Articles Tagged with: Elingua

There is a lot to be said about writing an email properly.

There is a lot to be said for writing an email properly.  We have many requests for specialized classes.  Perhaps it is that in English we are much more to the point, however, not direct.  My recommendations: simplify.

Let’s get our conversation started with this video, as yourself these questions previous to watching it:

  1. What does she do for a living?
  2. How does she guide her employee to begin the email she is writing?
  3. What does her employee think of her job?
  4. Where does she get her inspiration?
  5. What does she say to her team to get them to go back to work?
  6. How would you describe where they are?

If you prefer to watch the original video (with subtitles), follow this link.

If you would like to follow up on email writing, click to go to this article that I highly recommend.  It is quite practical and gives examples.

I’m sure that this is a subject that we will come back to, so of course, any questions are welcome.  Remember, if you would like us to correct something if you would like to take these exercises as practice, send us an email!





The sentence dealing with the amount of time connected to the learning platform has been published.

I’ll begin with the news:  IT IS NO LONGER NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH A 75% OF THE TIME ON THE PLATFORM.  Now for my explanation…

Those who don’t know what I’m speaking about:  It’s possible to solicit the return of the amount paid for a training course if certain prerequisites are adhered to.    You may find more information by following this link on our web.

Para poder evitar el fraude, se había impuesto algunas nuevas normas, que incluía medir el tiempo que cada alumno pase en la plataforma de formación.  Esta norma no estaba tan clara, y, para poder cumplir, todos exigían que cumpliese un 75% de lo que se había puesto de alta en el curso (por ejemplo – si el curso era de 50 horas, el alumno tendría que pasar 37,5 horas en la plataforma).

This may seem as something simple – but for the students it wasn’t, and, of course, it affected the day to day of many people.  The worse thing was that, in some cases, it seemed as some students were doing whatever necessary to comply with these policies, then to follow their own learning needs and goals.

You can access news written on this topic here.

How does this effect Elingua?

We are now able to concentrate on what we esteem as necessary.  Well, as in everything, this policy kept us on our tip toes.  It is possible that, just as part of their course, any given student would spend that much time on the platform, but the vast majority not.  Why not?  Because, as contemplated, apart from the online course, in order for one to advance with their studies, one needs:

  • Study time (off line)
  • Preparation for the classes
  • Classes with the teacher
  • Time to dedicate to the practice and assimilation of knowledge, outside of class


In English, each individual student has their own training necessities, and our course, of course, is designed precisely to reach each individual.  To have to comply with norms created for all, was an ingredient to the formula which we didn’t like so much.  It is not a good idea to advance in too much of a hurry only in order to comply with norms. We recommend advancing at a rate in which you may practice and assimilate.

What did we do to combat this norm? In my opinion – we reinvented the wheel. We went full speed ahead and created content just for that –  to practice and assimilate, apart from the course in itself, but, on the platform. All of our students could choose to invest time in doing fun exercises, participate in debates, forums, comment on interesting articles.  It worked. Our students continued to advance at an adequate rate in their courses all the while complying with the norms set out by SEPE.

Now, how does this new sentence affect us?  Good – on our behalf – we shall continue to create fun and entertaining content, although I’m sure that this takes a weight off of our shoulders in so far as our communications with our students concerning their compliance, and our students may have a little bit more room to breathe.

Nothing more for today.



Ya se ha publicado una sentencia que trataba sobre tiempo de conexión en plataforma para las actividades formativas bonificadas por las empresas ante el SEPE

Empiezo con las nuevas:  NO ES NECESARIO CUMPLIR UN 75% DEL TIEMPO EN PLATAFORMA. Ahora mi explico…

Los que no saben de lo que hablo: Es posible bonificar los cursos que se imparten en las empresas siempre que se cumplan ciertos requisitos.  Se puede informar sobre las bonificaciones en este enlace.

Para poder evitar el fraude, se había impuesto algunas nuevas normas, que incluía medir el tiempo que cada alumno registre en la plataforma de formación.  Esta norma no estaba tan clara, y, para poder cumplir, todos exigían que cumpliese un 75% de las horas comunicadas ante el SEPE (por ejemplo – si el curso era de 50 horas, el alumno tendría que realizar 37,5 horas en la plataforma).

Esto puede parecer algo trivial – pero para los alumnos no lo era, y, como no, afectaba bastante el día a día de muchas personas.  Lo peor de todo es que en algunos casos, parecía que estaban haciendo lo necesario para cumplir con Tripartita en vez de cumplir con sus metas de aprendizaje.

Aquí podéis acceder a una noticia bien escrita sobre el tema.

¿Cómo nos afecta la noticia en Elingua?

Ya podemos volver a centrarnos en lo necesario.  Bueno, como todo, esta exigencia nos ha hecho ponernos las pilas.  Es posible que, solo porque si, cualquier alumno hubiese pasado este tiempo en plataforma, pero, en la gran mayoría de ellos no.  ¿Por qué no? Porque, está contemplado, que, aparte del tiempo en el curso online, para poder avanzar en tu aprendizaje, precisas:

  • Tiempo de estudio off line.
  • Preparación de las clases.
  • Las clases con tu profesor.
  • El tiempo que dedicas para practicar y asimilar los nuevos conocimientos fuera de clase.

En el inglés, cada alumno tiene sus propias necesidades formativas, y nuestro curso, como no, está diseñado precisamente para poder llegar a cada uno.  Tener que pasar por el aro de cumplir porque si, no era un ingrediente de la fórmula que nos gustó mucho.  No es apropiado avanzar demasiado deprisa solamente para cumplir.  Nosotros recomendamos avanzar a la vez que puedas practicar, asimilar.

¿Qué hicimos para combatir la norma?  Re-inventar la rueda pienso yo.  Nos pusimos manos a la obra para crear contenido precisamente para ello – practicar y asimilar, ajena al curso en sí, pero en plataforma.  Todos nuestros alumnos podían elegir invertir algo de tiempo en realizar ejercicios lúdicos, participar en debates, foros, comentar sobre artículos interesantes.  Funcionó.  Nuestros alumnos seguían avanzando adecuadamente en sus cursos y cumpliendo con las exigencias SEPE.

Ahora, ¿cómo nos afecta la sentencia?  Bueno – por nuestra parte – seguiremos creando contenido lúdico y entretenido, pero igual nos quitaremos un peso de encima en cuanto a nuestras comunicaciones de cumplimiento de tiempo en plataforma, y nuestros alumnos podrán respirar un poco más.

Nada más por hoy.


This is something I love to write about… you see, I think it’s quite Spanish!  But, are you letting this sentiment get in the way of progressing in your career?  Are you letting it impede you from practicing your English? How about in your relationships… does it get in your way?

A little bit of anything, or, better said, not too much of anything… is probably good.  I mean… avoid extremes, right?

I didn’t find too many interesting sources, just the “obvious” thoughts, studies and reflections… but I thought this one was at least… complete. So, enjoy!

