Review: The Pacific Crest Trail

March 19, 1998

The Pacific Crest Trail

“Wherever we go in the mountains, we find more than we seek,” said John Muir, an avid naturalist who fought for the preservation of the western wilderness because of their beauty and the relaxation he found in them.  The Pacific Crest Trail was a delight to read as I followed the author from Southern California to Northern Washington.  It took me from the roadside view I have seen blur past my eyes into the wilds and rugged topographic beauty of the Sierra Nevada range across the Mojave desert, into the bowl of Crater Lake and the icy peaks of Mount Rainier to the Canadian border.

Author and adventurer, William R. Gray, wrote this book in such a way that I felt I was experiencing along with him the wet, boulder-strewn trails, the breathtaking uplifted peaks, and the flora of the trail.  Never before have I taken much interest in extensive backpacking/hiking but being able to see the rugged mountains and serene valleys while actually experiencing the world God created has grabbed my attention.  Perhaps I shall attempt the hike myself sometime.

Gray met 87-year-old geologist, Dr. Rene Engel, who described subterranean forces of mountain building and offered this advice, “Be alert as you walk through the mountains.  You will learn much more geology from them than you will from me.”

I think Dr. Engel said it well.  For myself it is one thing to read, study, or even see pictures of the structures of the earth.  But it is a whole new dimension to feel the rough ancient volcanic rock under my feet and understand the gigantic forces God used to make the beautiful ranges Gray described.

Through the variety of ecological environments he passed, Gray, brought the pages of this book to life with descriptions of the land, the creatures and the people who have made these areas their home.  The flora which struggles to survive in the scorching heat of the Mojave Desert draws life-giving water from the porous stone which seems to soak up any moister as quickly as it falls.  This book, with its photographs and descriptive phrases, has given me a guided tour through the deserts and mountains of the Pacific Coast.  Gray described the contrasts of nature as he saw them change with each mile he passed.  The heat of the desert gradually became the freezing wind at the cap of Mount Whitney at 14,494.164 feet.

Just as John Muir said, I found more than I expected in mountains and valleys described in this book.  Not only did I learn about the topography of the Pacific Crest Trail; I learned about the forces which made the numerous ridges and volcanic cones.  I learned to take a second look at the world around me and find the natural beauty of God’s creation.  Someday, perhaps, I will follow the Pacific Crest Trail, but for now I will let this remind me to take a closer look at nature around me and remember the natural geologic stories beneath my own feet.

Sociolinguistics studies affect on practical TESL

#3 Discuss how the topics in sociolinguistics will affect your practice in TESL and other relationships.

This Sociolinguistics class covered a variety of topics, and has proven very enlightening about communication styles and political attitudes in the United States concerning language education and very practical in how to deal with communications between cultures and genders. Continue reading

Tech Tips: Fake Text Wrap In Photoshop

Text wrapping in Photoshop

I had a project that I needed to be able to wrap text around an object and I needed to be able to do it in Photoshop.

A quick search of the internet brought me to this Photoshopessentials website  that was just what I needed! Discover fake text wrapping here.

“Photoshop may be the world’s most popular and most powerful image editor, but it doesn’t quite measure up with programs like InDesign or even Illustrator when it comes to text…”

via Faking Text Wrap In Photoshop.

Unanimus Pro Eo Unus Lingua (Of One Mind Because One Language)

24 April, 2000

Measure the value of a common language–this ability to communicate–and you will measure the value of a thread to a tapestry.  Common language is a thread running through the magnificent tapestry of American society.  It holds together the diversity of families and cultures in a common picture: diverse, colorful, yet unified and complimentary.  Without the thread of common language, the tapestry that once portrayed a unified community will split and fall leaving one section here, another portion there, and yet another piece to be untangled by the house cat on its morning patrol of the Great Hall.

