On the Road: A Look at Verbs of Transport Part 2- Explaining the Differences

country countryside daylight field
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now that you had a chance to try out the Photographic Guessing Quiz, here are some of the explanations that justify the difference among the verbs that are what they are regarding traveling. I left the most obvious out, which is anything to do with feet- walking, running, jogging. However, the following words may be difficult to distinguish, therefore we must explain it further with some audio and visual :

 

Ride:

 

As you see in the video above, ride is solely used for the purpose of being on top of something that moves. Whenever you are straddling an object, like a bike, motorcycle, jetski, broom or in this case golf club, and are going somewhere, ride is definitely used here.

Another way of looking at the meaning of ride is this song by Queen entitled Bike Race:

To sum up, if you are here,

person riding bicycle
Photo by SAurabh Narwade on Pexels.com

 

You are riding her. 😉   However, you can also ride this……

ride a train

…if you are the passenger of a car, amusement park ride (like roller coaster, Ferris Wheel, Merry-Go-Round, etc.) or this train.

But when you have this,

black lamborghini vehicle steering wheel
Photo by Charles Kettor on Pexels.com

then you can (and must) use the word drive.

Drive:

Basically drive is used when you have a steering wheel and a dashboard with all the controls needed to tell the car, truck or anything with at least four wheels what to do. Just like in this film clip below:

And while some cars can jump cliffs and other obstacles like KITT, in all reality, they cannot fly!

jet cloud landing aircraft
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fly:

Anything with wings and a cockpit, but have engines with a potential of going into “warp speed” into the skies and beyond require the use of the word fly.

This also applies for hot-air balloons or anything that requires the use of hot air, fuel and fire that lifts anything in the air. Even space ships in its science fiction form can fly as well. Yet while in space, the ship’s captain needs to navigate and steer the ship, just like this:

close up photogrpahy ship captains control
Photo by Nick Demou on Pexels.com

Steer/ Navigate:

Sometimes when you operate small motorboat and you are not straddling anything, we would drive a boat for riding a boat applies when you are a passenger and not the boat Operator. However, for larger ships, such as freighters, ferries and cruise ships, we would use the words steer and navigate, normally. Navigate is the process of finding your way through all sorts of obstacles just to get to your destination.  One can get away with using it for airplanes in this case, or when using the Navi (GPS device) in your car.

Steering means using a nautical wheel, like in this picture above. Similar to this word is helm, but captains don’t do the real steering- helmsmen do the job. The captain is just the skipper.

white ship during golden hour
Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

Yet when we have oars or paddles, we would normally not use steer or navigate…….

paddle - Kopie

Paddle vs Row:

There is a difference between the words Paddle and Row. Both are in reference to all smaller forms of boating. To paddle implies using only boat paddle and paddling the water alternately, similar to the photo of the stand paddler above. If you are going by kayak, canoe, raftboat, gondola, (stand-up) paddleboat or anything that requires only one paddle, you would use the verb paddle. It can also be used in reference to the paddle boat itself, where the front paddle is operated by peddling.

person wearing blue denim jacket riding red canoe boat
Photo by Andy Vu on Pexels.com

However, if you use a pair of oars, we would use the verb row, like rowing the boat. This applies for rowboat and larger ships, like Viking ships, where paddles are used on both sides of the boat and they push the boat floating on water forward, simultaneously.

grayscale picture of two people go on fishing
Photo by Jayant Kulkarni on Pexels.com

Yet should there any sails on the boat, and you decide to use them, then ist neither row nor paddle.

Sail:

Sail is pretty obvious. When your boat has sails and the wind allows to to blow away, then you would use the word sail. It applies for all boats, yachts and ships that have this contraption……

And now that you have an idea of how to distinguish among the verbs of  Transport, enjoy this closure, imagining you are on a sailboat, relaxing and traveling to unknown places, listening to Christopher Cross and Chris Rea, while practicing some English words dealing with travel. Another part is coming soon. 🙂

 

FF new logo

 

American Democracy on Life Support: 2020 as the Turning Point

us flag

Before I get into this topic, look at the heading very carefully. American Democracy on Life Support.

Many of you are thinking I, as an American expatriate myself, would be crazy enough to say that. America: the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave is about to become dead. But looking at what this year has brought is: the failed impeachment of Trump, the Corona Virus and Trump’s failure to respond properly, Trump’s headbutting with China and the United Nations- especially the World Health Organization- and last but not least, the death of George Floyd, a black man who was wrongfully arrested and assaulted, with a knee on his neck, and his last words „I can’t breathe.“ Trump has done nothing more but to mobilize the military, all poised to take over the country.