WIKIHOW… seems like a great source to enjoy your English with.

Suggested homework…

  1. Why don’t you write to me about a personal anecdote, and tell me how you dealt with it?
  2. Did you follow any of the suggested steps to take?
  3. Do you think that this is a relevant article for the workplace?
  4. Look at the questions that people wrote, would you have answered in a similar way?
  5. What questions would you ask the expert?



How to Deal With Embarrassment

Everyone gets embarrassed at some point in time because everyone makes mistakes. Embarrassment may be the result of unwanted attention, a mistake, or being placed in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. You may feel like you want to hide away until the embarrassment passes, but there are better ways to deal with embarrassment. You can try to understand your feelings of embarrassment better, learn to laugh at yourself, and be compassionate to yourself when you become embarrassed.

Method 1

Dealing with Embarrassing Situations


Evaluate the situation. How you handle an embarrassing situation depends on what has happened to embarrass you. For example, if you did something wrong, like made an inappropriate comment to a friend, you may feel embarrassed because you should not have said what you did. But if you feel embarrassed because you did something by accident, like tripping and falling in front of a large group of people, that is a different situation. Each situation requires a slightly different approach to overcome the feelings of embarrassment.[1]


Apologize if necessary. If you did something wrong, you will need to apologize for your mistake. Having to apologize might make you feel a bit more embarrassed, but it is necessary to deal with the original embarrassment and move forward. Make sure that your apology is sincere and direct.[2]

Try saying something like, “I am sorry that I did/said that. I didn’t mean it. I will try to be more thoughtful in the future.”


Forgive yourself and stop beating yourself up. After you have apologized (if it was necessary), you need to forgive yourself for what you did or said. Forgiving yourself is an important step in dealing with embarrassment because it will help you to stop beating yourself up. By forgiving yourself, you are sending yourself the message that you made an honest mistake and it is nothing to dwell on.[3]

Try telling yourself something like, “I forgive myself for what I did. I am only human and I am bound to make mistakes sometimes.”


Distract yourself and others. While you don’t want to ignore the embarrassing thing that you did or said, after you have evaluated it and dealt with the situation you should move on. You can help yourself and other move past the embarrassing thing by changing the subject or inviting them to do something else.[4]

For example, after you have apologized and forgiven yourself for saying something inappropriate to a friend, ask them if they watched the news last night. Or, pay them a compliment. Say something like, “Hey, I love your outfit. Where did you get it?”


Method 2

Dealing with Past Embarrassments


Reflect on your most embarrassing moments. While it may be painful to review the most embarrassing things that have ever happened to you, it can help you to put other embarrassing moments into perspective. Make a list of the top 5 most embarrassing things that have ever happened to you and compare them to your most recent embarrassment.[5]


Laugh at yourself. After you have made your list of embarrassing moments, allow yourself to laugh at yourself. Laughing at things that you done can be a cleansing experience. By looking at them as silly things that happened in your past, you can help yourself to move past feelings of embarrassment.[6]

For example, if you once walked through the lunch room with your skirt tucked into your underwear, try to laugh about the experience. Try to see it from an outsider’s perspective and remove yourself from the negative feelings. Realize that it was just a silly mistake that probably made people do a double take or possibly even a spit take.


Try discussing embarrassing moments with a trusted friend. It might make it easier for you to laugh at someone if you tell the story to someone who was not there and it can also be a good way for you to hear about someone else’s embarrassing moments.


Be compassionate towards yourself. If you can’t bring yourself to laugh at what you did, try being compassionate towards yourself. Acknowledge your embarrassment and talk to yourself like a good friend. Give yourself permission to feel embarrassed and understand the pain that that situation has caused for you.[7]

Try to remind yourself of who you are and what your core values are. This can help you to ground yourself and brush off some embarrassment and with self-compassion.


Focus on the present. Once you have comforted yourself through laughter or compassion, bring yourself back into the present moment. Recognize that the embarrassing moment is in the past. Try to focus your attention on what is happening in your life right now. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you feel? Changing your focus to the here and now may help you to stop dwelling on things that happened to you in the past.[8]


Keep trying to be your best. Although embarrassment can be painful, it may also be useful for personal development. If you did or said something wrong that has caused you to feel embarrassed, think about what you can do to avoid doing or saying something similar in the future. If you made an honest mistake that could have happened to anyone, recognize that you did not do anything wrong and move on.

Try not to get hung up on what you did or said because dwelling on it can be more painful than the initial experience.[9]


Consider seeing a therapist. If you still cannot get past your feelings of embarrassment despite your best efforts, consider seeing a therapist for help. You may be dealing with something that requires ongoing work or your embarrassment may be related to other thinking patterns such as rumination or possibly low self-esteem.


Method 3

Understanding Embarrassment


Recognize that embarrassment is normal. Feeling embarrassed can make you feel like something is wrong with you or you are all alone, but it is important to remember that these feelings are not accurate. Embarrassment is a normal feeling just like being happy, sad, mad, etc. When you are feeling embarrassed, remember that everyone feels embarrassed at some point in time.

To see that embarrassment is something that everyone feels, ask your parents or another trusted person to tell you about a time when they got embarrassed.[10]


Learn that it is okay if people know you are embarrassed. One of the worst things about feeling embarrassment is when people know you are embarrassed. Knowing that others know you are embarrassed can make feel even more embarrassed. This is because embarrassment makes you feel exposed or vulnerable due to the fear of being judged by others.[11] Unlike shame, which can be both a public and private event, embarrassment is mostly a public event.[12] Try to remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with people knowing that you are embarrassed about something because it is a normal emotion.

One way to address the perceived judgement of others is to be realistic and ask yourself if others are judging you or if you are judging yourself[13].


Understand that some embarrassment can be helpful. While being embarrassed is never a fun experience, occasional minor embarrassment can be helpful. Some research has found that people who blush when they do or say something wrong may be seen as more trustworthy. This is because those people are demonstrating their awareness of social rules. So if you blush on occasion when you make a minor mistake, don’t dwell on it because it may actually make people see you in a more positive light.[14]


Consider the relationship between embarrassment and perfectionism. Perfectionism can contribute to feelings of embarrassment. You may be holding yourself to unrealistically high standards that cause you to feel like you are failing if you do not live up to them. These feelings of failure may lead to embarrassment, so it is important to set realistic standards for yourself.[15]

Remind yourself that you are your biggest critic. While it may seem like the world is watching and judging you, that is not a realistic perspective. Think about how much you pay attention to little things that other people say and do. It is unlikely that you scrutinize others the same way that you do to yourself.[16]


Think about the relationship between embarrassment and confidence. Confident people tend to experience less embarrassment than people who lack confidence.[17]If you have low self-confidence, you might experience more embarrassment or more severe feelings of embarrassment than you should. Try to build up your self-confidence in order to reduce the amount of embarrassment that you feel on a daily basis.

