Inspire and Advise

Hi Everyone,

What a beautiful, sunny and warm day it is! This is graduation season at the many colleges and universities here in Boston and Cambridge. Related imageThe graduation ceremonies all full of traditions, and a way to honor and congratulate all the students. In addition to awarding diplomas to students, there are also commencement speeches that offer advice and inspiration to graduates as they head off into the world.

Today we focused first on inspiration.Who inspires us? What inspires us? Where do we get inspiration? Image result for inspiration in a canWe can be inspired by nature, the planet, heroes, kindness, books, movies, music, lectures and much more. We are also inspired by our parents, family and friends, students, teachers, religious and political leaders, and many historical figures. Inspiration has a positive effect on our behavior and emotions. 

We agreed that people in our lives and other humans often give us inspiration. We watched this video of a conversation between Blanca Alvarez and her daughter, Connie. They talk about their struggles and challenges in life and how it led to inspiration. Take a look here: 

Image result for icing on the cake

icing on the cake means something that makes something good even better

After watching we talked about how Blanca inspired her daughter to achieve success in her life by watching her mother and father deal with the challenges of coming to the United States and starting a new life.

As Connie says at the end of their conversation “For me watching you go to school with two kids and trying to make ends meet that was the biggest inspiration for me to finish college. So, it’s the most important thing for me having gone to college and I feel like anything I do from here on out is ok, because I’ve already achieved my dream. Everything else is icing on the cake.” 

Now, for the advice part of today’s topic. As we mentioned earlier this is graduation season and that means lots of graduation speeches. We watched this 2 minute video of the best 2016 commencement speeches. 

The clips are brief and fast, but, there are some inspiring advice offered to the graduates and lots of congratulations! (Remember that advice is a noun – pronounced with an “s” sound; and advise is a verb – pronounced with a “z” sound)

Next we watched this video which was originally a column in the Chicago Tribune published in 1997, 20 years ago. It was written to offer advice to graduates, and as we watched it we listened to the advice and thought about whether or not it is still relevant today, 20 years later. Take a look here:

We discussed the advice and then in groups shared some of the pieces of advice and decided which we thought was the most important. We also discussed some of our own advice we would also offer to graduates. So, inspiration can be in actions, and words.    Nice job everyone!!

Words of the day

arm in arm (idiom) : next to each other with the arm of one person linked at the elbow to the arm of another person                                                                                     An elderly couple walked down the street arm in arm, and it showed their closeness together.

exhilarate (verb) : to cause (someone) to feel happy and excited                                    We were exhilarated by the news of his promotion to manager.

bulky (adjective) : large and difficult to carry or store : of a person : large and muscular                                                                                                                                      It’s always a challenge of where to store all my bulky winter coats and sweaters!

Remember to relax and practice! 



Your Opinion Matters

Hi Everyone,

Today we discussed facts and opinions – facts are based on real events, and opinions are personal judgement and beliefs that may or may not be based on fact. We all have opinions on many, many topics and so today we shared some of them. We started with expressions and phrases we use to introduce our opinions – the most basic opinion expressions are I agree…. and I disagree…. Take another look at this review of various expressions ,and the argument between two roommates Opinions Review  Next we all wrote down a one sentence opinion on anything . And then we took turns giving our opinions on our fellow classmates statements. Well done everyone! The last practice we did today was to rate six different topics in small groups. As a class we reviewed each group’s opinions on the topics and discussed the topics. Here is the worksheet we used in class Opinion Woksheet

Next we took a look a video ,The Sunscreen, that is full of advice. As we watched the video we thought about what we agreed and disagreed with , and what advice we really felt passionate about. Everyone shared and expressed their opinions about this advice very well!  Here’s the video for you to watch again 

Words of the day

refreshments (noun) : drinks and small amounts of food                                                              Today at our weekly meeting refreshments, including coffee and bagels, were served.

cluster (noun) : a group of people or things that are close together                                            A small cluster of people gathered at the scene of the car accident.

 lethargic (adjective) : feeling a lack of energy or a lack of interest in doing things                     After Thanksgiving dinner and all the turkey and pies, many people feel very lethargic and just want to lie on the couch and watch football.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Remember to relax and practice!