Our beloved country, the country whose democracy was praised by the likes of Tocqueville and Beaumont, written by the likes of Walt Whitman, Hermann Mellville and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and looked up to as a role model by other countries, American Democracy is on life support.

I was asked by some students what I thought about the situation with the death of George Floyd, the subsequent ravaging of hundreds of cities throughout the country through protests, looting and arson- something we last saw in 1968- and the response of Trump to all of this, the first words that came to mind was:

Tiananmen Square

As this is being posted and circulated, we’re marking the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Peking, which happened on June 4-6, 1989. Hundreds of thousands of students and other protesters marched through the streets of the Chinese capital, only to be met with armed military soldiers and tanks, mowing down demonstrators with showers of bullets. This came after the Chinese security police forced international news reporters to go off the air and go home. While we may never know exactly how many people were killed in the slaughter, which was in the tens of thousands, we know that the Chinese government gained a stronghold on its population, strengthened its Communist system of government and for years, have quelled protesters who spoke out against the regime.

It took the pulling of the trigger and one bullet to kill off any hopes of reforming the country, period.

The United States is one bullet short of doing exactly what China did. As one writer from the German-based newspaper welt.de mentioned in an article on the George Floyd protests, „American Democracy cannot breathe because a knee is on its neck.“ The knee comes from not only Trump himself, but all of the people who either are silent about the protests, have praised him for standing in front of the church for a photo opp, or have insisted that it is ok to treat minorities like second class citizens. It is a long standing fact that racism has been a systemic and systematic issue that has become a growing cancer in America. In fact, American society has been a caste system for over a half century where whites with Cadillacs and mansions rule and the blacks in run-down flats are crude and to be treated as cruel. Even lower class whites are considered by many to be trailer trash. It’s no secret that the land that used to convert people from rags to riches has become a privileged society with money and power, material and religion, clothing and housing are the invisible barriers. The mentality of „keeping up with the Joneses“ has become a faded memory.

Yet still, people like Mike Pence, Bill Barr, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, Bill Cassady, Steve King and Steve Daines– all Republicans have turned a blind eye to the problems facing America and have for the most part supported Trump and his policies of dismantling the democratic system that had been in place since the ratification of the US Constitution in 1787. The clearing of peaceful protesters at Lafayette Park across from the White House just so Trump can pose with the Bible in front of the church, was an ambush on the founding fathers of Washington, Hamilton, Madison, Franklin, Jefferson and all of those who crafted an Amercian system that served the people and not the privileged. No matter how a person twists and turns it, that was an example of a dictator and not a president.

No one knows how the rest of the year will be like, but we do know this: it will be a long, hot and bloody summer between now and November 3rd, when we all go to the polls. Amercian democracy is on life support and there is no indication of Trump taking any interest in rebuilding the country and reforming a system that is infested with cancer cells and has brought America to a critical state. There is hope that another president, like Joe Biden, can cure the cancer and bring America back to its international status. It’s a matter of going to the polls and making a statement, regardless of Corona or other impediments. Trump must go but his departure must also include those who have either been his supporters or been ignorant of the current situation.

Yet this is easier said than done. Trump has vowed to end the protests and will stop at nothing to gain hold of the power that has since been trickling through his fingers. Already military soldiers are on stand-by, awaiting orders from the President to march and strike. Militias and far-right groups, those mostly responsible for looting and setting fires in cities, are hungry for a civil war. America hasn’t had a Civil War since 1865 but it’s a bullet away from it happening. The aftermath will not be anything American at all. It may end up in the following scenarios:

  1. Military power for the long term with Trump in charge- This was practiced in many countries in Latin America and Africa in the 1960s and 70s with a high rate of murder and destruction.
  2. Civil War- While the thematic of blacks versus whites are the same, the war would be on par with the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) which ended with a dictator in charge.
  3. World War III- If countries are involved in the American Civil War, the US would be the new battleground for World War III. With nuclear weapons and advanced technology, it would be the war that ended in Commander Riker’s infamous statement in Star Trek First Contact: „Very few governments left, 600 million dead, no resistance.“
  4. The break-up of the country- California has been mulling an exit. Minnesota an annexation with Canada, Alaska goes back to Russia. A Roman-style collapse has been a talk on the table among many political scholars who have watched the US and democracy fall into disarray.