If you are extremely self-conscious, you may even find yourself dealing with shame, which is not the same thing as embarrassment. Shame is the result of a poor self-image, which can be caused by often feeling embarrassed.[18] Consider talking with a therapist if you feel like embarrassment has left you with feelings of shame.

New! Make a stranger’s day. Answer a question.

  • Question

How to handle the embarrassment when you have fallen in front of a large crowed very awkwardly?

Jessica B. Casey

M.A, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Expert Answer

Ouch! I think we’ve all been there once or twice. You have a few choice in how to deal with it. Some people use humor, such as, “Whoops! Should have skipped that last beer.” Others like to to be direct such as, “Oh my gosh — well that was embarrassing — anyway…” Or you could also just excuse yourself to compose yourself in a place that isn’t so public then return when you’re ready. Either way it’s important to remember that falling is a totally normal and human thing to do and it just happens sometimes.

  • Question

I am definitely a perfectionist, and I hold standards for myself that are far too high. Any advice as to how to not make these super high standards in the first place?

Jessica B. Casey

M.A, Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Expert Answer

It’s ok to have high goals and standards. The trouble comes when you have an uncomfortable or poor reaction to not meeting those standards. Try some exercises in self-compassion and radical self-acceptance. Also check out our articles on self-love and acceptance. These can all help you to alter how you think about ‘failure’ and perfection and thus help you to cope when things aren’t working out perfectly.

  • Question

What can I do if I did something embarrassing in front of my friend? I am going to back to school soon and I am afraid to see him.

wikiHow Contributor

Community Answer

Be confident that your friend is over it too and ignore what happened. If he raises it, just say something like: “Yeah, that was dumb wasn’t it but I’m so over it and hope you are too”. Then leave it at that and change the subject. It is great that you have had a break, other things will have taken over his thoughts since the act.

  • Question

I’m embarrassed by my dad who sends me to school on a motorcycle while my friends come with fancy cars. What can I do?

wikiHow Contributor

Community Answer

C’mon, your dad sounds super awesome! You get to be dropped off at school on a motorcycle? That’s super cool. If those people are your true friends they will think it’s cool too. Just don’t talk about it and they won’t bring it up. You really are lucky, you just don’t realize it yet.

  • Question

What can I do when people tease me at school and laugh at me?

wikiHow Contributor

Community Answer

If they laugh at you, laugh with them about yourself. They will get bored and stop. It’s not fun for people who tease you if it doesn’t get to you.

  • Question

I cried at school all day long. How do I overcome this embarassment?

wikiHow Contributor

Community Answer

Remind yourself that crying is normal and shows that you’ve got feelings. Everyone has been in your position at some point in time, so they will understand. Also, some people find that talking to friends or family members about their embarrassment helps them feel better.

  • Question

People at school will imitate my voice and things like that. How can I stop them or at least not feel embarrassed about it?

wikiHow Contributor

Community Answer

Tell them how you feel. If they don’t stop, tell someone you trust, and be confident. This happens to everyone, don’t worry.

  • Question

How do I stop embarrassing yourself?

wikiHow Contributor

Community Answer

We all embarrass ourselves now and then. It’s part of being human. Just laugh it off with an “Oops! Sorry about that!” and carry on. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  • Question

I smoked weed at school and started crying and was doing funny things in front of my schoolmates. Now I’m afraid everyone will judge me if I go back to school. How do I overcome the embarrassment?

wikiHow Contributor

Community Answer

We all do embarrassing things now and then. Laugh it off, and your classmates will too. But in the future, try to stop smoking weed, and it won’t happen again.

  • Question

What can I do about constant teasing at school because of an embarrassing incident?

wikiHow Contributor

Community Answer

First, know that everybody gets teased once in a while, and that it’s okay to laugh at yourself. Ignore those that tease you, and know that they are probably trying to deal with their own issues.



  • When something embarrassing happens, don’t cause a huge scene. This will only cause the event to stick in the minds of others. Stay calm and don’t freak out.
  • Laugh it off with your mates. Act like it doesn’t bother you and they won’t think it’s such a big deal.
  • Don’t obsess over little things. Minor embarrassments are nothing to dwell on. Try to brush them off and keep going.
  • If you have a good friend, you can tell them about your embarrassing situation and laugh about it together.
  • If you are buying something embarrassing for yourself, you can purchase an inexpensive birthday card with it to make it seem like it’s a gift.


Embarassing moments for entire countries

Click to original article of: Moments that embarrassed entire countries


We’ve all embarrassed ourselves at some point; it’s just human nature. Dropped food on yourself at dinner with that cute guy you’ve been crushing on? Yeah, he saw it. Said something that you meant but shouldn’t have said to your boss? She heard you, sorry. You can try and explain away that look on her face all you want. But these mistakes made entire countries blush. If countries were capable of vasodilation, of course. The truth is, while countries can be large or small, they’re run by people. And people are capable of some pretty interesting kerfuffles.


The Field of Cloth of Gold


Better known as how France threw a boatload of money at a playdate with King Henry VIII and still wound up at war. According to Luminarium, through rising tensions, a meeting was arranged between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France in an effort to preserve the fragile peace negotiated through the signing of the Treaty of London in 1518.

So in the summer of that year, the two monarchs met near Calais and entered into the world’s fanciest whizzing contest. Since the castles in nearby Guines and Ardes were too shabby for the kings’ liking, they met up in a field. By regal standards, this meant erecting temporary palaces made of gold cloth, complete with chapels and pavilions and even a gilt fountain for King Henry that rotated water and wine (via Britannica). Because why not?

Both parties rolled onto the scene with full entourages, dressed to the nines with splendor to spare, and the spectacle has been painted, made into tapestries, and written about by poets. Never mind that it nearly emptied the coffers of both countries. But after three weeks of jousting, dancing, and general merrymaking, King Henry walked away in shame after challenging Francis to a wrestling match and losing quickly. Ouch. Weeks later, England made an alliance with Charles V of Spain, and war soon followed.


We’re at war? Spain’s great Kerfuffle

Usually when you’re in the middle of a war, you know about it. Unfortunately for Spain, they forgot to inform the Pacific island of Guam. According to History, in June 1898, American forces arrived via the USS Charleston to capture the Spanish-controlled island and sent out warning shots (because the U.S. is nice like that). After no initial reply, eventually a welcoming party came rowing out to meet the invaders, at which point the islanders apologized for not having promptly responded to the Americans’ impressive salute. According to War History Online, they even asked to borrow some gunpowder in order to return the gesture. (Since they didn’t know they were at war, they apparently had no powder.)

Instead of capturing the poor schmucks who’d so happily rolled out the welcome mat, Captain Glass of the Charleston allowed them to return to shore to inform Governor Juan Marina that they were at war and currently under attack. The governor responded to Captain Glass by inviting him onto the island with assurances of his safety, but Glass replied that Marina had half an hour to surrender. Twenty-nine minutes later, Marina capitulated.


