Getting through this Pandemic is also difficult for those of us who are not taken sick. Watching the news evokes a full range of emotions in us. Try to fill in the blanks with the most appropriate word that shows reaction to each of the situations that we have been seeing or reading about.
Most of us were at the length of time it took some world leaders to recognize and react to the Pandemic.
Those of us who were following the news closely became at the rate that the virus was multiplying.
We were also when we realized that the choice to prepare for COVID-19 was many times deeply political.
Depending on where we lived, some of us were when we realized that it was up to us to educate ourselves about public health and probably demand more responsive health systems from elected politicians.
We were also to learn that many cyber criminals were taking advantage of the new virtual environments adopted by government agencies, businesses, schools and private citizens who were seeking to maintain communication after they were quarantined.
Some things, or most things, were very disturbing. I, for one, was when I heard that the American government had ordered 100,000 body bags when the coffins appeared to be running out.
And who wasn’t to learn that domestic violence was on the rise in countries everywhere where victims were trapped at home with their abusive partners?
Some things were simply outrageous in light of the world’s situation. I found it that the NRA was suing New York State for deeming gun stores non-essential businesses during the pandemic.
There were also interesting facts to those of us who are not scientists. Seismologists were to observe a decrease in seismic noise, which means that the lessening of vibrations generated by cars, trains, buses and people are making the earth’s outer crust shake less.
I was born near the end of WWII and raised in a small town in New Jersey, just a little more than a 30-minute drive from NYC. It was a wonderful place to be brought up, feeding ducks and canoeing on the river that meandered through the town in the summer, and ice-skating on that same river in the winter.
My two brothers and I were privileged to be raised in a lovely town that was safe to explore on foot, but close enough to NYC to be taken there on day trips to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily B & B circus, museums, Chinatown, street fairs in the spring and Broadway shows as we grew older. But we thought nothing of it.
Later as teens, we would go into NYC to buy a couple of beers (the drinking age in New York State was 18, and 21 in New Jersey) and hang out in Greenwich Village where we saw singers such as Bob Dylan who were on the first rung of the ladder on their way to fame.
The sixties were a time of speaking out and creating change. I decided to do my part by joining the Peace Corps, an innovative cold war program established by John F. Kennedy in 1961. I arrived in Brazil at the end of 1966, and after an adaptation period, was sent to serve in Porto Nacional, in what was Goias at that time. I can’t say I changed the course of the country, especially as I was immediately called upon to teach English in the local high school.
I have been teaching ever since; high schools, college literature, college language pedagogy, financial English and everything in-between. I married a wonderful Brazilian from Rio and we had 3 boys and moved around some, as he was an engineer who worked on hydro dams. Nowadays I am a widow and live in BH with 3 cats, one of which has extraordinary powers, and I have 4 wonderful and uniquely different grandchildren nearby. Thus far, I have had an interesting life, and this new endeavor called a blog should make it even more interesting.
Tattoos have been around for more than 5,000 years. Egyptians, for example, used tattoos to differentiate between peasants and slaves, a kind of social branding. But ink art, which is what some fans like to call tattooing, has really exploded in the past 25 years. But not all of us have succumbed to this fad. And many of us who don’t have a tattoo have a favorite mug. Having a tattoo or becoming attached to a mug are not dissimilar. According to research, 60% of Americans say they have an emotional attachment to a favorite mug. And about 40% said their special mug was irreplaceable, and about 1/3 of those said they would be devastated if it broke. Personally, I think that most of these people don’t have tattoos. Mugs and tattoos are both an extension of our personalities, and both express the way we would like the world to perceive us. That is not to mention, of course, that those of us who have tattoos or mugs are often irrationally attached to them.
I really don’t know how long Betsy has been my teacher. I do know she is the best teacher I have ever had. She can join daily happenings with an admirable sense of humor that makes her classes quite unique. She is intelligent, smart, very confident and besides everything she became a close friend of us. It’s a privilege being her student.
Meu compromisso semanal com a Betsy não pode ser considerado uma aula, e sim um momento onde dois amigos conversam, em inglês, sobre assuntos variado do dia a dia. Ela é uma pessoa muito atualizada, antenada no que acontece no mundo e em nossa cidade, e sempre traz seu ponto de vista sobre algum tema que debatemos. O que mais me impressiona é que a Betsy nunca vai para uma aula sem prepara-la, sem que tenha pesquisado e buscado textos e informações que muito acrescentam, tanto no idioma quanto no conhecimento geral. É um grande prazer poder usufruir de uma companhia tão agradável, e que não está preocupa somente em ensinar o idioma, mas que procura debater temas e assuntos do nosso cotidiano. Considero um privilégio este momento com ela, e somente tenho a agradecer sua dedicação e seu comprometimento.
Betsy is a wonderful English teacher! Not only is she a native English speaker, but she is also “antenada” in what’s going on around the globe, enabling all kinds of subjects to be brought to light through very engaging and in-depth discussions, and providing a rich vocabulary, with words and expressions you don’t normally find in your usual English textbooks (and that are only ever mentioned on advanced English classes after years and years of going to the same English school). She is very open-minded and has a great sense of humor, making “convos” interesting and funny. And…Betsy loves cats – she is the best! Love, Carla & Amanda.
É um prazer falar das aulas da Betsy. São empolgantes, temas variados e atuais, envolventes, bem preparados e com muito amor, com certeza. Acredito que seu blog será “helpful ” para todos aqueles que têm interesse em aprender a língua inglesa ou simplesmente intensificar seu conhecimento. Um abraço carinhoso e sucesso!
King Henry VIII’s royal stool I love to learn new things about the English language and was very pleased to learn on a recent trip to London that the British royals used to call their toilet rooms “places of easement”. When I visited King Henry VIII’s palace I found out that he used to sit on top of a padded chair on what…
Summer is ending in Brazil, and for those who spent it on a Brazilian beach, we might need a post-summer diet. The best street food in Brazil is not found on the streets, but instead on the beaches. Brazilian beaches are a festival of delicious, fattening food, sold by friendly vendors who walk along the beach for uncountable kilometers each day. These vendors get a lot of exercise,…