What to do in the current situation will depend on the will of Americans to unite and reform the American system from the ground up. It’s a system that has been plagued by problems affecting all forms of society. It’s a system that is corrupt. It’s a system that has been looked down upon by global actors. It is a system where even though it was a symbol of democracy, it’s currently on life support. With patients on life support, we find many creative ways to revive them, bring them back to life and reshape them so they are much stronger than the incident. It can never be done with a bullet. There’s no such thing as the return to normalcy yet we can embrace the new norm and still have a stronger and more equal democratic system. We still have a chance if we bring in the right people who are experts and creative in reviving American Democracy.

Because American Democracy is on life support. All it takes is a bullet from Trump’s gun to end it all. When it happens, we may not have much of a democracy left in the world to tackle the problems that will destroy us all in the end.

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This article is in Memory of George Floyd, whose life was cut short by senseless violence way too early. He died of injuries sustained during a police arrest on May 25. He was 46.  The Files will be supporting the cause of promoting equality among all races and classes and re-establishing a democratic system where all can have a chance to live their dreams and help others. We are in full solidarity and will do everything possible to put an end to this maddness that has brought the world to a complete standstill. We stand as all and not for the few.

Fl Fi USA

In School in Germany: Lessons in Small Groups

people having meeting inside conference room
Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

When I write this post, our country is in the midst of reopening our schools and businesses. We had been on lockdown since mid-March of this year due to the spread of the Corona Virus and its potential of infecting hundreds of thousands and killing thousands without any notice. In retrospects, this virus is nastier than the Spanish Flu, which happened over a century ago, lasted two years and featured three waves- the second of the three was considered the worst. The reasons are the symptoms that are sometimes unrecognizeable and the high rate of person-to-person infection. Handshakes, breathing, coughing and just simply close contact could lead to a Corona infection.

As we continue to return to a normalcy that the majority of us wanted but it’s being considered the normalcy that may have set off the spread of the virus, we are seeing some of the restrictions that may become the new permanent norm, even if a vaccine is created beforehand. For some, it may be a blessing as we take a few steps back and consume less, while at the same time, have fewer people at an event than before.. Look at the schools for example. While children are asked to wear masks and refrain from activities that require physical contact and close quarters, class groups are being cut in half, from an average of 23-32 students in a group to as low as eight and no more than 12. Teachers and parents are wondering why some students cannot sit with their friends in groups to meet and study. Educators are wondering if this is efficiency where a large group can bring forth effective teaching in the classrooms while creating a jam-packed schedule to ensure that students are able to fulfill the requirements given to them.

Speaking from personal experience as a teacher of English, having small groups would be more than beneficial. When I started teaching English at a Volkshochschule (Institute for Continuing Education) in 2001, I had a pair of English classes, where students could come in and speak English for 90 minutes, choosing topics that they wish to talk about. Almost all of the sessions we had produced a lot of meaningful conversations where students learned from each other and from the teacher. As many as 8-10 participants were in class. While I dealt with one pole of the spectrum, the other pole was when I taught groups of 25-30 students at a pair of high schools in Thuringia and one university in Bavaria. From these two extremes, I can only say positive things about small group teaching.

 

Some advantages of small group teaching include:

    • More intensive work- This doesn’t mean working through all the points in one topic as fast as possible. It has to do with working on each point in detail so that people better understand the topic.
    • More individual contact- Even in times of mandatory distancing to avoid getting infected with the virus, individuals can receive more attention and help with problem areas than in large groups. This can be done with the teacher or through small group activities.
    • More interaction- It is a foregone conclusion that when you have smaller groups, students will have a better chance at learning and interacting in class, regardless of the style of teaching used in class. With large groups, teachers are restricted to mostly frontal-style instruction which will takeaway the students ability to join in the classroom discussions.
    • More fruitful learning- Through a combination of frontal teaching, individual work and group work, students have an opportunity to learn more and exchange with others, while the teacher has better opportunities to explain concepts better and in detail.
    • More attention in class- Through small groups, the number of distractions decrease substantially. At the same time, it allows the teacher some flexibility to introduce techniques to maintain the attention span of the students. After an average of 30 minutes, the attention span decreases rapidly and with that, a sharp increase in the number of distractions. Therefore teachers need to be aware of this and vary their techniques to encourage better learning.
    • More flexibility and creativity in teaching- As mentioned under interaction, the more varieties of teaching you carry out, the more flexible you are and the more likely the students will enjoy your classes than if you only have frontal style teaching and in large groups. Even lectures in university halls in front of hundreds of students tend to become boring after a certain time.
    • More efficiency– If you wish to finish the topic as quickly as possible, then this would be another reason for having classes in small groups. However it depends on the content of the topic.
    • Less chances of getting sick- This is one of my key points here. When you have large groups, the chances are more likely to get sick than you do with small groups. This has to do with the fact that with larger groups, there may be more people bringing a virus to spread to others. In small groups, the chances of that happening are close to zero. That is unless we have a large-scale pandemic as the Covid-19 here. From my personal experiences, I’ve been sick eight times when teaching in large groups. In small groups, the number has been zero- all within the past decade.