Switzerland’s accidental invasions of Lichtenstein

Switzerland is mostly famous for its neutrality, its chocolate, and its Alps. But every country does something facepalm-worthy, and apparently for the Swiss, it’s repeatedly invading its tiny neighbor Liechtenstein. In fact, it’s done it on so many occasions that when 170 Swiss infantry soldiers wandered more than a mile past the border on March 1, 2007, according to The Guardian, an interior ministry spokesman simply responded with, “It’s not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something.” Once they realized their error they hoofed it back to Switzerland and no harm no foul. Easy!

Australian Broadcasting Corporation says things weren’t so easy in 1968, when Switzerland threw real grenades on a ski resort during a live-fire drill gone horribly wrong. Luckily for Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and anyone who thought skiing was a great idea that week, no one was injured.

In 1992, five soldiers went on a training mission to the small town of Triesenberg, where they holed up in someone’s empty house and went about the business of their mission. The problem? No one realized Triesenberg wasn’t in Switzerland. Before the local authorities arrived (the neighbors snitched) the soldiers had made a dash for the border. Next time you get lost on a road trip, just keep in mind that even the well-trained sometimes get a little off track. Or lose track of an entire country. You know, “potato, pot-ah-to, Switzerland, Liechtenstein.”


Bay of Pigs

According to the Miami Herald, “The commander of the Bay of Pigs invasion, José Perez San Roman, kneeled and kissed the sand with joy when he landed at Playa Girón on the south coast of Cuba. Two days later, his 1,500 men had been thoroughly defeated.” That about sums it up. But in case you blocked out history class, on April 15, 1961, the U.S. invaded Cuba, using mostly expat Cubans, with the intention of overthrowing Castro and pretending it hadn’t had anything to do with it. To make matters worse, the government covered up most of the details for 50 years.

Eventually, it all came out, but the embarrassment was twofold. First, the failed invasion led to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and then when the CIA declassified most of the documents in 2011 (and the final volume in 2016), there was another round of shame after all the details came out. For example, according to the CIA documents, American lives were lost. The official story for years was that no Americans died during the invasion, but four pilots in the Alabama National Guard were killed.

Also, according to those same CIA files, several guys thought it was a smart plan to collaborate with the Mafia in order to assassinate Castro. In retrospect, that might have actually worked. And those are just a couple of tidbits — there are five volumes of documents. So sit back, grab your coffee, and bask in the shame.


Operation Cottage

It’s a toss-up whether this one goes to the USA or Canada as far as being an embarrassment, as it did a number on both countries. As told by researcher Del C. Kostka, on August 15, 1943, U.S. and Canadian forces launched an amphibious attack on the northern Pacific island of Kiska. They fought the Japanese hard, carrying on through zero-visibility fog, rain, and cold for two solid days of machine gun and artillery fire.

The problem? The Japanese had sneaked through the Allied blockade of the island three weeks before, leaving the Canadians and Americans alone to fire on each other.

After the firing stopped, and everyone took a good look around the island, they were ironically reminded that just prior to Operation Cottage, the U.S. had dropped thousands of leaflets on the island to relay to the Japanese that their situation in Kiska was about to get ugly and that they should just quit. It was good advice, so the Japanese took it.


The War on emus

Everything in Australia is already trying to kill you. From giant spiders, to kangaroos with personal vendettas, you’re pretty much in danger from the moment you step out your front door. But in 1932 the military got involved. Emus, those 100-pound, flightless birds that are kinda cute when you see them on television, are apparently invincible marauders that were raiding and destroying crops en masse in the 1930s.

In fact, they had already kicked some farmers off their land by the time the agricultural community requested government aid. So on November 1, 1932, a small armed party of the 7th Heavy Battery led by Major C.W.P. Meredith set out for an area near Campion to defeat the emus. Armed with machine guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition, the men were in good spirits. But when the initial encounter with the tough birds proved their skin was nearly impervious to all but the most direct hits, things took a turn.

The next day, Meredith’s men ambushed about 1,000 emus (multiple machine gun nests firing from several directions), but didn’t even manage to kill a dozen of them. The campaign lasted a full week until Meredith retreated on November 8, in a mixture of despair and awe. Meredith said of the flightless birds, “If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world. They can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks.”


Slovenia: The erased

Every government on earth has done something not-so-intelligent at one point or another, but this one might take the cake. On February 26, 1992, the Republic of Slovenia erased 25,671 people from its register of permanent residents when it became a sovereign nation — about 1 percent of the population. They became known as The Erased. While that sounds like the title of a cyberpunk novel, it’s nowhere near as awesome as it sounds.

According to Amnesty International, The Erased have had trouble getting adequate healthcare and finding employment. Some have been driven to extreme poverty. Measures have been taken to try and fix the problem, but the government didn’t even really admit its mistake until 2010, and still doesn’t seem to have fixed the problem, despite several court rulings that Slovenia had violated the rights of the former citizens and that they were entitled to compensation.

But like many bureaucracies, the system in Slovenia has managed to accomplish very little to that end. One man reported that while he has managed to gain back some things, he was still locked out of his bank account in 2017, so if he is awarded any additional money (he was able to get some cash on the sly) he’ll likely never see it. Embarrassing for Slovenia? Check. Sad for humanity in general? Also check.


President George H.W. Bush’s infamous visit to Japan

Few are as memorable as President George H.W. Bush’s visit to the prime minister of Japan, Kiichi Miyazawa. On January 8, 1992, the president felt ill during an elaborate dinner, and instead of turning literally anywhere else to get sick, he promptly turned to the lap of the prime minister. He puked there, he was cradled in said puke for a moment, and then he slumped to the ground.


Bush had reportedly been sick prior to the dinner, but he thought his go-round with the flu was over. Alas, somewhere between trying to say all the right things and not say the wrong things, something entirely different came out. It’s just as relatable as that dinner with your soon-to-be in-laws where you did that ridiculously embarrassing thing, right?

According to The Atlantic: “The term Bushu-suru – ブッシュする, ‘do a bush’ — became a joke staple of Japanese slang.” Unsurprisingly, it means “to throw up in public.” There are worse things to be known for, but it’s not exactly awesome.


The accidental British invasion of Spain

Of all the things you might misplace, the Rock of Gibraltar, which stands at an impressive 1,398 feet, might not be high on that list. But in 2002 a few Britons apparently forgot where this little bit of British territory was. According to The Guardian, a heavily armed platoon of British Royal Marines rushed the San Felipe beach in the Spanish town of La Linea (right next to Gibraltar), expecting fellow Brits with dummy fire. Though ready for a fake fight, they did have 60 mm mortars and SA80 assault rifles when they took their positions on the beach.

Well, they had noticed and were met by a shocked fisherman who promptly informed them that they were not, in fact, in Gibraltar. The good new is, the marines were able to make a speedy retreat and went off to find the actual Gibraltar. Pro tip, folks — you’ll see a big ol’ rock when you’re in the right place.

