Showing posts from 2014

Learn, Speak, Teach English

I think I may have stumbled upon a new thing about which to be passionate -- Teaching English as a second language.

Or to be more accurate, learning how to teach and whether I have the talent and temperament for it.

Tech week is coming up at our school, so several hours on a beautiful fall afternoon were spent trying to think of how to combine tech with a review of vocabulary words used for describing appearance and personality.

 One idea - have students create word clouds as a jump-off point for discussion. It's a "beginner conversation" class for adult. Will creating a word cloud get them talking?

It's a volunteer gig, a dry run, to see whether it would be worth shelling out money for school to get certified to be a real teacher.

Certification could lead to a job, which means a new source of income. Or it could lead to job and travel, which would be even better -- or not.

In the meantime, I'm having fun. I haven't quite gotten a handle on lesson planning,…

Pretty Little (Edible) Things

With no grill to fire up on this Fourth of July, I am feeling a bit nostalgic for holidays from way back -- way, way back, when my extended family gathered in the grands' big backyard for barbecues. Grandpa never had a store-bought grill. He constructed one from cinderblocks and stationed it in the middle of a yard bordered by two vegetable gardens and a rear ground section shaded by a grapevine canopy.

There was also a wooden ice cream bucket with a hand crank. It took hours and hours to churn out a bucket of ice cream and for whatever reason, it was always vanilla. I wonder whether those holiday gatherings with "real" food -- some of it straight from the garden -- and beautiful, mouthwatering side dishes prepared by the aunts is where I began to develop an eye for the artfully laid out plate.

Pretty, delicious and lovingly prepared. Nothing makes me happier than having a feast for my eyes -- lovely presentation and color -- before I devour the contents of my plate.

Leisure, Learning and Jazz - Thanks EdX

It doesn't say so on the certificate but I passed this class with a 95% grade!

I didn't become an expert but I am so proud of myself on two fronts -- first I started something and finished it… and I did develop a new appreciation for jazz through my first (free) course on

An added bonus, I discovered Jazz 24 -Vermont Public Radio's non-stop jazz programming.   It's a constant stream of great music from all of the eras covered over the course of the class. The music is presented by very knowledgeable hosts who are a pleasure to have around the house.

I found Jazz 24 on a search of the Internet radio app TuneIn, my new favorite source for finding music.

But back to the subject at hand - jazz appreciation and EdX and lifelong learning.

I figured I should be doing something constructive with all of this free time I have since my self-imposed hiatus began in January. I decided to take classes. Being free and online, EdX presented the perfect opportunity for me to …

Back "Home" and Blue After Life in New York City

Readjustment - to adjust or arrange again

I'm in a period of readjustment, arranging life again in my old home after an extended period away in the most intoxicating, exasperating, exciting, energetic city in the universe.
A few short weeks ago I said goodbye to "New York" and made my way south.

A week in the relatively calm Turks and Caicos capital, Provodenciales, parked on Grace Bay, one of the world's most beautiful beaches…..

Followed  by several days in sunny South Beach….

That was my transition from life in a luxury hi-rise in a frenetic neighborhood to my 40-year-old "it's-time-to-replace-everything" townhouse in what feels to me now like a dead zone.

You can go home again. But i don't think you can recreate - exactly -- the place you left. Especially so, after the place you've been for the past two years is so different. I knew I couldn't live there forever. It's too expensive. The overbearing crush of people, the cacophony, th…

Moving On, On a New Journey, Journey's End… I'm Done

One of the things I will truly miss about my years in the news business are those dreadful Washington-style resignation statements.

You know something has gone terribly wrong somewhere in or around the U.S. Capitol when officials say they are quitting to "spend more time with family" or something similar and equally vague.

Sometimes those resignations were a little sad, but mostly they were a little delicious because you just knew it was not the entire story.

The first word on the latest high-profile version came from CNN telling us Liz Cheney was calling it quits.
For whatever reason,  she decided that pursuing the U.S. Senate in Wyoming was just not a good thing at this time.

Ms. Liz cites a family health issue -- and if that's the case, God Bless her. And if it isn't, let's give thanks that there was no sex scandal involved (Hello Anthony Weiner,  knighted by The New York Times as a digital Lothario).

I've always wanted to use that "stepping down to spend m…