 

 

With the extensive use of home office combined with the computer being one of the key cornerstones of every household, small group teaching can also encourage learning and doing individual work at home. What is required is a teacher being the facilitator and helping the students out when needed. Homework is made available either by the teacher when in school, through an online platform or through a special online mechanism. The student does the work and the teacher can review it either in class or by sending back the work via e-mail. I’ve worked with this mechanism during the lockdown at my school and my daughter has received classwork and other forms of instruction through an online platform at her high school. If one takes the time to learn how the system work and tries it out, online learning combined with small group teaching opens a lot of doors to learning for all.

While costs and issues with a lack of personnel are a universal problem, these are short term problems that can be solved by getting used to the system. Having dealt with small group teaching for the second month now, I can only say that small group teaching is more effective, healthier and more beneficial than having large scale lectures and classes with 25+ students. While students can see their friends at any time and anywhere and lectures can be held online, it is a foregone conclusion that a school with a classroom size of 20+ students will become a thing of the past.

If we want to be serious about containing the spread of Covid-19 and preventing future viruses from dictating our society, we will have to change the ways we conduct ourselves. While we have a lot to do to make it happen, we must start small and let things grow and go into place. While small group teaching is a start, it is one of many that will put the pieces together in a puzzle that will promote less in life instead of more. When we do that, we will have a more efficient and enjoyable lifestyle to have.

My two cents on this topic.

FlFi10

Less is More- Answer Sheet

questions answers signage
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Now that you had a chance to learn about the use of More and Most in English, let alone do the exercises (which you can access here), here are the answers to the two exercises.

More or Not:

Look at the following adjectives and determine whether the use of more and most apply or not. Mark with Y for yes or N for no.

  1. Impressive   Yes
  2. Greedy   No
  3. Angry   No
  4. Impulsive   Yes
  5. Insistent   Yes
  6. Sad   No
  7. Happy   No
  8. Excited   Yes
  9. Pale   No
  10. Busy   No
  11. Stressed   Yes
  12. Authoritative   Yes
  13. Tough   No
  14. Fair   No
  15. Beautiful   Yes
  16. Ugly   No
  17. Picky   No
  18. Disgusted   Yes
  19. Furious   Yes
  20. Peaceful   Yes

 

Multiple Choice:

Choose the correct word in each sentence.

  1. Colin could have ______________ told us about the accident last night instead of running off.
  • Least
  • Less
  • At least
  • Little

 

 

2. Frank smiles ________________. He always makes a serious look when we take pictures.

  • The least
  • The most
  • Less
  • More

 

 

3. Dorothea is ___________________ of the students in her class. Her IQ matches that of Einstein’s.

  • The least intelligent
  • The less intelligent
  • Intelligentest
  • The most intelligent

 

 

4. We have a choice between selling our business and taking out a loan. We need to ___________________________.

  • Make the best of the situation
  • Choose the lesser of the two evils
  • Choose the option with least resistence
  • Do nothing.

 

 

5. And _________________________, before we open the festivities, we need to bring the wedding cake to the Restaurant.

  • Least of all
  • Last but not least
  • More of all
  • More or less.

 

 

6. _________________________! We should have left some meat out of our presentation!

  • Less is more!
  • More is everything!
  • Last but not least!
  • Above all!

 

 

7.  Clarinda is the __________________ of the women on the wrestling team. She may be 17 years old but she has a height of 5 feet even.