Lord West was First Sea Lord at the time and received the facepalm call from the commanding officer in charge of the mishap. According to the Independent, the officer reportedly said to Lord West, “I’m afraid we’ve invaded Spain, but we don’t think they’ve noticed.” They had, but thankfully these days a phone call and a laugh is usually enough to sort this out. A century ago, this could have started a real war.


The Washington Monument

Most of us have laid eyes upon the impressive obelisk that stands in tribute to George Washington, or at least on photos of it. It might look awesome now, but like most cool things, it had a rocky road to completion. That took some 37 years, which is why it’s not all one color, as seen above. Construction started on July 4, 1848, by the Washington National Monument Society, with the laying of the cornerstone. Interested parties were eventually invited to donate stones, including foreign governments, and that’s where it all started to go downhill.

Among the donated stones was one from Pope Pius IX, which was later stolen by anti-Catholic radicals and thrown into the Potomac. They formally took over the Monument Society in 1855 (though the existing members didn’t care and continued to exist as a second society) until possession of the monument was returned to the original society in 1857. Then the Civil War happened. But the really great part is that during the war someone decided the monument would make a fabulous cattle pen and slaughterhouse. No, that’s not a joke. It was called the Washington National Monument Cattle Yard.

Following the war, because apparently, a slaughterhouse wasn’t gruesome enough, it became known as, “Murderer’s Row” because a bunch of army deserters, escapees, and general riff-raff hung out there. Mark Twain famously commented at the time, of its not-so-impressive 176-foot pile of bricks that it, “looked like a hollow, over-sized chimney.” Ouch. In December 1884, the monument was finally completed at 555 feet tall.


What does Barney Stinson do? P.L.E.A.S.E.

P.L.E.A.S.E. Barney Stinson

This short video lets the spectator in on a well-kept secret throughout the years of this popular tv series.  It has excellent vocabulary for our purposes, so, enjoy!

Suggested work to send to:

Or comment below.

  1. What does Barney do for a living?
  2. Can you describe his job, before seeing the video, and after?
  3. How does he describe ACTs?
  4. Why does he do what he does?
  5. What did he do before he moved into the corporative world?
  6. How did he get there?
  7. What do you do?


Kids, out of all the time we knew Barney, there was one question he would always answer the same way.

Seriously, what is it that you do?


Seriously, what do you do for a living?


Are you finally going to tell me exactly what your job is?


So naturally, this was a pretty big moment for us.

Well, what do you do for a living?


God, he’s not telling us. No more booze.

Not so fast Princess.  I guess subtle clues and the bar tab are just two things you just don’t pick up.  Because, I think he is telling us.  Tell us more about this job.

Well, as you know, back in my hippy days, a businessman came into my coffee shop and told me that money was all that mattered and stole my girlfriend. That’s when I decided to become, AWESOME.

But I had no idea of how to break into the corporate world. So, hoping he wouldn’t recognize me, I went to the one person from whom I knew I could learn, everything.

Do we know each other bro?

We are all connected in Gaea’s great tapestry of, ehem, no, we don’t, bro.

Well, you went to MIT, pretty impressive.

I did get a perfect score on the ACTs.

Advanced Card Tricks.

Oh look buddy, you got a sweet resume, but we don’t have any openings you’re qualified for.

They set me up. It was a trap. I can swear.

We have one opening you’d be perfect for.

Great, what do I do?

PLEASE. Provide Legal Exculpation and Sign Everything.

Just show up every day and scrub your name on a bunch of documents and we’ll pay you sixteen craploads a year. Please sign the contract. I’ll give you time to think about it.

17 seconds later.

I’ll take it.

Come on.  Did you even read this before signing it?


HA, you’re hired.

Odd fist clap.

We’ll work on that.

Wait, that’s your job?

You sign sketchy legally binding documents that could implicate you for God knows what?

Best job ever, right?

Sweetie.  You’re being stupid.  The company is setting you up as their fall guy for all of their illegal activities.

No, you guys are being stupid, especially Ted.

What? I didn’t say anything.

And then kids, Barney revealed to us his master plan. It all went down a few months after the wedding. 

Two months later.

Hey Greg, I know you’re busy but FYI, I’ve been colluding with the feds. They know everything and they are on their way up right now to shut down this division and arrest you. Door closed or…

What? Why would you do that?

Oh, gosh. Countless moral reasons could have applied, but this is pretty much revenge for stealing my girlfriend. See.  That day I vowed I would do anything in my power to track you down, gain your trust, and then destroy you.

Who are you?

Who am I?  Just a guy who served you coffee once. Peace out loser.

Son of a bitch. I’ll destroy you. Get your hands off me.


Are you preparing a meeting or interview in English?


The S.O.A.R. Answer Model

Original Article





Are you often in situations when you find yourself either speaking too much or, perhaps, not enough?  When do you usually figure it out, a few hours later, or while you are actually in the situation?

This may be more of a stress factor when you are communicating in a different language, so I find it is quite useful to practice with a guideline.

You can use if for preparing a meeting, interview, telephone conversations. Basically, any situation in which you are expected to give a briefing on behavioural issues.

Let’s go through an example for an interview.


Give a brief description of the relevant information leading to the situation.

  • For example: I had been given a promotion as the department manager. Even though the department had grown over twice its original size, there was an extremely high turnover.


It’s important to capture your audience’s attention and in so doing, define the problem. Show what it is exactly that you solved.

  • For example:  We experienced a regular increment of customer complaints which were generated through the stress of our staff that was overworked. The current staff had to train the new staff, as the turnover was over fifty percent.


Explain what you did to solve that problem.

  • For example:  I was able to identify specific problems and to set priorities to the tasks necessary.  I did this by workflow analysis and assigning the proper work to the proper people. Following that, I ensured that each job post had a proper job description. I set up a formal plan of job mentoring in order to give the new staff the opportunity to shadow the senior staff.  Throughout this entire process it was important to have regular meetings and constantly reevaluate the situation in progress.


Share the exact results, not only a description, but something quantifiable.

  • For example:  The turnover went from 50 to 10 percent in the first year. Employees felt more motivated. The customer complaints were no longer regular. Our department became the most productive in the division.


Suggested homework for practice:

These questions are taken directly from the original article, which I highly recommend.  Please use these as homework, it’s an excellent exercise.

Here are some behavioural questions.

Practice using the S.O.A.R. Answer Model to develop your own responses.

  • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client or coworker.
  • Tell me about your most significant achievement in your last job.
  • Tell me about the most significant mistake you have made, how you handled it, and what you learned from it.
  • Give me an example of when you had to sell your boss on a new product, service, system, or program.
  • Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job and how you handled it.
  • Give me an example of how you dealt with an employee who was not performing up to expectations.
  • Give me a recent example of how you went about motivating your coworkers and subordinates.
  • Recall for me a time when you challenged your boss and/or company policy.
  • Tell me what you did in your last job to help build teamwork.


Make sure you take the time in advance of the interview to develop some strong answers to each potential question.  The better prepared you are to answer questions, the more likely you will make a strong impression on your interviewer, become a master interviewee, ultimately landing that dream job.


