Hello Students! How is the start of your summer so far?
Apologies, it’s been longer than I planned between posts on this page. After traveling around Italy & Greece, my wife & I have been very busy back in cold, rainy Edinburgh, dealing with people in & out of our flat fixing random things for the landlord — electricity, plumbing, etc etc. We’re also preparing to move.
As a result of the construction, we were without internet the weekend before last and this last weekend the server for my Global English email (GLT Talent) has been down. I contacted them and tried waiting but alas, my work email is still not working — so, I’m very sorry if you’ve written me an email and I have not responded, because I have not been able to view my email!
My other email is firstname.lastname@example.org so I will be emailing you from this own personal email of mine for the foreseeable future.
If you need to contact me you can do so on Skype or send me an email at email@example.com
My wife & I loved visiting Italy & Greece — we would love to spend more time there. We started in Rome, boarded our vessel in Civitavecchia then went to Greece. We saw the islands of Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini, in that order, then we saw the city of Athens. From Athens we went back to Italy, then our boat stopped in Naples for a day. We only had a few hours in Naples, so we decided to spend our time in Capri.
We had a lovely trip, our only complaint is that we wish we had longer in each place — but we got to see a lot and we are grateful. Unfortunately while we were on holiday, my wife’s grandfather passed away in Michigan. It was not unexpected but still sad, and awful timing with us not only living abroad but also traveling. We have made the decision to move back to the US, so we will be returning to Michigan on July 26th. Unfortunately, I just got word that my grandmother is also unwell and she is probably going to pass away before I return home in a few weeks. Unbelievable, heart breaking timing.
As John Lennon said, “Life happens when you’re busy making other plans”
Despite these losses and unfortunate timings, we are still moving back to America. Our plan is to try and find somewhere warmer to live than Scotland or Michigan — we are planning to travel to Charleston, South Carolina (just north of Florida on the south of the East Coast of the USA) then hopefully move there, perhaps in Novemember.
SO — lots happening, I wanted to update you all and get these dates on paper. I am finishing up my allotted hours with many of my students but please do keep in touch & feel free to check this webpage for materials anytime. For those of you that I still have hours with or I am just starting with, we could perhaps start meeting twice a week — and there should be no problem continuing our lessons once I move back to the states on July 26th.
So now — for the materials. Unfortunately I had a whole draft of materials already written up to share with you guys but that was of course in my email, so I’ve been reconstructing the list of new materials for all of you to share here. Lots of craziness in the world currently, as usual — some added insanity these days with the issues between The US & Iran.
We’ve been learning lots about climate change and global warming in recent years, but something I read theorized about years ago has now been confirmed to be true — other planets in our solar system are also heating up, not just Earth. While this proves “Global Warming” may not be the sole result of human activity, I do still believe humanity is destroying our planet with pollution & a lack of renewable resoruces / green energy.
Mars also undergoing climate change as ice age retreats, study shows
Earth isn't the only planet grappling with climate change, although this other orb doesn't have much in the way of…
Another short story about the crippling debt crisis dooming many Americans
People are fleeing the US to keep from paying off their student loans
Some student-loan borrowers are leaving the US to keep from paying off their debt, according to CNBC. The federal…
This is an interesting short story about how veganism & vegetarianism has saved the lives of millions of animals in the last decade
Half A Billion Fewer Animals Were Killed Since 2007 Because People Are Eating Less Meat
Have you transitioned to a plant-based diet? Do you make an effort to reduce the amount of animal products you are…
Here is a funny story that proves without a doubt The US election process has many fatal flaws — so much so that an 11-year-old child was able to hack into the system & change the amount of votes cast one way or another — something that people have been suspecting has been happening in US elections as early as the 2000 election of George Bush vs. Al Gore — the decision of that election came down to a “recount” of votes in the state of Florida — the same state that had George Bush’s brother Jeb Bush as their governor at that time — little coincidence then that Bush won that election.
