Showing posts from 2015

Time to Pack Again... States I've (Not) Visited

By the looks of this map, I've got a lot of ground to make up when it comes to traveling the country. I wonder what it means to have only ventured along the edges?

Create Your Own Visited States Map

 If money and time were not factors, in no particular order) here are 10 of the unvisited states I'd most like to visit and why:
Washington  - To experience the Seattle vibeTexas - Is the Peoples' Republic of Austin Real?Missouri - St Louis blues and barbecue Michigan - Is Detroit ever coming back and what will it be?Alaska - Eskimos and IcebergsWisconsin - Milwaukee for beer bratsOhio -  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in ClevelandMaine - Because it's Maine where no one I've ever met has beenWest Virginia - Scenic roads and hot springsKansas - To stand at the center of the lower 48

ESL Class: Around the World in 180 Minutes

Myanmar, Peru, Serbia, Chile, Russia, Mexico, Ethiopia, and India.

I got to vicariously visit those countries, and more, when "Great Outfits" was the topic of the day for students in my English as a Second Language (ESL)  class.

The co-teacher and I  had asked our adult ESL students to wear an item of clothing from their homeland (or the place where they were born -- not sure how to politely phrase this, but that's a topic for another post).  They were given the option to bring  pictures if they didn't want to wear  traditional clothing.

On the appointed day, in a class of a dozen people,  only a pair of women from Myanmar wore traditional dress -- beautiful, brightly colored, long  wrap skirts with delicate blouses, much like the outfit pictured here.

After the ladies from Myanmar modeled their Great Outfits, everyone was given an iPad  to find and share  images of traditional clothing from their culture.

Before we could organize a structured conversation game cente…

ESL Teaching, Learning and Long-forgotten Grammar Rules

What's a contraction? or What is a contraction?

There are a million of them used by English speakers to shorten a word or words… Something I do not think I had ever thought about  --  until a lesson on clothing included an exercise requiring the teacher to explain contractions to a class of  English as a Second Language Students. I was stumped.

The dictionary says they're (contraction) used mostly in informal conversation and rarely in formal, written English.

 I'm (another contraction) not so sure that description still holds when pretty much all communication now is informal. I suppose businesses still use formal written English and I'm sure the federal government does.

So  how do you make sense of this for a class of adult  ESL students from at least seven countries, including Myanmar?

Tough one. For that class, I decided to just try explaining that they'll (contraction) need for Wednesday's (not a contraction) lesson.
's = is (or has) as in She's, wh…

Six Figures to Zero, Type A to Type Z - Same Challenges in Retirement

I am SO glad a friend recently asked me at lunch why I wanted all of the jobs I'd been pursuing -- this after I explained to her how I could actually do two of them if hired for both.
Her question haunted to me. I had an answer  -- but that's a topic for another post.

 I had to think about my motivation, especially considering there are some things associated with returning to the workforce that I know I'd hate  -- like the morning commute or having to get dressed and leave home on the coldest day of winter.
That lunch conversation prompted me to search out articles on how to manage in  retirement. I was mostly looking for advice on how to land a job when I discovered some blogs written by people who are in retirement, just starting retirement, or about to go into retirement.
Before, I had focused  only on the scary stuff -- how to make your money last, where to live, how to find your passion, etc.
The real life comments highlight things not covered by the practical advice from…