Pizza, what could go wrong? Right?

Here we go… I must have been hungry when thinking of the topics to include this week! I would say that this is as silly as it gets. Truth be said – people are more relaxed when on their free time – in the kitchen – or with pizza 😉 so DO suppose that they are more accident prone.
Don’t take my word for it!

Suggested homework: describe some sort of silly accident that you may have had (or heard of), and try to use new vocabulary. Perhaps it is easier to describe a personal anecdote, however, if you want to use new vocabulary from this article, the best thing would be to try and write an article (third person) on what happened.

Good luck and enjoy!

Go to original article

In 2018, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission tweeted a shocking fact: there were 2,300 people sent to the emergency room in 2017 because of pizza.
What? If you had no idea there were that many people being injured by pizza, you’re not alone. Responses to the tweet ranged from disbelief to, well, extreme disbelief, probably much to the chagrin of those people who have actually been hurt by pizza. (Is there a support group for that? There might need to be.)
Do some digging, and you find it’s actually no laughing matter. The entire point of the CPSC is to keep track of unnecessary hazards the public is exposed to, and they also issue recalls and educate consumers about potential hazards. It turns out that pizza is just a small part of that, and some of the dangers are seriously no joke. These pizza-associated dangers are real, and some of them are downright deadly.

Pizza delivery drivers face more on-the-job dangers than you might imagine. In fact, their job is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in America.
The instances of violent robberies and assaults on drivers are terrifying. Just take what happened to Josh Lewis in 2015. According to Vice, he was delivering pizza when he was carjacked and stabbed in the back. The knife punctured a lung, and he was rushed to the emergency room.
The list goes on and on. In 2015, a female delivery driver was kidnapped at gunpoint then sexually assaulted by the same guy she was delivering the pizza to, says SF Gate. Also in 2015, a Houston pizza delivery driver was assaulted and robbed by a group of thugs who had ordered a delivery to a vacant apartment. He was left bloody and bruised, but Click2Houston says he got off relatively easy… that time. Two years before, he was delivering pizza when he was robbed and shot in the arm.

They are also the cause of so many accidents.
In 1993, The New York Times reported that Domino’s was ending their 30-minute delivery guarantee after a St. Louis jury handed out a $78 million compensation settlement to the family of a woman killed by a Domino’s driver. Domino’s appealed the amount, but agreed that it was time for their guarantee to go. It wasn’t the first deadly accident caused by the guarantee, but it was the final nail in its coffin.
It hasn’t stopped the tragic accidents, though — especially since many Domino’s restaurants still have their own 30-minute rule for drivers. A Domino’s driver was involved in a 2013 accident that killed one person and left her husband with permanent brain injury (via Forbes). The pizza chain was found to be at fault, in part because of lax regulations on the safety inspections performed on their vehicles.
Then, in 2017, a delivery driver drove through the storefront of her own Domino’s in Hialeah, Florida. Injuries to the people inside were minor, but the driver — who said she hit the gas instead of the brake — was taken to the hospital (via ABC Local News 10). It’s not getting better, either. In 2018, The Wichita Eagle reported a Pizza Hut driver was being held responsible for a crash that left one 86-year-old woman with broken ribs and killed her 59-year-old daughter.

Watch those fingers!
Anyone who’s ever had a knife slip on them knows how bad it hurts, and it’s not just home cooks that slice-and-dice their fingers. Jim D’Angelo is the COO of Lou Malnati’s, a pizza chain with 35 locations around Chicago. They had such a problem with cooks cutting their fingers that they require staff to wear heavy, mesh metal gloves when they’re doing things like cutting dough balls, and he says (via Pizza Today) it’s cut down on their injuries dramatically.
Pizza wheels can be just as dangerous when it comes to wandering fingers, and it’s not always a cook’s fault. In 2015, the CPSC recalled a series of Calphalon pizza wheels (commonly sold at places like Kohls and Target) because of “laceration hazard.” The handle of the pizza cutter had a tendency to snap while cutting, and landed several people in the hospital for stitches and emergency medical attention. Around 328,000 pizza wheels were sold, so it was a very real risk.

Potential Fire
We’ll start with the CPSC, who issued an alert regarding pizza stones way back in 1997. It was found that if customers followed the directions and cleaned them as the information booklet described (use oil on them, then put them in an oven at 550 degrees Fahrenheit), they’d catch fire. Not ideal.
Then, there’s the chance the pizza oven itself will catch on fire. That happened in 2013, when a gas oven in a food trailer serving pizza malfunctioned and sent a nearby worker to the hospital with first and second degree burns (via The Ledger). There was another major fire in 2016 at an Uno Pizzeria & Grill, and their oven door exploded after a can of cooking spray fell into the pizza conveyor. That one also caused burns to workers (via CBS Boston).
And finally, there are at least two oddly specific incidents of dogs swiping unguarded pizzas off stovetops, hitting the switches, and nearly burning down their homes. One was a Staffordshire bull terrier from England (via The Irish Independent), and the other was a black lab from Connecticut. Now, the important part: both dogs were fine, and no regrets were had.

Finding bones is a very real risk.
Do you like chicken on your pizza? It’s an excellent meat choice, but it’s also one that’s sent several people not only to the hospital, but to court.
In 2010, Calla Felicity was enjoying a BBQ chicken pizza at Round Table Pizza in San Francisco. Unfortunately, there was a bone in the chicken. She swallowed it without realizing, and it not only got lodged in her throat, but it punctured her esophagus in two places and did so much damage it took 11 surgeries to repair. She went to court and sued both the pizza place and the chicken supplier, and that’s when HO&P says it was found there had been 206 complaints about bones in the supplier’s chicken between 2005 and 2010, with some bones splinters finding their way onto pizza toppings. Felicity was awarded $2.5 million for her near-death experience.
There’s a real danger when it comes to chicken-topped frozen pizzas, too. The Stroud News and Journal reported that a British woman was campaigning for warnings on store bought pizza after she choked on a chicken bone from a frozen pizza.
In the face
The world is a strange place, and if you need any proof of that, how about this: People get hit in the face with pizzas way more than you’d expect.
Let’s talk about just a couple of those incidents. In 2011, 73-year-old magician Paul Daniels was guest-starring on the popular British kids’ show The Sooty Show, when a puppet threw a frozen pizza at him, hit him in the face, and sent him to the hospital with an eye injury. There’s literally nothing about that sentence that makes the least bit of sense, but there’s at least a decent ending — The Telegraph says he was fine, and they also say Sooty the puppet apologized.
A few years later, BroBible was laughing at a guy who slapped someone in the face with a piece of pizza, and then promptly got cold cocked and knocked out. And, on a more serious note, Fox News reported on a 2018 incident of domestic violence that ended with one Ohio man being arrested for hitting his girlfriend. She was driving when he started hitting her, and at one point, he hit her in the face with a pizza.