An 11-year-old changed election results on a replica Florida state website in under 10 minutes
An 11-year-old boy on Friday was able to hack into a replica of the Florida state election website and change voting…
This link leads to a video about two surfers who have been getting a lot of attention for their ocean cleanup company. This story connects to something I think about a lot — I really believe we can turn cleaning up our planet into a profitable business that provides jobs for the unemployed worldwide.
Grammar wise — I am still getting a lot of questions about conditional tenses and clauses — this link explains “relative clauses”
Relative clauses | English Grammar | EF
Relative clauses are non-essential parts of a sentence. They may add meaning, but if they are removed, the sentence…
This next link leads to a story about relaxing tips to relieve stress & “the most relaxing song ever created”
6 Ways To Relax Right Now
If you haven't booked a massage, a session at your local isolation therapy tank or a lazy day at the beach to celebrate…
The TED Talk I’m sending this week is about “The Art of Asking” by musician & artist Amanda Palmer of the band The Dresden Dolls — who is also married the the very famous English author Neil Gaiman (he has written many books including Coraline, Good Omens & American Gods — all of which have been made into TV Shows / movies) — this TED Talk especially interested me because (though Amanda Palmer is clearly very eccentric) this topic revolves around the idea of artists asking for help, asking for money, asking for support — something I struggle with myself. I’m an artist who does not like to brag, I don’t want to annoy people or bother people with my art, but therein lies the conundrum — how do you find success as an artist if you worry about the judgement of others?
Here is another interesting TED Talk about “how to have a good conversation” — a great presentation that was suggested by one of my students because the speaker is a good speaker! :)
There is an interesting company called GAIA in America — they started out as a yoga brand making yoga mats and accessories as “Gaiam” — but now they have news, videos & an entire streaming service, similar to Netflix, but for “yoga, science, spirituality and other educational videos” — so people also call it like a “Netflix University” — this is an interesting article about 5G Technology and the potentially harmful effects it can have on humans.
To go along with the UFO (unidentified flying objects [potentially aliens]) article I sent last time, here is another really short piece about UFOs and from CNN (a very mainstream source) saying senators are learning about UFOs
More uplifting updates on climate change (I’m joking, this is not uplifting)
Here’s two funny & related articles — back in America marijuana (pot, weed, herb, cannabis, whatever you want to call it) is legal in most states, if not only for medicinal purposes. In Canada, weed has been legalized recreationally across the whole country. Obviously, the story is very different in The EU — but many people worldwide are starting to change their opinions on cannabis — especially because it is starting to cure so many diseases and help people with a variety of different health issues. Archeology is helping rewrite history in this area as well — with new discoveries like these making headlines:
Cannabis discovered in tobacco pipes found in William Shakespeare's garden
South African scientists have discovered that 400-year-old tobacco pipes excavated from the garden of William…
High times in ancient China revealed in funerary cannabis discovery
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Marijuana chemical residue has been found in incense burners apparently used during funerary…
Another article related to that topic — someone cured their stomach / digestive disease using oil from cannabis plants
Here’s a short uplifting story about singing seals :)
A New Hope: Seal Learns To Sing Star Wars Theme
Researchers at Scotland's University of St Andrews have coaxed a seal to "sing" the first notes of the Star Wars theme…
When my wife & met in 2012, we introduced each other to a lot of new music. One of my favorite artists ever is Joao Gilberto, I am very grateful Jessica shared him with me. I’d heard “The Girl From Impanena” before but Joao has so many amazing songs, albums, collaborations & he is truly a legendary musician. My favorite album by him is probably “Amoroso” — a beautiful, fun, sensual, relaxing, passionate album that is perfect for summer, whether you’re relaxing by the beach or just getting through the day, Joao makes beautiful music for many different occasions. Here is one of my favorites from Amoroso, called Estate.
I will leave you two quotes from one brilliant man
One of my wife’s favorites-
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
One of my favorites-
“Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult.”
Have a great week, feel free to contact me at anytime if you have questions, comments or concerns — I will talk to you soon!
All my best,