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401, 401V, 501V: English-Language Reading Diary

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Friday, December 30, 2011

"Stormy Monday"--Eva Cassidy and T-Bone Walker

Eva Cassidy sings her version, recorded in Washington, DC, recorded shortly before her 33rd birthday. She died later that year.



Audio only:

Here's the same song performed by its writer, T-Bone Walker:


T-Bone Walker - Stormy Monday Blues по soulpatrol

Audio only:

Words by Aaron Thibeaux "T-Bone" Walker, the first musician ever recorded playing an electric guitar.

They call it stormy Monday,
but Tuesday's just as bad
They call it stormy Monday,
but Tuesday's just as bad
Wednesday's worse,
and Thursday's also sad

Yes the eagle flies on Friday,
and Saturday I go out to play
Eagle flies on Friday,
and Saturday I go out to play
Sunday I go to church,
then I kneel down and pray

Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy on me
Lord have mercy,
my heart's in misery
Crazy about my baby,
yes, send her back to me

(Note that Eva Cassidy made a few changes in her version.)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Johnny Cash, "Folsom Prison Blues"

NEXT WEEK (December 29), Institute Groups 501 and 502 (Аудирование) will have a test.



Audio only:

Words by Johnny Cash:

I hear the train a coming
It's rolling 'round the bend,
And I ain't seen the sunshine,
Since I don't know when,
I'm stuck in Folsom Prison,
And time keeps draggin' on,
But that train keeps a-rollin',
On down to San Antone. [San Antonio, Texas]

When I was just a baby,
My Mama told me, "Son,
Always be a good boy,
Don't ever play with guns."
But I shot a man in Reno,
Just to watch him die,
When I hear that whistle blowin',
I hang my head and cry.

I bet there's rich folks eatin',
In a fancy dining car,
They're probably drinkin' coffee,
And smokin' big cigars,
Well, I know I had it comin',
I know I can't be free,
But those people keep a-movin',
And that's what tortures me.

Well, if they freed me from this prison,
If that railroad train was mine,
I bet I'd move it all a little,
Farther down the line,
Far from Folsom Prison,
That's where I want to stay,
And I'd let that lonesome whistle,
Blow my Blues away.

Institute 501, 502: An interview with Richard Branson

NEXT WEEK (December 29), we will have a test.



Here are the questions we used in class:
  1. Richard Branson is known for starting several companies. Name two of them.
  2. Why did people think buying a secondhand plane and starting a new airline was crazy?
  3. To help his fledgling airline financially survive combat with British Airways, what was Branson forced to do?
  4. Total employees in Branson's group of companies: choose... (a) 10-25,000; (b) 25,001 to 50,000; (c) 50,001 to 75,000; (d) 75,001 to 100,000.
  5. Philippe Starcke designed several aspects of Branson's space program, but why was he not the ideal person to design the engine? What was the basis of his design of the launching and landing facility?
  6. When Anderson asks, «What was the closest you got to--when did you think this is it, I might be on my way out?»--what kind of situation is he referring to?
  7. According to the interviewer, Branson's companies benefited from his balloon adventures in what way?
  8. What were some of Branson's characteristics as a pupil in school?
  9. What image or metaphor finally helped Branson understand the difference between gross and net?
  10. Anderson says that Branson has been accused of being a ruthless businessman. How does Branson respond?
  11. What is the problem with capitalism that «capitalist philanthropy» is intended to address?
  12. What are two major problems that Branson's capitalist philanthropy is trying to help solve?
  13. What Russian-born software engineer did Branson mention as a personal friend?


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Roger Miller, "King of the Road"

Filmed in Los Angeles, California, in 1966:



Audio only:

Words by Roger Miller:

Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let...fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but..two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Third boxcar, midnight train
Destination...Bangor, Maine.
Old worn out suits and shoes,
I don't pay no union dues,
I smoke old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

I know every engineer on every train
All of their children, and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain't locked when no one's around.

I sing, trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but, two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Trailers for sale or rent … [to fade]

Friday, December 23, 6 PM: The Holiday


We'll be showing the film (with subtitles) in Room 16.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

School groups 201-206: No homework; test next week

I'm not giving you any homework this week.

Next week (December 26-30) we'll have a miniature ЕГЭ test using the "official" forms:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Homework for 200-level classes: What instrument should Sean play?