Keep those eyes on the road
In 2013, Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson crashed his 2009 GMC Yukon when he was driving home from picking up a few pizzas. One started to slide off the seat, he reached over to catch it, and drove into the road’s median wall. He ultimately had to have surgery to fix the broken bones in his arm, according to ESPN. There are no reports on the ribbing he got when he turned up to the locker room for the first time after the accident, but have you ever felt more connected to a celebrity?
Another pizza-related traffic accident nearly took the life of a man driving down an Arkansas interstate in 2017, and it’s a weird story. Darren Moore was following a semi laden with pizzas, and when the semi tried to drive under a bridge that was too low, Moore’s truck was suddenly filled with frozen pizzas. According to NBC KARK, Moore was taken to a nearby hospital, but was ultimately fine. They quoted him as saying, “Every day I see a wreck on most of the major highways in central Arkansas. I didn’t think I would ever get hit by a load … of pizzas.”

For the love of common sense, let it cool!
Pizza is delicious, but always make sure it’s cool enough that it’s not going to burn your mouth. Sometimes, it’s serious.
Healthline says the tissues of your mouth are incredibly delicate. That’s a good thing, as it means they’re receptive to all the tastes and textures of eating and drinking. But they’re also among the most easily burned tissues of the body, and they specifically cite pizza as a major culprit.
Yea, right, you’re saying. But pizza burns can be real and they can be serious, as in the case of an unnamed 36-year-old patient highlighted in a paper by Aristotle University’s School of Dentistry. She bit into a cheese pizza and was left with painful lesions in the soft tissues of her mouth. According to the researchers, it’s not the first time they’ve seen it and it’s most common with microwaved pizzas and other microwaved foods containing cheese. Cheese gets extremely hot and stays hot for a long time, and they note that the internal temperature of microwaved cheese is often higher than the external temperature. That means that just because it looks like it’s cool, you’re better off waiting a few extra minutes.

The other odd and miscellaneous injuries
Sometimes, it’s just a freak accident that sends someone to the hospital. (Just look at the case of Phineas Gage, one of the most notorious, bizarre accidents of the 19th century. Only… don’t be eating pizza while you read it.)
There are some other bits of randomness included in the 2,300 pizza-related injuries the CPSC was tweeting about, and Munchies rounded up a few more of the stranger examples. Sure, there were a lot of cuts and burns, but there was also one 58-year-old guy who had to go to the hospital for medical treatment after he sustained unspecified injuries when he — wait for it — fell out of bed reaching for a piece of pizza.
The tweet also says other injuries included people who fell while carrying pizzas, while picking up their carry-out orders, and people who were burned by pizza pans. By now, you’re asking if it’s a fluke. CPSC’s social media specialist Joe Galbo says it’s not. “I wish we could make a call on how Americans are doing as far as eating pizza, but … it wouldn’t be scientifically appropriate to say that the change in injuries is statistically significant.”

Here’s what else you should be afraid of
All this brings up an important question: What else should you be afraid of? The 2017 data highlights from CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System are a fascinating read, and it proves that you had no idea just how many people are hurt by the equipment in their kitchen on a yearly basis.
Did you know, for example, that an estimated 24,082 people were hospitalized by stoves and barbecues that year? (Even more surprising is that’s about half the number of people who are injured by television sets… what are you doing, America?!)
Glass bottles and jars are another danger, with 44,865 people injured in 2017 alone, and that’s about on par with the 55,537 people injured by fridges and freezers, and the 59,921 hurt by small kitchen appliances. That’s nothing compared to the damage done by cans, and those sent around 304,718 people to hospital. Now you know what to look out for. Cans.

Technology fills voids and fulfills dreams.

I love technology – but not as you may think.  I’m from the generation of those who were first-hand witnesses of the dawning of the age of communication.  I remember the first conversations of people trying to describe to me what the internet was, or how to send a fax – or… how RUDE it was to answer the cell phone in other people’s presence.  I’m not fifty yet.  Most people I know are tech-savvy, however, you still get the few who refuse to use it except for the bare minimum.

So, why do I like it so much? I know – it’s a silly statement if you are from a younger generation – but still.  I love it for the opportunities it gives us all!  No one is ever truly alone.  We all have the opportunity to work in a different way. We all have the opportunity to learn more and more and more.

From friends, I had heard of some initiatives (penguin counting – for example) that left me dumbfounded – but truth being said – THIS takes the cake.

It reaches me – as I suppose it does to many – on another level.  As a young girl, many an hour was spent outdoors, playing pretend – to be a discoverer, an archaeologist, a geologist, always searching to explore beyond what man had ever known – or what man should know.

Then life creeps up on you and you must sadly move on into reality, abandoning all side-dreams.

Sarah Parcak is giving to people what we thought would never be possible. Is it me, or is this really exciting?


Go to the original article at Ted Ed


Sarah Parcak hoped the power of the crowd could help accelerate archaeological discovery. See how 90-year-old Doris Mae Jones heard her call — and jumped in to search more than 50,000 tiles in Expedition Peru. With cat assistants.

Sarah Parcak: A hundred years ago, archaeology was for the rich, fifty years ago it was for men. But we are expanding it to the world. I wish for us to discover the millions of unknown archaeological sites around the world. By creating a 21st-century army of global explorers,we’ll find and protect the world’s hidden heritage. So how are we going to do this?


[Great Big Story in partnership with TED]


Narrator: They had a big idea to change the world. But they couldn’t do it alone.


(Voices overlapping) So, my wish … My wish … I wish … And now, here’s my wish …




[Ideas in action]


SP: I am an archaeologist, and I specialize in using satellite imagery to map ancient landscapes. The really fun title is space archaeology. You of course want to record maybe how thick something is, which you can’t measure from space, whether that’s soil or snow. When I won the prize, I had to present this completely crazy wish. I had to present the case for archaeology to the world. Why does it matter, so what? The reality is, there aren’t enough of us scientists, we’ve got to give more people opportunities to become explorers.


GlobalXplorer is an online crowdsourcing platform that allows anyone in the world to help map ancient sites by looking at satellite imagery. And it’s this idea that everyone in the world can make a contribution to science. It can be anyone.




Doris Jones: I’m Doris Jones, I’m 90 years old, I live alone except for my two kitties. And I need something to do. I play games, I like sudoku. And I play mahjong with friends on Friday.


(Music) And I’m an armchair archaeologist. Why don’t you want to work? Down. Down, let’s work.


SP: Doris is one of our top contributors; she’s a space archaeologist. She’s looked at many, many thousands of tiles. People like her are just a gift to GlobalXplorer.


DJ: Right now, I’m looking at a tile, but … Well, it has a wall, probably for animals. But it has a number of what look more like trails and roads. I’ll go to the next one.


SP: All you have to do is look at an image and look carefully, and you see that there could potentially be a new site there. Doris just has this passion and energy, an excitement for exploration. She’s able to give back and really contribute in a meaningful way.


(Skype dial tone)


SP: Doris!


