Community : People and Place

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow, April 22nd, is Earth Day. The annual celebration of the environment and nature. The 3 Rs for a healthier earth are :Image result for 3rs for a healthier earthWe talked about some ways we reduce, reuse and recycle. Then we talked about the “greening” of certain cities. Boston is considered a “green” city not only because of its open spaces and gardens, but, the city has good public transportation, bike rental facilities, recycling trash bins on sidewalks, and public awareness. New buildings are using alternative energy sources, and water conservation systems. Washington, D.C. was also mentioned as another “green”  (= environmentally friendly) city. There are a few events to celebrate Earth Day tomorrow – a march on the Boston Common for Science, and the annual Charles River clean-up.

Today’s topic was – Communities: People and Place. We began with a definition of community-a group of people that live in the same place. Also, a community is a group of people that share similar ideas, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, religions, education, lifestyle, politics, civil security and safety, nationality, language, culture, interests,and more. We talked about specific communities – families, universities, groups of friends, sports teams, business/professional, and others. Then we talked about the roles, and duties, responsibilities and rights that we have in these communities. We almost forgot to talk about online communities, which most of us are members of.

We discussed our personal communities, in small groups, and found that we have lots of communities in common and also some that are very different.

Next we described the place of community – our own neighborhoods. What do they look like? What is the tempo of life? How about sounds and smells? Is it crowded or open? 

But how does a community become a community? We watched this video about two Dutch artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn (known as Haas&Hahn) who created and led a community-made global art project to encourage a community to work together to improve their community. Watch it again here:

After watching we talked about the project and what impacts it has on communities. Some of us thought the paintings were ugly, and did not do much more than fix the exterior of the buildings. What about the lives of the people living inside? Others thought that maybe these paintings would encourage the people in the community to strive for an improved life and respect for their neighborhoods.

If you are interested the full article about Hass&Hahn’s latest projects around the world and to see some photographs of their work and the communities they are working in click on the link below:

Gallery: Colorful, community-made global art projects — for everyone

Celebrate community and Happy Earth Day!

Image result for earth day

Remember to relax and practice!

Earth Day

Hi Everyone,   Today, April 22nd, we take time to celebrate and honor our Earth! There are lots of activities taking place all over Boston and all over the world today to show how we need to protect and preserve our natural resources, before it’s too late. We started today’s class with a discussion about the history of Earth Day, and read this article Celebrate Earth . We talked about what other countries are doing to address environmental issues like air and water pollution, climate change, melting polar ice caps, and a general waste of non-renewable resources. This year’s theme is about planting trees and restoring our air and earth. In honor of this we all got a small paper Earth which contains flower seeds that you can plant.  Here are the instructions on how to grow the seeds: First, soak the Earth in water overnight. Then break it into small pieces and plant it in a small pot (or cup) of dirt. Water it daily and give it some sunshine and in 1-3 weeks you will have some pretty wildflowers! (Don’t forget to add some love, too.)
Hope you enjoy celebrating Earth Day by planting your own flowers!


As we talk about environmental and other issues we often use verbs like should, must and have to. For example, We should protect the environment. It makes good sense. We must protect our environment or our resources will disappear. You have to use other forms of transportation occasionally. Here’s a table to show the different uses of these verbs: We also did this practice of should, must, and have to, just click here to review it again. 

So, we continued our discussion about Earth Day and focused on non-human life forms on Earth – plants and animals. We don’t always think about plants and animals when we think about air and water pollution and climate change and deforestation, but, these creatures and living species are also deeply affected. Each year certain animal and plant species are listed as extinct, and also each year there are discoveries of new plant and animal species.  We looked at some of these new discoveries and then watched this film which looks at the theme of preserving what we have on Earth in order to discover more. The film shows us some very unusual species that have recently been discovered.  

Hopefully, we will honor and cherish Earth every day, not just today. We agreed that the environmental issues are real and significant, but, together we can all help.

Words of the day

adrift (adjective) : of a boat: floating on the water without being tied to anything : without guidance, purpose, or support                                                                                She was alone and adrift when she arrived in Boston by herself for the first time last year.

akimbo (adjective) : of the arms : with hands on the hips and the elbows turned outward                                                                                                                                      He was trying to get everyone’s attention and stood at the head of the class with arms akimbo.

ponytail (noun) : a way of arranging hair by gathering it together at the back of the head and letting it hang down freely                                                                                       Her hair is so long that she usually wears her hair pulled back in a ponytail.

Remember to relax and practice!

For Earth Day and everyday, let’s never forget the 3Rs.