This is part of a letter from Sean, your English-speaking pen friend.
... I'm thinking of starting music lessons. Do you play any instruments? Have you ever had lessons? I'm not really sure what instrument to choose. What do you suggest? I want to play rock music, I think.

My older brother is home for a few weeks. He's a grad student at the University of Chicago, so we don't see him very often.
Write back to Sean. Answer his questions, and ask him three questions about his brother. Write 100-140 words. Remember the rules of letter-writing.



Adapted from Elena Klekovkina, Malcolm Mann, Steve Taylore-Knowles, Practice Tests for the Russian State Exam. Moscow, Macmillan Russia, 2006.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Imelda May, "I'm Alive"

There are several videos of Imelda May singing "I'm Alive" on the World Wide Web. Here's one:



Just the audio:

(written by Imelda May; adapted to follow track)
Smother me with your kisses
Bury me in your arms
Oh the love that this is
has chained me to your charms
Oh lock me up in your heart
Drown me in your eyes
'Cos when you hold me, I'm alive
You wash me clean of all sadness
You cleanse me of all doubt
Now this new born feeling I can't live without
You've drugged me I'm addicted
I'm drunk just on your smile
'Cos when you hold me, I'm alive

I'm alive to each fingertip
To the end of each fine hair
My lips it seems, with every kiss,
Are sending thankful prayers.
You've woken a part of my soul
That's slept for way too long
Now I just can't get enough
I understand love songs
I'll sing to you forever
I'll love you 'til I die
'Cos when you hold me, I'm alive


I'm alive to each fingertip
To the end of each fine hair
My lips it seems, with every kiss,
Are sending thankful prayers.
You've woken a part of my soul
That's slept for way too long
Now I just can't get enough
I understand love songs
I'll sing to you forever
I'll love you 'til I die
'Cos when you hold me, I'm alive

Buy the track:








Sunday, November 13, 2011

NGI Schedule for this week

schedule
Remember to check the
bulletin board for changes!
It was great to see so many of you this evening at our NGI Day party! Thanks for coming!!

When I get a chance, I'll post some photos on vkontakte. (Update: They are there.)

Those of you who are able to come on Monday, welcome to the first of our (we hope) weekly tea sessions at 2:45 p.m. in room 13. We know Mondays are awkward for some of you, but this year I have classes every Wednesday and Friday at 3 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays I have other scheduling conflicts.((

Aside from Monday, we will see some of you on Thursday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

NGI Schedule for this week

Schedule
Remember to check the 
bulletin board for changes!
We'll see part two of Ray, the docudrama about Ray Charles, on Thursday, second pair, and discuss it the following week.

The PDF-format list of phrases and definitions is here.

N.B. Don't forget Institute's birthday party on Sunday, November 13, 5 p.m.!

On Monday, November 14, we plan to restart our weekly tea with NGI students, probably right after fourth pair, using room 13.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

School Groups 204 and 205: Friday's Listening Comprehension exercises

This week, the Friday groups will not meet. But don't worry--you don't have to miss the joy of аудирование! Here's what the other groups (201, 202, 206) were working on this week:







Enjoy the holiday!!



Exercise from Olga Afanasyeva, Virginia Evans, Victoria Kopylova, Practice Exam Papers for the Russian State Exam, 2010 Revised Edition, Moscow: Express Publishing/Prosveshchenie Publishers.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Flaco Jiménez, "Seguro Que Hell Yes"



"Seguro Que Hell Yes," Michael Blakey, John Arthur Martinez, Alex Harvey
(performed by Flaco Jiménez with Raul Malo)

Dígame Luna que puedo pensar,
María so sexy, seguro que hell yes
Seguro, seguro, seguro que hell yes (repeat)
María, sangría es demasiado
I’m getting higher
Seguro que hell yes

Seguro, seguro, seguro que hell yes (repeat)
Maria querida, lets go for a ride in el Toro rojo
Seguro que hell yes

Seguro, seguro, seguro que hell yes (repeat)

Maria tu padre está very angry
Adelante, rojo
Seguro, seguro, seguro que hell yes
Seguro, seguro, seguro que hell yes – ándale!

Yo tengo esposa bonita, que linda, she makes good menudo
Seguro que hell yes

Seguro, seguro, seguro que hell yes (repeat)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

For Audio Comprehension class, Monday, October 17: Two TED talks

English accent: actress Thandie Newton. American accent: lexicographer Erin McKean.

