Mid September Materials

Adam Fitzgerald
10 min readSep 16, 2019

Hello Students,

A picture I snapped of Lake Huron from “the thumb” of the Lower Peninsula (“the mitten”) in Michigan when I was near Port Austin with my father
My wife Jessica & I recently visited Mackinac Island, an island with no cars between the Upper & Lower Peninsulas in Michigan where we live, near the Mackinac Bridge that connects the Peninsulas & “divides” Lake Michigan on the west from Lake Huron on the east (though obviously they are the same body of water)
There’s a lot of historical colonial era buildings on Mackinac Island — the Native Americans, the French & the English all had tenures on the Island before the Americans took it over
In order to get to the island you need to take a ferry boat across Lake Michigan / Lake Huron right near the Mackinac Bridge that connects the LP to the UP

How are you this month? Summer is coming to a close, while autumn is just beginning. Did you enjoy your travels? Any big plans for fall?

I’m waiting for life back in America to calm down a bit, yet I’ve been running around a lot. It’s been not quite two months since my wife Jessica & I moved back to Michigan after living in Edinburgh, Scotland for the last year.

My wife now has her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing & I have my CELTA from Cambridge University, plus we are both closer than ever to actually sending out the books we are each writing to try & get published.

These last few weeks I’ve been traveling around Michigan a lot now that I’m back in my home state. I went to Mackinac Island with my wife, then the “thumb region” with my father, then back up north to Traverse City with my wife so we could look at houses, condos & apartments together.

My wife & I have made the decision to stay in Michigan for the time being — we are going to move north to live in Traverse City, a beautiful city on Lake Michigan in the Grand Traverse Bay region near several smaller peninsulas that jut off the north western tip of “the mitten” a.k.a. Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

I hope everyone is well — I have collected resources here for you to study when you have the time — feel free to contact me via email — adam.fitzgerald@glt-talent.com or adamfitzsmith@gmail.com — or contact me via Skype by adding my adam.fitzgerald@glt-talent.com email or messaging me at GlobalEnglish-Adam-Fitzgerald while on Skype

Michigan is in the “midwest” — along with states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota & others — many farmers live in the middle of the US, here is a recent article detailing their stories

A sad day for music fans, the genius behind The Cars has passed on

A current news story (via US public / listener / reader powered news NPR) that’s rocking world headlines involving war & oil

Here’s the UK perspective via the BBC —

An interesting science story from VICE (they can be hit or miss)

Here’s a different topic… maybe slightly related (many people are anxious due to the state of our world)

Mental health — & genetics —

Many people today suffer from anxiety, stress, depression, or a mixture of symptoms… problems that could perhaps be more easily alleviated than previously thought. Here’s an article my wife recently shared with her own personal message attached for the readers of her website.

Here is my wife’s message about anxiety —

“Dear FB Friends with Anxiety/Depression —

It’s no secret that I have written about my battles with anxiety. I would say that it has, at times, been what I would consider ‘severe.’ Like, not want-to-go-out-in-public severe. Panic-attacks-on-the-reg severe. Can’t-look-people-in-the-eye severe.

However, I was recently diagnosed with a genetic mutation I had no idea I had — MTHFR (simple blood test by your doctor). MTHFR can make you extra prone to anxiety and depression, amongst other physical symptoms. Having MTHFR means my body cannot process B vitamins in their natural form and it has been contributing to mental health issues for probably my entire life.

I’ve been taking methylated folic acid and a methylated B supplement for a month now. I feel like a new person. I can’t emphasize that enough. I still feel ‘stress’ but the anxiety? It’s virtually gone. No where near where it was. It feels like a freaking miracle.

I’m not writing this to brag — but to let you know you’re not alone. Far from it. In fact, 1 in 5 people have MTHFR. It’s worth testing to see if you have it, it could save you mental and physical anguish, as it did me.

Check out this article for more info — and as always, feel free to DM me if you want to chat. xx

— J. E. Malen”

Here’s an interesting story about a wildfire watch post & technology

One of the crazy things about the mind-baffling Jeffrey Epstein (the billionaire rapist / sex slave trader) case… his connections — this man was/ is a monster & was / is connected to some of the most powerful people on the planet… presidents (past & present) the Clintons, the Trumps, the Bushes… and even the Royal Family —

Here is a “featured video” from the BBC site about Venezuela —

Madagascar has some of the worst deforestation happening in our world

Yet now there is a booming Vanilla industry exploding out of Madagascar — an island so poor there’s no media coverage on the manipulation of its people, wildlife & forests

Where I live in the state of Michigan is near Detroit — also known as the automobile capital of the world or “The Motor City” — because it’s home to “the big 3” — Chevrolet, Ford & GM (General Motors)

For Grammar I wanted to share some materials on Phrasal Verbs — many students ask me questions about Phrasal Verbs & honestly, many native English speakers do not understand Phrasal Verbs — so hopefully these links are helpful!

Recently, actor Joseph Gordon Levitt gave a TED Talk about creativity

Here are some posts showing first-hand experience of former students detailing the horrors of the student debt crisis within America

Many people have very little education involving finance. Many of my students work in the financial sector, so I would be very interested to hear what they have to say about these videos…

This billionaire “financial guru” (Robert Kiyosaki -- he lives debt free) is giving free financial advice because he said the elites (the most rich & powerful people in the world — a.k.a. the 1%) are specifically not educating the masses about finance & money in order to keep people controlled (obviously) — these videos have lots of information & his English is pretty excellent

Here’s another video involving advice from Robert Kiyosaki

One of the “biggest” “indie” (independent / underground / DIY [do it yourself]) bands in the world is currently — The 1975 — a band from Manchester, England that has risen to fame in the last 8 years or so.

Their first big hit was called “Chocolate”

They instantly made a career for themselves as a band able to write catchy pop music in an indie friendly way using clever, witty & sometimes deep lyrics

Sometimes silly, usually always enjoyable

They write great songs about modern life — love, loss, break ups & our world at large — it’s almost deceptive how catchy & listenable the songs are because the content can be very dark sometimes, but also strangely uplifting

Another recent song they put out is called “Love It If We Made It” — which has some of the best lyrics I’ve encountered in the last ten years. I actually recently got a shirt with their lyric “Modernity has failed us” on it

Here’s a look at the lyrics — I highly recommend reading these — I would love to discuss these lyrics with anyone curious

Their most recent song is more of a harder rock song called “People” with hilarious & brilliant lyrics

Here are the lyrics & potential meanings if you have trouble understanding his funny metaphors

Some of these lyrics are controversial, but thoughtful & arguably important

If these songs are too abrasive or the music too kitschy, maybe some more relaxing music to put on while you work, clean, study or relax would be more appropriate — I can listen to this stuff in the background all day —

As many of you know, I am fascinated with all things educational — music, philosophy, science, psychology, etc. Two of my favorite philosophers of all time are Marcus Aurelius (the author of “Meditations”) & Lao Tzu (author of “The Tao Te Ching”)

Recently I’ve been reading some of Epicurus — the author of “the Art of Happiness” — also known as “Letter to Menoeceus” -

He is described thusly —

“For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by aponia, the absence of pain and fear, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and bad, that death is the end of the body and the soul and should therefore not be feared, that the gods do not reward or punish humans, that the universe is infinite and eternal, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space.”

So I will leave you with some of his quotes —

“Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering.”

“Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.”

“The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.”

“He who has peace of mind disturbs neither himself nor another.”

Take care, have a great week & a great weekend. Keep in touch, contact me anytime if you have comments, questions, concerns or need help.

Best wishes,

Adam Fitzgerald