  • Smallest
  • Most tiny
  • Littlest
  • Least tiny

 

 

8. Instead of playing with your Smartphone, you could have ______________ paid attention and not crashed into that tree!

  • At least
  • At the latest
  • The least
  • Less

 

 

9. You are not going anywhere _____________ you clean that room of yours! It’s a real mess!

  • Less
  • Least
  • Unless
  • The least

 

 

10.  _________________ Bill could have done was inform the landlord of the water damage in the bathroom.

  • The least
  • At least
  • Lest
  • Both a & b

 

 

11. There are ______________ on the streets today than normal. We would have 400 or more visitors at any given day and not 20.

  • Few
  • Fewer
  • Fewest
  • Least

 

 

12. There is ____________ milk in the gallon jug. Who took a drink?

  • Fewer
  • Less
  • Smaller
  • Least

 

 

13. The sandwiches at the snack shop are _____________ then normal. Are they cutting back on the fixings or what?

  • Smaller
  • Less
  • Fewer
  • More

 

 

14. There are __________ bikes than usual because of the expanded bike trail network.

  • More
  • Most
  • Less
  • Least

 

 

15. The number two is _______________ four in this equation.

  • Greater
  • Less than
  • The least
  • More than

 

dolphins jumping out from ocean
Photo by Jonas Von Werne on Pexels.com

 

FlFi10

 

 

Less is More- Activities

collage photo of woman
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

 

After having looked at the different forms of more and most as well as their opposites (click here to view them), we have a couple exercises for you to do so that you have an opportunity to use them. When you are finished with them, click onto this link here to get to the answer sheet.

More or Not:

Look at the following adjectives and determine whether the use of more and most apply or not. Mark with Y for yes or N for no.

  1. Impressive
  2. Greedy
  3. Angry
  4. Impulsive
  5. Insistent
  6. Sad
  7. Happy
  8. Excited
  9. Pale
  10. Busy
  11. Stressed
  12. Authoritative
  13. Tough
  14. Fair
  15. Beautiful
  16. Ugly
  17. Picky
  18. Disgusted
  19. Furious
  20. Peaceful

 

Multiple Choice:

Choose the correct word in each sentence.

  1. Colin could have ______________ told us about the accident last night instead of running off.
  • Least
  • Less
  • At least
  • Little

 

2. Frank smiles ________________. He always makes a serious look when we take pictures.

  • The least
  • The most
  • Less
  • More

 

3. Dorothea is ___________________ of the students in her class. Her IQ matches that of Einstein’s.

  • The least intelligent
  • The less intelligent
  • Intelligentest
  • The most intelligent

 

4. We have a choice between selling our business and taking out a loan. We need to ___________________________

  • Make the best of the situation
  • Choose the lesser of the two evils
  • Choose the option with least resistence
  • Do nothing.

 

5. And _________________________, before we open the festivities, we need to bring the wedding cake to the restaurant.

  • Least of all
  • Last but not least
  • More of all
  • More or less.

 

6. _________________________! We should have left some meat out of our presentation!

  • Less is more!
  • More is everything!
  • Last but not least!
  • Above all!

 

7. Clarinda is the __________________ of the women on the wrestling team. She may be 17 years old but she has a height of 5 feet even.

  • Smallest
  • Most tiny
  • Littlest
  • Least tiny

 

8. Instead of playing with your Smartphone, you could have ______________ paid attention and not crashed into that tree!

  • At least
  • At the latest
  • The least
  • Less

 

9. You are not going anywhere _____________ you clean that room of yours! It’s a real mess!

  • Less
  • Least
  • Unless
  • The least

 

10. _________________ Bill could have done was inform the landlord of the water damage in the bathroom.

  • The least
  • At least
  • Lest
  • Both a & b

 

11. There are ______________ on the streets today than normal. We would have 400 or more visitors at any given day and not 20.

  • Few
  • Fewer
  • Fewest
  • Least

 

12. There is ____________ milk in the gallon jug. Who took a drink?

  • Fewer
  • Less
  • Smaller
  • Least

 

13. The sandwiches at the snack shop are _____________ then normal. Are they cutting back on the fixings or what?

  • Smaller
  • Less
  • Fewer
  • More

 

14. There are __________ bikes than usual because of the expanded bike trail network.

  • More
  • Most
  • Less
  • Least

 

15. The number two is _______________ four in this equation.

  • Greater
  • Less than
  • The least
  • More than

 

FlFi10

The Search for International Idioms

Flags

frage für das forum  GUESSING QUIZ

Idioms are creative words and phrases that have a their own fixed meaning in the context. They can range from Idioms used for (example) Food, Work, Numbers, Church and in some cases, names (an article on Idioms connected with names can be found here)

This set of Idioms was found through a Forum that features English teachers and those wanting to learn English. One of the members found the top ten Idioms used from their native countries but known throughout the world.