Those of you who like existentialist themes will love Thandie Newton. Erin is very down-to-earth. Both are full of examples of good contemporary English usage. Questions for both presentations are below the videos.

NOTE: The video windows include subtitle menus which become visible after you push the "play" button.





Listening comprehension: Here are questions for Thandie Newton's presentation. (Click here to jump to Erin McKean's questions.)
  1. Newton believes that we each have a self
    a. ... that has been evident from the day we were born.
    b. ... that begins to develop when we are given our names.
    c. ... that remains unformed and primitive.
    d. ... that was not there when we were born.
  2. The self becomes a vehicle for navigating our social world,
    a. ... even though it is a projection based on other people's projections.
    b. ... according to the nuns at Newton's Catholic school.
    c. ... but without it we panic and become confused.
    d. ... because separateness is all that is real in this world.
  3. "I was an anomaly":
    a. ... I was able to fit and belong.
    b. ... I was an atheist in a Catholic school.
    c. ... I couldn't hatch plans and climb the staircase of popularity.
    d. ... I was other before even being a girl.
  4. At the age of sixteen, Newton stumbled across an opportunity:
    a. ... she began to realize that she was a really good dancer.
    b. ... she began to confront her dysfunctional self.
    c. ... she applied to her university's anthropology department.
    d. ... she earned a film role.
  5. Dancing and acting allowed Newton to:
    a. ... spend time not dreading her self-hood.
    b. ... put all her emotions into her struggles with self.
    c. ... develop a stronger connection between her self and her body.
    d. ... assure her anxious parents that she could succeed despite her
    identity problems.
  6. Anthropologist Phyllis Lee's understanding of race
    a. ... asserts that all human beings are black to some degree, except
    Norwegians.
    b. ... is based on variations in skin color.
    c. ... is based on calculations of the time needed to create genetic diversity.
    d. ... denies that race has any biological basis.
  7. Academic and career achievements gave Newton
    a. ... bulimia and a therapist's couch, but led to a car crash.
    b. ... little or no relief from her desire to disappear.
    c. ... an entire value system and a physical reality to support the worth of
    self.
    d. ... a clever brain to cheat herself from the reality of death.
  8. Newton believes that healthy selves, connected with their creator and with our oneness,
    a. ... understand their origins as projections, and respect their functions.
    b. ... cannot resist the temptations of iPods, Pads, and bling.
    c. ... will continue to surge through the cracks in our constructed world.
    d. … will still be freaked out by our bountiful nothingness.

Here are questions for Erin McKean's presentation :
  1. "And just by saying double dactyl, I've sent the geek needle all the way into the red." What does Erin mean by sending the "geek needle all the way into the red?"
  2. As a lexicographer, Erin McKean does not want to be a "traffic cop." What does she actually not want to do? Metaphorically, what profession would she prefer to compare her job with?
  3. Describing an online dictionary, McKean says "This is flat.... There's not a lot of clickiness." What does the word "flat" mean when used about online media?
  4. "And when you improve searchability, you actually take away the one advantage of print, which is serendipity." What is "serendipity"?
  5. What is the point of the "ham butt" story? What characteristics of traditional dictionaries is McKean referring to by using this story?
  6. What makes a word real?
  7. "Newspaper archive goes back to 1759. 58.1 million newspaper pages. If only one in 100 of those pages had an un-dictionaried word on it, it would be an entire other OED. That's 500,000 more words." What is the OED and what is her point here?
  8. "One of them [the definitions of the word 'set' in the OED] is just labeled 'miscellaneous technical senses.' Do you know what that says to me? That says to me it was Friday afternoon and somebody wanted to go down to the pub." In other words, what is her explanation for this definition?
  9. "So again, lexicography is not rocket science." When somebody says "X is not rocket science," what are they saying about X?
  10. "And this is a little-known technological fact about the Internet, but the Internet is actually made up of words and enthusiasm. And words and enthusiasm actually happen to be the recipe for lexicography." What additional characteristic does McKean wish all word-collecting sites on the Internet had?
  11. The Internet could be the site for dictionaries that are not simply being regarded "synecdotichically," but include...what?


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Audio Comprehension: "Art & Business"

This week's British English audio text comes from the British Council.

