A short week on Tuesday began with exploring the concept of globalization.  First, a spelling test of the vocabulary words.  Then on Wednesday, we covered their pronunciation. After that, we discussed the meanings of the words: nationalism, alienation, exploitation.  The majority of you had positive feelings about the word Nationalism, believing that it refers to pride of your country, which was the primary definition of the word.  Only another student and I had a negative connotation for this word.  I see nationalism more in showing excessive or irrational love of one’s country and its ideals.  Do you think it is because I am American?  Later on, as we talked about exploitation, some, including myself, found out that we were wearing clothes that people were paid in some cases under 30 cents an hour to produce them.  Does that make you feel at all that, in the future, you wouldn’t want to buy clothes made under those conditions?  Think about these questions as you prepare a post.

You guys helped to make the conversation interesting through your participation.  I enjoyed hearing your ideas.

Listen to this example of economic globalization here.  As you listen to it, think about the following:  Does anything like this really happen?  Do you think that it is fair and necessary?  Do you know of any examples like this one in your own country?

10/17  Call centers and India, Coca-cola and Colombia:

Interesting discussion today, but don’t believe anything I say!  A google search of the topic will show tons of web pages discussing the matter of Human rights abuses by Coca-Cola in Colombia.  Did it really happen?  Who is responsible?  What is your responsibility?  Just some questions we discussed in the class.

The class was divided on their answers, but that’s what makes the conversation interesting.  There are a variety of points of view in the classroom; I like the diversity.  If you would like to elaborate on your answers, you can take the opportunity and discuss it as a communication exercise.


In the last two classes we looked at some statistics from the United Nations about poverty around the world.  We saw some very disconcerting facts.  I have given this class a couple of times in the past, but I never cease to be amazed at how wide poverty reaches and how little governments around the world do to eradicate poverty.  Everyone looked sad, but thoughtful at the end of the class.  After today’s class, I hope everyone looks hopeful as we will look at some different things that ordinary people are doing to help those in poverty around the world.

The final day of our discussion about poverty focused on a non-profit money lending organization from San Francisco, California called KIVA.  KIVA allows people to lend money, as little as $25, to entrepreneurs in 3rd world countries.  Repayment of loans has been 99%, an amazing return rate.  I think this did provide a light at the end of the tunnel.  KIVA is a way that you can participate to help end poverty.  I proposed the idea of each student giving $2 so that we could make a $25 loan ton one the entreppreneurs from KIVA.  If you are interested, talk to me about it in class, and we can look at the different people looking for loans and then choose one as a group.

Prepare yourself for your post and oral summary come Monday.  There are a lot of things you can talk about under the topic of globalization and poverty.  A few questions to consider are:

What would you put in a poverty museum?  How has globalization affected your country, or how has your country contributed to globalization?  What are your feelings about the situation in Colombia with Coca-Cola?  Do you think consumers have a responsibility when choosing which products they buy?  Do you think globalization has been positive or negative?  What statistics from the poverty presentation did you find the most disturbing?  Why?  Is globalization really just Americanization?  These are just a few questions to consider when preparing yourself.  Of course you can always come up with your own questions to answer as well.  Take care and have a great weekend.




This week: Drugs.  The past couple of classes have revolved around topics, such as: the medicinal benefits of marijuana, artists and drug use, drug culture, the creation, rise, decline and rebirth of LSD, Katt Williams, “Happy, hungry, sleepy” routine; many others.


Today we discussed the concept of gateway drug.  I argued that alcohol, rather than marijuana, is more likely the gateway drug.  A poll in the class found out that somebody’s first consumed drug was an alcoholic beverage; ironically, mine was even in the church.

After that, we talked about the relationship between drugs, prison and racism.  We looked at some graphs that showed some disturbing trends in the American prison system.  First, we saw that America is the world’s leading jailer.  Next, we saw how this has just been happening over the last thirty years. Within that same time period, African-Americans have been incarcerated at an alarming rate compared to white people even though a poll showed that it is more likely a white person who is selling and consuming drugs.  But it is the African-American who is unjustly incarcerated. I argued that this shows a racism which is systematic and institutionalized in America.  Many people believe that racism and slavery are a thing of the past in America, but I believe it is a thing of the present-real and now.



I’m glad that you guys had such a positive response to the editing class we did.  Analysis like that is very useful not only for your written grammar, but also for your spoken grammar.  We can do that kind of class every two weeks.  Remember, even though you became aware of certain mistakes, unless you actively work to fix them, they will remain, and then, they will be harder to correct.  BE ACTIVE about your learning.  The results will amaze you!

editing document

Click here for interactive grammar exercises.  Great practice!

Sheep: Little Bo Peep- Mary had a little lamb- lamb chops- wooly bully; you can lead a flock to water, but you can’t make them drink it; where’s the black sheep: who’s the black sheep, wolf in sheep’s clothing;

We’ve been talking about sheep for the past couple of days in class–I like to talk about anything! ; ) I had never given sheep much consideration until I came across this funny little news article about sheep suicide. In the article the sheep show no attention to their surroundings while following each other in jumping to their deaths. Poor farmer. He lost all of that money and said he would switch to chicken farming instead.

Please feel free to contribute a post about life on the farm or in the country or any funny animal stories if you have them.