As a challenge, here’s a matching exercise where you should match the Idioms with the meanings on the right. Which ones do you know?  Guess first and then check the answers at the bottom of the article. Good luck! 🙂

 

Idiom (Country) Meaning
1.       You can’t pluck feathers off a bald chicken (The Netherlands) a. To beat around the bush
2.       To ride an elephant to catch a grasshopper (Thailand) b. To brag or talk something up to be bigger than it actually is.
3.       A dog in the church (Italy) c. To fool a person/people
4.       “Stop ironing my head!” (Turkey) d. To go away/ get lost
5.       Walk around in hot porridge (Czechia) e. To have better things to do
6.       Emit smoke from seven orifices (China) f. “Knock it off! Stop annoying me!”
7.       Have other cats to whip (France) g. Unwanted guest(s)
8.       To inflate a cow (China) h. Things that are impossible cannot happen
9.       To hang noodles on someone’s ears (Russia) i. Put in a lot of work to get little in return
10.   Get stuffed with hay (Polish) j. To be extremely angry/ furious

OMT: What other international Idioms (translated into English) do you know? Add your examples in the comment section below AND include the origin of the Idiom. An example is presented below:

Going to two weddings at the same time (Germany; specifically, Saxony)-   

To be at two places at once.

 

Looking forward to adding onto the list what you present. 🙂

 

FlFi10

 

 

 

Answers: 1. h, 2. i, 3. g, 4. f, 5. a, 6. j, 7. e, 8. b, 9. c, 10. d

 

Christmas Genre: The Green Book

Segregation. A term that regrettably should not have been coined and listed in the dictionary. Yet it has been, because of years of history where whites were degelated to their worlds and blacks (or being more politically correct, colored) to theirs. A place where only whites could have the fancies of hotels, restaurants, restrooms and schools where the colored had the run-down facilities. A place where even a world-renowned artist, like pianist Dr. Don Shirley, feels like a loner not being accepted anywhere in society because of race and social background.

 

That is until he meets a person who opens his eyes to a world that he had never knew existed. One where he is accepted after opening up.

 

If there’s a comment that marks the start of this film critique The Green Book, it would be this: “It doesn’t take a genius but courage to change people’s hearts.”

While this comment came towards the end of the film, it definitely sums up the motive of Dr. Don Shirley’s trip to the Deep South- the southeastern corner of the United States, a region that has a storied history of slavery and segregation of blacks; a region where despite intervention from Washington in terms of war (The Civil War) and laws (including Lincoln’s Emancipation declaration, and Martin Luther King’s Equal Rights Movement), the gap between the white society and the society of the colored people still exists to this day.

The setting of the story was the last couple months of 1962, less than a year before Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech and its subsequent Civil Rights Laws that followed by 1964.  It featured two very different characters from two contrasting worlds. In one world, there’s Dr. Shirley, the pianist who plays like a genius and with passion. He lives in “his own kingdom” above Carnegie Hall, rather spoiled because of the performances in rich settings and high expectations. Playing with only the Steinway piano is a fraction of the high-end life he was used to, whereas his passion for classical music is bordered with the popular culture presented by his chauffeur and body guard, Tony Vallelonga (a.k.a. Tony Lip), the other main character of the story.

Unlike Dr. Shirley, who is sensitive but a philosopher and psychologist with patience, Tony Lip is a very colorful character. Lip is a chauffeur who is unemployed after Copacabana closes for repairs. He had been in a brawl with two members from a mafia who harassed a woman during the concert His ability to annihilate “unwanted” guests, combined with his colorful and sometimes emotional interaction with people in general and creative strategies to either persuade others to do something they don’t want or reject offers that are fattening were the primary reasons why Dr. Shirley hired him to be his chauffeur and bodyguard for the tour in the Deep South. Tony Lip is Roman Catholic and has an extended family, all living in the Bronx, and all who have a passion for Italian culture and baseball.

Dr. Shirley hires Lip to take him through the Deep South where despite his musical performance that impresses the communities they visited, he deals with several forms of segregation that were typical in reality but none that the characters have ever seen before.