"Art and Business"

Here are the questions I gave out during the class:
  1. According to the interviewer, «Art & Business is an organisation that develops ___________ ____________ between business and the arts.»
  2. Peter Jones believes that productivity now depends on what factor(s)?
  3. What can books do for us, according to Peter Jones?
  4. Jones mentions a recent survey of businesspeople. When asked which books inspired them and had a positive influence on their career, what proportion of the surveyed people cited business books? (30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, or 70%?)
  5. What critical skills (name two or three from the interview) do readers combine?
  6. The left side of the brain, according to Jones, analyzes the plot. What is interesting to the right side of the brain?
  7. Reading groups at Marks and Spencer have apparently improved working relationships in the company. Based on what Jones said, why might this have happened?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Kieran Kane's song "In a Town This Size"



Charlie Musselwhite (at left in my photo) performed the version I used in our first class of the year.



Words:

In a Town This Size, Kieran Kane (performed by Charlie Musselwhite with Kelly Willis)

In a town this size, there’s no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know
You can’t steal a kiss in a place like this
How the rumors would fly in a town this size.

In a smoky bar, in the back seat of a car,
In your own little house, someone’s sure to find you out,
What you do and what you think, what you eat and what you drink,
If you smoke a cigarette, they'll be talking about your breath

In a town this size, there’s no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know
You can’t steal a kiss in a place like this
How the rumors would fly in a town this size.

He: Oh, I had a fight with my girlfriend last night,
Before the moon went down, it was all over town
She: How I made him cry, how I said goodbye,
If it’s true or not, it don’t count a lot

In a town this size, there’s no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know
You can’t steal a kiss in a place like this
How the rumors would fly in a town this size. In a town this size. In a town this size.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Homework: Essay on the Internet as a source of information

Here is this week's new assignment. Please bring it to class next week. Thanks!



You have 40 minutes to do this task. Please be prepared to read your essay.... Please comment on this statement:

These days, the Internet is a popular way to find out information. Some people, however, think this way of finding information has more drawbacks than advantages.

What can you say for and against finding information by using the Internet? Write 200-250 words using the following plan:
  • write an introduction (state the problem/topic)
  • list advantages and give reasons/examples
  • list disadvantages and give reasons/examples
  • draw a conclusion (give your opinion or a balanced consideration of the topic)

Exercise is adapted from Olga Afanasyeva, Virginia Evans, Victoria Kopylova, Practice Exam Papers for the Russian State Exam, 2010 Revised Edition, Moscow: Express Publishing/Prosveshchenie Publishers.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Someone Else Is Steppin' In (Slippin' Out, Slippin' In)"

"Someone Else Is Steppin' In (Slippin' Out, Slippin' In)" Denise LaSalle (performed by Buddy Guy)
I took my photos of Buddy Guy (and many other blues musicians) at this past summer's Portland Waterfront Blues Festival. Another festival attender made the video below, which I also posted back on August 29, along with my festival photos:
(Language caution--Buddy Guy uses language you should not use in polite company.)


I came home this morning, oh what a shock
When I found out my key no longer fit my lock
Oh baby
You just go right back out there where you've been
While you were slippin' out
Oh someone else was slippin' in
I thought I was your fool that you could count on
One was right there when no one else is at home
But oh baby, I think I found myself a new friend
But while you were slippin' out
Oh Lord, someone else was slippin' in

Now cry your heart out
Oh you don't mean a thing to me
I'm a brand new man, and you can plainly see
A new way to walk people, and of wearin' my hair
This big smile you see on my face
You didn't put it there

I got a new way of wearin' my hair
This big smile on my face, babe
You didn't put it there
Oh baby
You just take me back out there where you've been
While you were slippin' out
Someone else was slippin' in, Oh Lord
Now cry your heart out
Oh you don't mean a thing to me
I'm a brand new man
Even Stevie Wonder can see
A new way to walk people and of wearin' my hair
This big smile on my face baby
You didn't put it there
I got a new way of wearin' my hair
This big smile on my face
You didn't put it there
Oh baby
You just go right back out there where you've been
'Cause while you were slippin' out
Someone else was slippin' in
I said while you were slippin' out
Someone else was slippin' in...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The summer in pictures

Welcome back! I'm looking forward to seeing you again next week. First I have to spend a few days in Paris, France, where I'll see our son Luke, who is on a research fellowship here.
Sergei Anatolyevich will teach my Friday classes on September 2, but I'll be back the following week.

