Vonnegut — I’ve read some of his other books like “Slaughterhouse Five” & “Cat’s Cradle” — he’s hilarious, smart & intelluctually refreshing. I wanted to share some of his quotes with you —

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
Kurt Vonnegut

“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”
Kurt Vonnegut

“Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.”
Kurt Vonnegut

“Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”
Kurt Vonnegut

If you’re interested in more quotes by this wonderful author —

Have a great week & a great weekend!

Best regards,

Adam Fitzgerald

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Writer // Editor // Teacher // Musician

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