Any ideas what they may be?  Use this mindmap below and list them, there are more than what the six points are mentioned:

Segregation

Note: This mind map can be used at the beginning of the film as well as at the end when listing the examples of segregation that Dr. Shirley and Tony Lip witnessed in the film.

Inspite the differences between the two there were many reasons why Dr. Shirley hired Tony to do the job. Likewise there were just as many reasons why Tony took it on, despite the fact that he would be on the road in “No Man’s Land” for two months, away from his family in the Bronx.  An activity below will give you a chance to look at the two characters carefully and help answer the question of why this arrangement took place.

Tony Vallelonga (a.k.a.) Tony Lip Dr. Don Shirley
 

Profession:

 

 

His character:

 

 

 

His weakness(es):

 

 

 

The reason(s) for taking the job as Dr. Shirley’s chauffeur?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profession:

 

 

 

His character:

 

 

 

His weakness(es):

 

 

 

The reason(s) for hiring Tony Lip to be his chauffeur?

This can be done after the scene when the two characters are on the road and have stopped at their first concert.

 

But most importantly, we also have the Funnel-Theory, where certain elements merge into one and the differences the two characters have become non-existent. Here we have two different Funnels- the classic one and the reversal one.

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reverse funnel

With the second one it has to do with finding common values which led them to becoming friends in the end.

The Green Book does have an underlying meaning as it goes beyond receiving the tour guide for blacks. It has some grave differences between black and white society that goes well beyond the food and the lodging. It has to do with the mentality that existed in the Deep South and the struggle to accept the values that had been ingrained in the fabric of their culture during that time. A lot of the underlying divisions seen in the film exist even today in the US, but also in other countries, where minorities are sometimes treated as second-class citizens.

Yet the Green Book takes place at Christmas time, where in the end, after breaking down the barriers, both Tony and Dr. Shirley became best friends and were accepted in the other’s culture. It opens the pages to something new and opens the hearts of many that welcome new people who just want to be included and part of society, despite different backgrounds. The film does both- eliminates the barriers and opens the door to new cultures which we can accept and embrace. It’s something we should take with- even beyond the holiday season.

 

 

The Teacher: Past, Present and Future

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This pic is dedicated to all the teachers out there, who have been in the profession for decades and are about to pack it in and enjoy their retirement, as well as those who are in the profession. It definitely speaks for itself, especially if the teacher has made a tremendous impact on the lives of many, by sharing stories, experiences and the know-how to others, who will surely carry on where the other leaves off. All with one goal in mind: Making a difference in the lives of others.

This goes well beyond what is depicted here. To the person who shared this pic, thank you.

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Genre of the Week: I am a Teacher

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One of many German schools.

Author’s Note: A while back, I ran across this poem through one of my English teaching colleagues who is in the same teaching network as I am. Teaching is a tough profession where one has to have strong nerves and courage to not just order to the classroom, but to teach the students the essentials that will help them in their career path. This poem is for all the teachers out there, regardless of which subjects you are teaching, and regardless which age groups, educational institution and backgrounds. Behind every person is- a teacher

I may be a School Teacher

I may be a College Lecturer

I may be a University Professor!

 

Behind that Doctor,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Engineer,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Statistician,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Nuclear Physicist,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Mathmatician,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Scientist,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Zoologist,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Entomologist,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Botanist,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Economist,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Entrepreneuer,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Lawyer,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behiond that Political Scientist,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Psychologist,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Architect,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Astrologer,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

Behind that Astronomer,

It’s Me, a Teacher.

I don’t qualify for a bungalow, or a villa, nor earn enough to buy an expensive house or a car, like corrupt officers or corrupt politicians,

But yes, I’m a Teacher.

Some think or even say that I have too many holidays. They never know that I spend those holidays either correcting papers or planning what and how I’m going to teach when I go back to the blackboard or whiteboard…….

Because I am a Teacher.

Sometimes I get confused and even get stressed by the ever-changing policies over what and how I have to teach…..

Despite all that, I am a Teacher and I love to teach and I am teaching….

On pay-days, I don’t laugh as corrupt officers and others do. But by the next day, I love to come with a smile to those that I teach…..

Because I am a Teacher;  yes, I am a Teacher

The main source of my satisfaction is when I see them grow. I see them succeed. I see them having all those assets. I see them bravely face the world and its challenges. And I say yes, I have taught in spite of living in a world opened by Google….