You'll come back to a very busy Institute. Look what's happening behind 32 Radio Street! ...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Emergency Christmas

Hello from Eugene, Oregon, USA, where I'm celebrating Emergency Christmas with my family. Emergency Christmas is what we've named our family Christmas celebrations, which take place when we are able to get together--not necessarily when the calendar says we should.

Here's the reason we call this family holiday Emergency Christmas:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Onward to Mongolia

We are not carrying video equipment on our rail journey from Moscow to Ulan Batar, so I was glad to see this video made by a Danish traveler. The Danish sounds very nice to my Norwegian ears, but if you don't know the Scandinavian languages, there are elegant English subtitles.

We will get off the train at Sukhe Batar, just across the border with Russia, and stay there for a few days. Then we will take another overnight train to Ulan Batar, but unfortunately we have to go from there to the USA by airplane. *sigh*

The Trans-Mongolian Railway from Inuk Jørgensen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The doctor plays piano


(link to purchase)

"Baby, Please Make a Change" (with Tom Jones and Irma Thomas)



I beg you baby
'Most every night
Please don't scold me
Just treat me right

Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
I think it will do you good

Let them change an ocean
And the deep blue sea
Be kind to your baby
There be a change in me

Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
I think it will do you good

I tell you something
That'll do you good
That'll get your man out of this neighbor hood

Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
I think it will do you good

Well darling I'm telling you
That I ain't mad
But if you tell me again you gonna make me sad

Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
I think it will do you good

I have forgiven all day and night
I'll end up going if you don't change my mind

Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
I know it will do you good

Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
Baby please make a change
I think it will do you good

Oh baby please make a change (please make a change)
Please make a change (oh please make a change)
Baby please make a change (please make a change)
Why don't you please make a change (please make a change)
Please make a change
I think it will do you good

Sunday, May 29, 2011

S200: Songs by Charlie Musselwhite and Elbow



(link to purchase this MP3 file) (unavailable)

"In a Town This Size," Kieran Kane (performed by Charlie Musselwhite with Kelly Willis)

In a town this size, there’s no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know
You can’t steal a kiss in a place like this
How the rumors would fly in a town this size.

In a smoky bar, in the back seat of a car,
In your own little house, someone’s sure to find you out,
What you do and what you think, what you eat and what you drink,
If you smoke a cigarette, they'll be talking about your breath

In a town this size, there’s no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know
You can’t steal a kiss in a place like this
How the rumors would fly in a town this size.

(Charlie’s harp)

Oh, I had a fight with my girlfriend last night,
Before the moon went down, it was all over town
How I made him cry, how I said goodbye,
If it’s true or not, it don’t count a lot

In a town this size, there’s no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know
You can’t steal a kiss in a place like this
How the rumors would fly in a town this size. In a town this size. In a town this size.





(Link to purchase this MP3 file)

"Dear Friends," Guy Garvey (performed by Elbow)

Dear friends
You are angels and drunks
You are magi

Old friends
You stuck a pin in a map I was in
And this is a note for a road sign

Cuttin’ the breeze in this Tennessee sundown
Came the sounds of the voices I know
I’ve been pondering trees
On the steeliest come down
And now a moment I’m home

I’ve got bluster enough
For the sails of a clipper
And the truth never frays a good yarn
But it struck me to say while so far away
You are with me today
You are here in my head, in my heart

Dear friends
You are angels and drunks
You are magi

Old friends
You stuck a pin in a map I was in
And you are the stars
I navigate home by

Friday, May 6, 2011

S200: Essay on being famous

Comment on the following statement:
Many people dream of becoming famous celebrities, but fame can bring many pressures and problems.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being famous? Write 200-250 words, using the following plan:

1. title
2. introduction (state the problem/topic)
3. list the advantages and give reasons/examples
4. list the disadvantages and give reasons/examples
5. draw a conclusion (give your opinion or a balanced consideration of the topic)

This essay is due between May 12 and 17.

Monday, April 18, 2011

S200 groups: My absence; makeup dates

My classes (201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 207) will NOT meet on these dates:

Monday, April 25
Wednesday, April 27
Friday, April 29
Monday, May 2

Instead, you may choose one of the following times to meet:

Saturday, April 23: 3 p.m. [FULL] or 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 7: 3 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.

Please tell me which time you would like to choose. If nobody chooses one of those sessions, I will cancel it.

HAPPY EASTER!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

S200 groups: Please write to Tim, who needs help with his English!

This is the homework assignment that's due the week of April 13-19.

