Mid July Materials

Adam Fitzgerald
7 min readJul 8, 2019

Hello Students,

The nicest weekend we had in Edinburgh was Easter weekend — over 30 degrees Ceclius. It’s been much colder, darker, rainier & windier than the beautiful day this photo was taken since then.

Hopefully everyone is enjoying summer! I also hope the weather has balanced out in Italy & everyone is keeping cool. Edinburgh remains cloudy & breezy — while all my family members were outside in the sun grilling barbeque & swimming in the pool on Fourth of July (American’s Independence Day) I was in Edinburgh alone (while my wife visited England with her family) wearing two sweaters because it was so cold in Scotland! Funny how different the world can be just a few hours apart. Regardless of weather, I hope you are able to relax & enjoy yourself this summer.

I will keep this brief, I am hoping you will find these materials helpful. Feel free to use any of these links to study with — you can also study with any other links from any other post I’ve shared here on this webpage.

Not long ago I shared one of my favorite musicians with my students, sadly this last week he passed away. I can’t recommend his music enough, it’s truly sublime & very special

Here’s an interesting story about a large Chinese tech business that involves espionage, the trade war and lots of other relevant world politics

The TED Talk I selected this week is about sleep — with an expert giving a lot of fascinating information that I’ve never heard before about the benefits & importance of sleep

closed captions / subtitles are available

There has been a lot of news about Iran lately, potential hostilities between the US & Iran, now they have broken the “Nuclear Deal Limit” — this article from NPR explains this if you’re interested

Here’s another perspective on a connected story from the BBC

Here’s an article about the migrant crisis, something relevant to everyone in the EU

Here’s a video showing a clash between police & protestors in Hong Kong

This is an article about a bank cutting many jobs, so I wanted to hear your perspective on this

I get a lot of questions about being vegan, so I wanted to share this article I wrote a few years ago on the topic

If you are interested or want more information, recipes, etc. My wife Jessica has a lot of information on her website about vegan food, health, travel & more

Here is a heart warming story about dolphins saving a dog

Here is a not-so-nice story about everyone’s favorite president

For grammar this week I wanted to share one of the best resources I have found online for quick grammar info — this link leads to a page where you can study from several different parts of their archive — you can look at different levels of English Grammar, English Vocabulary, English Quotes, English Idioms, etc. This is a very good resource to have bookmarked


One specific area of grammar I know some students still struggle with includes quantifiers — and choosing the right words to fit together

For fun, I wanted to include a link to a guide on British slang — including words & phrases I’ve never seen, heard or encountered before reading this list. The way people speak in The UK is entirely different than the US and other English speaking countries, but knowing the meaning of these slang phrases might be helpful if you’re ever planning on traveling to the UK.

Here is a list of idioms from that site Education First (EF) if you’re interested in learning some more commonly used English phrases, expressions & idioms

This is the song Joao Gilberto wrote that really impacted the entire world, may his legacy continue & he rest in peace

I have several new students, so I wanted to share some information to introduce myself, if you are interested. I graduated Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan (not far from where I group up, an hour north of the city in the countryside) in 2014, majoring in English and Education. I started teaching when I was 18, over ten years ago. I met my wife Jessica on Halloween, October 31st, 2012 in Detroit (a few days after my 22nd birthday) and we married in 2017. We moved from Detroit to Edinburgh, Scotland in August of 2018 so my wife could get her Master’s Degree and so I could get a certificate from Cambridge University and teach English as a Second Language anywhere in the world.

Both my wife & I are writers. We have both been working on separate book series since we were young — 12 & 13, respectively — she is writing a fantasy trilogy, and I am writing a sci-fi / magical realism series that is planned to be 9 books. My wife is currently earning her Master’s in Creative Writing from Napier University in Edinburgh to pursue this goal. We are both finishing up our first books & preparing to pursue publication through literary agents & publishing houses. In addition to our jobs, we work on our books tirelessly.

I am also a musician — I play guitar, bass guitar and sing. I also play piano, keyboards, synthesizer and drums but I’m not very good. I do record music, by myself as Quells and with my best friends & fellow songwriters together as the band “Shady Groves” in Detroit. For anyone interested in hearing or following the music I make with my band Shady Groves back in Detroit, you can follow us on Spotify here:


Watch our music videos & stream our music here —

Or simply listen to our songs online here:

If you use social media you can follow us there as well —

If you’re interested in hearing the music I make by myself, I loaded some of that online (for better or for worse)

If you are interested learning more about me, my history with teaching, my passions for education & music, here are some of articles I wrote when I was working as a journalist a few years ago

This link leads to a piece I wrote about Education being the foundation of society:

This is another piece I wrote, detailing my teaching experiences:

This is a column I wrote about respect, and how vital it is in and out of classrooms:

I will leave you with a quote from John Dewey about education to inspire your learning :)

“Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.” — John Dewey

Have a great week, I will talk to you soon.

All my best,

Adam Fitzgerald