Resolutions and Manifestos for 2014

Happy New Year everyone!

We started off the new year with a quick review of the month of January, the first month of the year. It is usually the coldest month of the year, and it has been cold here in Boston! The birthstone is the garnet, a pretty red gem, and the birth flower is dianthus caryophyllus ,or pink carnation . In addition to New Years Day on January 1st, we also celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany (Three Wise Men) on January 6th, and on January 20th we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.

After discussing how we celebrated New Years, we took a look at six unusual celebrations around the world, from Mexico to Japan to Belgium and more. Here’s the list we used in class  Six New Year’s Traditions  and the country.

Now for a more serious side of New Years, we reviewed four festive phrasal phrases:                  (1.) give up     (2.) end up     (3.) go out     (4.) bump into

Then we looked at these questions to find out the meanings of these four festive phrasal verbs:

1,) Did you decide to give up something for the New Year?                                                                   ( means to stop doing something, for example, a bad habit)

2.) Did you end up somewhere you didn’t expect to be on New Year’s Eve?                                         (means to finally find yourself in a place that you didn’t intend to go to)

3.) Did you go out or stay in on New Year’s Eve?                                                                                    (means to take part in a social activity outside the home)

4.) Did you bump into any old friends over the New Year’s holiday?                                                   (means to meet by chance)

Next, we talked about our New Year’s resolutions. What are resolutions, anyway, and then we shared our own personal resolutions for the year. Lastly, we discussed why do we make resolutions, what’s the point?

And so, from our own personal resolutions we opened up our discussion to some inspirational life resolutions of a sort, manifestos. Manifestos are written public statements stating the intentions, motives or views of a government, group, or individual. We discussed some common manifestos, like the US Declaration of Independence. Our focus today was on the Holstee Manifesto, which was written by a small design company, Holstee, and used as a guideline for their employees and customers. Before reading the Holstee Manifesto we used some of their phrases and completed them with our own ideas to come up with our class manifesto. We watched this video on the Holstee Manifesto 

After we all read the printed version of the Holstee Manifesto, we had a lively discussion on whether it is too simple; unrealistic; nice but not very helpful, and much more. But we all agreed that it is inspirational and offers some good things for us to think about and consider in out lives. Basically, live your life well!


Now for the first Words of the Day for 2014 –

markup (noun) : an amount added to the price of something                                                          – The markup on new cars can result in high selling prices.

gratuity (noun) : an amount of money given to a person (such as a waiter or waitress) who has performed a service : a tip                                                                                                            – Our meal at the restaurant was great, we left the waiter an extra 10% gratuity for her pleasant service.      

on the house (idiom) : free ; without charge (usually at a restaurant)                                             – When the bartender found out that it was my birthday, he gave us a round of drinks on the house!             


Remember to relax and practice!!  Looking forward to a great 2014 with you all!