You have received the following letter from your pen friend Tim, who is also studying English:

… I very hate making mistakes when I writing English. Can you make me a favour?--Talk me what mistakes I maked in this letter. I hope you must help me in such a way. My friend Sara also learn English. May I give you address her? She want writing you.

My grandmother gave me a gift certificate for the bookstore....


Please rewrite Tim’s letter in better English. (You may start by printing this assignment and circling the errors above.) Then write a paragraph about his grandmother’s gift and his plans for using it. You do not need to write an introductory paragraph.

S200 groups: Robert Cray's "I'm Just Lucky That Way"

Here's Robert Cray's great version of Rick Estrin's song "I'm Just Lucky That Way."



I’m Just Lucky That Way, Richard S Estrin; James R Pugh; Donnie Woodruff

Well, I cussed out my boss and got fired
Then I hit the lottery and now I’m retired
The odds of that happenin’: slim to none
But I wasn’t surprised when I won
It happens every day
I’m just lucky that way

I’m not braggin’, don’t take it like that
But good things just seem to fall in my lap
My good fortune, I cannot help
I’m just lucky in spite of myself
It happens every day
I’m just lucky that way

Friends and relations knockin’ down my door
Not to mention folks I’ve never seen before
Got my phone number changed,
had it taken out of the book
Still my phone keeps ringin’ off the hook
My luck’s so good
’Til it’s a crying shame
I have to move up the country
I have to change my name
It happens every day, I win when I play
I’m just lucky that way, yeah

You know I win when I play
I’m just lucky that way

Friday, April 1, 2011

I500 groups: Jerry Maguire

"Show me the money."



"You had me at 'hello'."

S200 groups: Essay on pets

You have 40 minutes to do this task.  please bring the essay to class one week after you received the assignment.

Comment on the following statement.

In Western countries, people spend a lot of money on their pets. They buy special food for their cats and dogs, buy them toys, and often pay high fees for medical treatment. Some people think this is a waste of money, and argue that pets are dirty and dangerous.

What can you say for and against having a pet? Do people have to spend too much money on pets?

Write 200-250 words. Use the following plan:

  • give a general outline of the problem
  • outline the points FOR
  • outline the points AGAINST
  • draw a conclusion weighing up the points outlined

Monday, March 28, 2011

200 groups: "Hey Julie"



Hey Julie, Adam Schlesinger, Chris Collingwood (performed by Fountains of Wayne)

Working all day for a mean little man
With a clip-on tie and a rub-on tan
He's got me running 'round the office like a dog around a track
But when I get home,
You're always there to rub my back

Hey Julie,
Look what they're doing to me
Trying to trip me up
Trying to wear me down
Julie, I swear, it's so hard to bear it
And I'd never make it through without you around
No I'd never make it through without you around

Hours on the phone making pointless calls
I got a desk full of papers that means nothing at all
Sometimes I catch myself staring into space
Counting down the hours 'til I get to see your face

Hey Julie,
Look what they're doing to me
Trying to trip me up
Trying to wear me down
Julie, I swear, it's so hard to bear it
And I'd never make it through without you around
No, I'd never make it through without you around

[Bridge]

How did it come to be
That you and I must be
Far away from each other every day?
Why must I spend my time
Filling up my mind
With facts and figures that never add up anyway?
They never add up anyway

Working all day for a mean little guy
With a bad toupee and a soup-stained tie
He's got me running 'round the office
Like a gerbil on a wheel
He can tell me what to do
But he can't tell me what to feel

Hey Julie,
Look what they're doing to me
Trying to trip me up
Trying to wear me down
Julie, I swear, it's so hard to bear it
And I'd never make it through without you around
No, I'd never make it through without you around
No, I'd never make it through without you around

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

200 groups: "Reason With Me"

This song moved me very much--partly because of the story of my own sister, as I told some of you. Here's the song:

Monday, March 14, 2011

200 groups: "I Never Loved a Man"



I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You), Ronnie Shannon (as performed by Aretha Franklin)

You’re a no good heart breaker
You’re a liar and you’re a cheat
And I don’t know why I let you do these things to me
My friends keep telling me that you ain’t no good
But oh, but they don't know that I’d leave you if I could
I guess I’m uptight and I’m stuck like glue
’Cause I ain’t never I ain’t never, I ain’t never, no, no
(loved a man the way that I, I love you)

Some time ago I thought you had run out of fools
But I was so wrong
You got one that you’ll never lose
The way you treat me is a shame
How could you hurt me so bad
Baby, you know that I’m the best thing that you ever had

Kiss me once again
Don't you never, never say that we’re through
Cause I ain’t never never never, no, no
(Loved a man the way that I, I love you)

I can’t sleep at night
And I can’t eat a bite
I guess I’ll never be free
Since you got, your hooks, in me

Whoa, oh, oh, yeah! yeah!
I ain’t never loved a man
I ain’t never loved a man, baby
Ain’t never had a man that hurt me so bad
No
Well this is what I’m gonna do about it...