Because I am a Teacher…… Yes I am a Teacher

It doesn’t matter how they look at me

It doesn’t matter how much more they earn than I do

It doesn’t matter that they drive while I walk because all they have is through me, A Teacher

Whether they acknowledge me or not, I am a Teacher.

 

This poem is dedicated to all the teachers, lecturers, professors and students (past and present), who have seen teachers toil through the papers, tearing up when grown-ups don’t cry, and take pride in the work in the classroom and on paper. Each of us have a favorite teacher or two. Many teachers still keep in touch with their former students to find out how they are doing. And sometimes torches get passed down because of how the teacher teaches in the classroom and how the students enjoy the class and take something with them as they move on to the next chapter in life. This one is for you. 🙂 ❤ 

 

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Tongue Twisters: The Long E

 

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Prost! Cheers! Salut! Mazeltov! From the two travel companions enjoying a good Flens beer: BamBam and CoCo (brown)

I’d like to start this tongue twister with this anecdote: Four campers- two Americans and two Germans- are in the forest at an open fire when the Germans go to the camper to get some Frankfurters for the fire. Seconds later they come back screaming “BEER!” As big of beer fans as they are, the Americans run to the camper, assuming they are getting a good deal on a bottle of beer. However, as they arrive at the camper, they’re greeted with this:

By the way, that is a BEAR- as in BÄR in German! And by the way, it is scientifically proven that bears drink beer as seen in this video below:

 

As a tip, if a German says BEER in distress, ask them if they mean BEAR!

 

This is one of the most common problems we have with pronunciation of words in English. People see the spelling of English words but pronounce them in their foreign language. This example of the mispronunciation of BEER and BEAR is a classic example of such, both in general as well as in this segment of tongue twisters dealing with the long –E- in English.

 

Long –E- words feature the following word categories, all of which have the common denominator of stretching the mouth horizontally, “Eeeeeeeeeeeee.” :

-EE-: Words with –ee- also at the end, such as:  deed, see, bee, ween, beech, need, steel, seem, queen, street, coffee, squeeze, freeze, committee, fifteen, teenager, etc.  And yes, BEER falls here. The exception is the word “been” because it has the short “-e” pronunciation.

 

-EA: Many words, mostly with the endings of –ch, consonant+ e, -d, -l, -m, -n, -r, -on and –t  fall into this category, such as the following: reach, clean, beam, seam, leave, treat, rear, real, deal, reason and season.

Keep in mind, that words, like READ and  LEAD also have the short –e pronunciation, but different functions. Read is a homophone, whose short –e form is past tense. Lead (long –e) means to direct a group (German: Führen) but the short –e form means a metal found in water and pencils (German: Blei).

 

-IE: Like in the first two categories, one will find quite a few –ie- words whose pronunciation has the long –e-. Examples include: chief, field, ariel, adieu, thief, premier, and hygiene.

Please note that words with  –ie at the end, have the long –i- pronunciation, such as die, lie and pie.

 

-IE_E: Words with –ie plus a consonant + e ending also have the long –e sound. Examples: believe, relieve, perceive, piece, achieve, butadiene, apiece, niece.

-Y: Most words with a consonant plus a y will also have the long –e- sound, such as the following examples:    body, marry, vary, wary, dairy, very, wavy, Navy, family, baby, cherry, thirty, memory, baby.

 

Yet take care that words with the following consonant+ y ending end with a long –i- sound: -l, -n. –p, -p and –r. Examples: cry, try, lying, rely, apply, reply, xylophone.

 

_-E: Yet as a general rule, words with the consonant+ e at the end, unless a vowel predates the ending, always have the long –e for sound. Examples include: Japanese, Chinese, delete, concede, gene, these, geese, complete, interfere, here, severe, theme.

 

To sum up, long –e- words can be found in words that either have –ee-, -ie-, -ea, spellings as well as with an –e at the end, keeping in mind the exceptions.  Any questions?

 

If not: here’s a youtube video with a guide on pronouncing the words in long –e- form. This is done in a form of tongue twisters and like in the previous Tongue Twister articles (click here and scroll to see the rest), you can listen then pause to allow yourself or your class to practice.

 

And yes, we have bears drinking beer in this video! 😉 Enjoy! 🙂

 

Prost! 😀

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Bear drinking beer at a Bavarian restaurant. Source: thedrinksbusiness.com

 

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