DJ: Hi.


SP: I’m actually crying right now, because I’m overwhelmed with emotion.


DJ: Well, thank you.


SP: I just had to see your face and say, “Thank you.”


DJ: I really admire what you’re doing. And I really enjoy the program.


SP: When did your love for archaeology and paleontology and science start?


DJ: Well, in the middle 50s my husband and I were in the backyard digging a garden. It was late fall, and we were getting ready for next spring. And I saw a strange-looking white rock on the ground. I picked it up and he said, “Let me see that.” I showed it to him and he said, “You know what this is?” I told him I didn’t. He said, “This is a fossil.” And we took out to the creek and started looking for fossils. From then on, there was no turning back.


SP: That’s wonderful.


DJ: So then I collected for years. And after all those years, of course I’ve got all those memories. But that’s a type of thing … It’s not just hunting the fossils but the experiences. And you just learn and really live and enjoy. And I think the fun is in the hunt. You know, it’s like …Well, like the rainbow — at the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold. So GlobalXplorer was kind of my rainbow. And even at my age I can continue to hunt for lost civilizations.


SP: I want to tell you about some of the incredible things that happened as a result of your discoveries. We’re now beginning to take thousands of features that people like you have found and we’re sharing them with archaeologists who work in Peru. They’re beginning to confirm the things the crowd has found. So, in other words, the platform works. Ultimately, this technology is helping us to rewrite our history.


DJ: We need to know our history. We’re all one peoples. It’s all our history, we’re all here on this little ball of dirt.


SP: I believe we have barely scratched the surface in terms of what’s left to discover. And the greatest story ever told is the story of our shared human journey. But the only way that we’re going to be able to write it is if we do it together.


[Become a GlobalXplorer]


Work Ethics to Overcome

Go to the original site

Work ethics to overcome

An under two minute audio of one man’s memories from the seventies.

This is under two minutes, but stop and listen to this gentleman speaking.  I always try and find something for the blog that is “authentic”, for you to listen, watch, or read something that is suitable not only for the topic at hand, but also, for language learning.  I think this man, from the Unites States, speaking about his job situation in the past (interview in the 70’s) is a unique example of what I want in this blog.

So… this is very short, but lovely.

Questions that I put forth to you (remember – LISTEN first, without reading the transcript!):

  1. Do you have any natural obstacles that others may have had against you at your current – or past job?
    1. How did you overcome it/ them?
    2. Care to share your particular experience?
  2. How did Dee get over his problem – careful, it may be a trick question!
  3. Have you ever had a problem for being over efficient?
  4. What kind of job do you think he had?
    1. Do you think that the person who interviewed him had ever had a similar position?
    2. Do you think it is common for the person interviewing to have ever worked in a similar job to the post they are looking to fill?

Some of these questions may seem a bit off-hand, however, I believe that the topic leads to potentially interesting conversations, so, let’s talk!


Dee Dickson (DD)

Dee Dickson remembers trying to get a job as a shipyard electrician in the 1970s.

(DD): The guy that was interviewing told me I was too little, that I wouldn’t get along with the guys, that they would make life hard for me. He didn’t think I needed to be doing it. And my dad said, “Well, you know, my Uncle Alf is superintendent out there. I can get you on like that.” Finally, at the end of that week I let my dad take me to see Uncle Alf. So, I went the next Monday and the guy said, “Look, I got the word from the top. I don’t like it, but you’re hired.”

Then I went to the ship. And none of the guys would work with me. They said, “These are men’s jobs. You’re taking jobs away from men who have families.” I said, “I have a family and no man and I need money.” It took about two weeks before I started proving myself. And the guys were doing better with it. They would work with me. I had several guys who told me, “You need to slow down — you’re making us look bad.” (Laughs)

You know? And I’m like, “I’m here to work!”

We had to go to school two nights a week. And I was the first apprentice who had ever become supervisor before graduation. And they were mad because I got a raise. And I got a position they thought was theirs. It’s just… I had a knack for getting stuff done on time and getting it done right. Now, I had to do some things a little differently than they did, you know? I couldn’t lift an 80-pound transformer. But I found a way to do the same things they were doing. And it kind of made me better than I probably would have been if I was a guy.

Just Do It – Has done it again!

I’ve heard quite a bit of discussion over this campaign.  What do you think? Is the controversy worth it? Do you think that people burning up their trainers is a good thing?

Don’t forget to send me your thoughts or comment below!

Click to the original short article with corresponding vocab suggestions.

The sportswear maker Nike has announced it will use American football player Colin Kaepernick in its advertising campaign to celebrate its “Just Do It” 30th anniversary. Mr Kaepernick ignited controversy in 2016 while playing as quarterback for his team the San Francisco 49ers. He refused to stand for the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice and social issues. Instead, he knelt down on one knee. This started a trend of other players “taking the knee” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Kaepernick’s actions caused heated debate. In September 2017, President Donald Trump tweeted that NFL players should be either fired or suspended if they failed to stand up for the national anthem.

Nike will use a close-up image of Kaepernick’s face with the caption: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike supplies the uniforms for all the NFL’s 32 teams and is a corporate sponsor of the NFL. The company knows it will receive a backlash for using Mr Kaepernick in its ads. However, it said: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.” Yahoo Sports said: “It’s an interesting decision for Nike. No other athlete produces the same emotional response as Kaepernick.” Many on social media applauded Nike for its decision. One person tweeted: “Time to throw away all my Nike crap.”

MATCH the meanings:

Paragraph 1

      1. announced a. A formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or government, in which opposing arguments are put forward.
      2. campaign b. The date on which an event took place in a previous year.
      3. anniversary c. Disagreement, often when prolonged, public, and heated.
      4. ignited d. Made a public statement about a fact, happening, or plan.
      5. controversy e. A general direction in which something is developing or changing.
      6. trend f. An organized course of action to achieve a particular goal.
      7. debate g. Made an emotion or situation heated.

    Paragraph 2

      8. caption h. A person or company that pays some or all of the costs involved in putting on a sporting or artistic event in return for advertising.
      9. sacrificing i. A strong and negative reaction by a large number of people, especially to a social or political development.
      10. corporate j. Showed strong approval or praise.
      11. sponsor k. An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
      12. backlash l. Providing or showing creative or spiritual examples to do something.
      13. inspirational m. Relating to a large company or group.
      14. applauded n. A title or brief explanation put on an article, illustration, cartoon, or poster.


I think it’s worthwhile to follow up with this article.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback stirred a national controversy by taking a knee during the national anthem to protest against racism.

Colin Kaepernick , the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racism, has been chosen as the new face of Nike’s latest campaign.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback features in adverts marking the 30th anniversary of the ‘Just Do It’ slogan in a move that will no doubt antagonise Donald Trump .

Kaepernick posted a black-and-white close-up of himself on Instagram and Twitter on Monday featuring the Nike logo and ‘Just do it’ slogan.

The ad is accompanied by the quote: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

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