Friday, March 11, 2011

200 groups: G/L homework.

Tired of writing letters and essays? Here's relief! Here are two exercises from Unit 11: one grammar, and one grammar/lexicon. If you can print out the photo file and write the answers in the blanks, that's fine--otherwise, just write the numbers and answers on a piece of paper as follows:

Feeling Afraid
B4 _______________
B5 _______________
B6 _______________
B7 _______________
B8 _______________
B9 _______________
B10 _______________

Portuguese Water Dogs
B11 _______________
B12 _______________
B13 _______________
B14 _______________
B15 _______________
B16 _______________


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

White 'n' Nerdy, Weird Al Yankovic



by Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic
(see Wikipedia article)

I wanna roll with the gangsters
But so far they all think
I'm too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
I'm just too white n' nerdy
Really, really white n' nerdy

First in my class here at M.I.T.
Got skills, I'm a Champion of DND
MC Escher that's my favorite MC
Keep your 40
I'll just have an Earl Grey tea
My rims never spin to the contrary
You'll find they're quite stationary
All of my action figures are cherry
Steven Hawkings in my library
My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
I got people begging for my top 8 spaces
Yo I know Pi to a thousand places
Ain't got no grills but I still wear braces
I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise
I'm a whiz at minesweeper I can play for days
Once you see my sweet moves you're gonna stay amazed,
my fingers movin' so fast I'll set the place ablaze
There's no killer app I haven't run
At Pascal, well, I'm number 1
Do vector calculus just for fun
I ain't got a gat but I gotta soldering gun
“Happy Days” is my favourite theme song
I can sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong
I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on
I'm fluent in Java Script as well as Klingon
Here's the part I sing on

They see me roll on, my Segway!
I know in my heart they think I'm
white n' nerdy!
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Can't you see I'm white n' nerdy
Look at me I'm white n' nerdy
I'd like to roll with the gangsters
Although it's apparent I'm too
White n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
I'm just too white n' nerdy
How'd I get so white n' nerdy?

I've been browsing, inspectin'
X-men comics you know I collect 'em
The pens in my pocket
I must protect 'em
my ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored
Shopping online for deals on some writable media;
I edit Wikipedia
I memorized Holy Grail really well
I can recite it right now and have you ROTFLOL
I got a business doing websites
When my friends need some code who do they call?
I do HTML for them all
Even made a homepage for my dog!
Yo! Got myself a fanny pack
they were having a sale down at the GAP
Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap
POP POP! Hope no one sees me gettin' freaky!

I'm nerdy in the extreme and whiter than sour creme
I was in AV club and Glee club and even the chess team!
Only question I ever thought was hard
Was do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?
I spend every weekend
at the renaissance fair
I got my name on my under wear!

They see me strollin'
They laughin'
And rollin' their eyes 'cause
I'm so white n' nerdy
Just because I'm white n' nerdy
Just because I'm white n' nerdy
All because I'm white n' nerdy
Holy cow I'm white n' nerdy
I wanna bowl with-the gangsters
but oh well it's obvious I'm
white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
Think I'm just too white n' nerdy
...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

200 groups: Letter to Erik

Please complete this assignment on a separate piece of paper that you can give to the teacher.

You have received the following letter from your English-speaking pen friend Erik:

I love to keep up with the news, especially the international news and the latest information about my favorite sports teams. I usually get my news from Internet sites. My parents never look at the Internet; they only get their news from television. And my cousin doesn’t care about news at all—except for celebrities. What about you—how do you find out what is going on? What is your favorite site or channel for news? Do you follow any sports teams or celebrities?


My father’s birthday is next week, and I’m having a hard time deciding what to give him as a gift.

Reply to Erik in 140 words or less, using the rules of letter writing. Answer his questions, and ask him three questions about his father’s birthday or about choosing gifts.