Fim

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As we come to the end of our conversation class, I would just like to thank all of you for the immense joy you gave me from being able to share my knowledge of the English language and American culture with you as you did with your native language and country with me.  It is so true that the teacher learns from the students as much as the students do from the teacher.  I had a great time teaching all of you and hope to work with you again some time in the near future.  Good luck to you all and may your English continue to improve.  Thanks again.  Good night : )

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Farewell Ana Carolina

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Goodbye Ana Carolina.  You brought great enthusiasm, an adventurous and curious spirit, a great sense of humor, an excellent taste in music, and a whole lot of Portguese ; )  All kidding aside, you were a fantastic student and welcome addition to the class.  Should you ever decide to return, wherever I teach, there will be a place for you in my class.  Good luck to you and thanks again for that great book!  Chau!

Astronomy

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This is a picture of the known, observable universe.  Don’t get too fixated; the universe is constantly expanding and growing.  However, if you look closely,top-center, you can see a unit of measurement, very small in size in the picture; almost unfathomably large in reality.  That’s right, to traverse the distance being measured there, it would take you more than one billion light years.  In other words, if you traveled at the speed of light, some 187,000 miles per second, it would take you more than a billion years to get from point a to point b–absolutely amazing!  And yet the size of the universe is only one of many seemingly incomprehensible facts about our home.  The universe is filled with paradoxes, oxymorons, enigmas, mysteries and unknowns.  Among them are the space/time fabric of Einstein, the black holes of Hawking, string theory of modern physics, and the big bang theory of Hubble, not even mentioning parallel universes and Drake’s Equation! (see below)  The endearing dichotomy of complexity and simplicity which rules the universe will never cease to amaze me.  You may not be as amazed as I am.  Although, I hope you have found this topic interesting.

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Do you believe?  According to the Drake Equation, there are more than 10,000 intelligent civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy alone, confounding given that we have yet to hear from one of them, or have we?   It’s hard to imagine that in a universe so vast, so alive and so infinite that we humans living on a tiny speck of dust are truly the only intelligent life forms in the universe.  Some groups spend their lives trying to prove that this isn’t so, such as ufologists and SETI.  There is even a famous scientific equation, the Drake Equation, which aims to prove that intelligent life exists on other planets through mathematical deduction.  UFOlogists try to prove this to us by showing us pictures of alien aircraft or pictures of actual aliens.   The only ones who seem to continually try to disprove this is the U.S. government, who ironically enough, might be the only ones who have hard proof that aliens exist.  It is purported that alien aircraft crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1951.  The site remains a tourist destination for many people.  No matter what your opinion may be, the discussion of intelligent life forms will continue as long as there is a sky to wonder at.