In the United States, English is by far the most widely used language, and, for hundreds of years, it has been the common bond that connects immigrants of all descent and grants them the title they have cherished so dearly–“American”.  They value this title because it is a title that does not call for them to forsake all culture of their past but to gain a new culture and build one nation that spans the continent and not split it into sixty nations the size of Georgia.  This unification is being weakened by the influx of non-English-speaking immigrants who no longer take measures or retain the desire to become American in language.  Some of them are content to settle in areas where their native tongue is spoken not only in the homes but in the entire community allowing English to become an unnecessary luxury.  This is perhaps convenient in their mind because they do not have to learn a new language, but it contributes to the division of this nation of immigrants.  In 1983, Senator Walter Huddleston noted that open acceptance of English has allowed citizens and  immigrants “to discuss our differences, to argue about our problems, and to compromise on solutions” while developing  “a stable and cohesive society” (114).  Many immigrants come to the United States to work and to build better lives for themselves.  It must be realized that quality of life does not come from living at a certain location nor from working a certain job.  One aspect of a quality life is unity with other human beings.  Unity occurs when people not only work together but find ways to communicate with each other about their feelings, their plans, and their dreams. Continue reading

TESL: Vocabulary Technique Activity

Level: Beginning to intermediate

Materials needed: Sets of 6+ items from definable locations (i.e. a fork, knife, spoon, napkin, plate, cup, etc. representing a dinner setting.)  Like dinner settings, the kitchen, a classroom, etc.

Time: 7-12 minutes

Purpose: Provide hands on practical learning of vocabulary which will be usable to the student. Emphasis on aural/visual recognition.

Technique:  The teacher will set the items before the students and let them  handle each piece while she describes the place these items would be found (dining table, etc.).  Then the teacher gives the word for each item and they repeat.  The teacher may then ask the students to pick up the item she names to check their comprehension.

Variations:  Teacher holds up an item and the students provide the names. The items are put away and students draw the item after the teacher names each one. Items from each set may be mixed later on to confirm comprehension.

Review: Keep Talking by Freiderike Klippel

Definitely a book worthy to be in the hand of every language teacher — Keep Talking by Freiderike Klippel. Klippel brings together a wonderful culmination of exercises and teaching techniques and ideas which should be practiced in many a classroom.
This book contains 123 activities all organized and categorized to be of maximum use for the teacher. For convenience, the activities are listed so a teacher can look up an activity which will fit her classroom needs specifically. There are three major headings for the activities: Questions and answers, Discussions and decisions, and Stories and scenes. Each activity is categorized by topic, language level, type of student organization needed whether from groups to individuals, amount of preparation involved, and time in minutes for the exercise to be completed.

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Bilingual Education: The Tie that Divides

In the United States there is the presupposition that bilingual education is the answer to teaching linguistically diverse children.  The idea is that the children who have a mother tongue other than English and do not speak English as their own language will be sufficiently able to merge and communicate with the major culture of the States while being taught the majority of their classes in their native tongue.  In many cases this presupposition creates a setting where the same children are never exposed to English beyond a few hours of each school day. Continue reading

Review: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter

Collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter Observed by the NASA Infrared telescope Facility” was written by a board of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientist as a report on their observations of the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter as observed from July 12 to August 7, 1994.

The article described how this particular telescope allows scientists to attach three different measuring and/or recording instruments to help in observations.  The scientists chose to attach a camera with a low-resolution spectrometer, an Array Camera, and a high-resolution spectrometer.  These instruments let the scientists record their findings and obtain extensive information about each impact.

The scientist took measurements of the reflection of Jupiter on its moons Io and Europa to see how much of the impacts explosions were reflected onto the moons.  According to this article little or no reflection of the impact was recorded. Continue reading

TESL: A Case Study

 

Learning about Carl Learning English

April 28, 1999

The subject of this case study is a male Vietnamese student at Oral Roberts University.  For the sake of anonymity I will refer to the subject as “Carl”.  Carl is 40 years of age and has been in the United States for 23 years although he has been studying and practicing English over a period of 26 years.  His English studies began in seventh grade while still in Vietnam.  Carl is right handed and worked very intently on the tests I asked him to take.  He seemed very systematic and patient with the material even when he did not understand part of it.  At the time of our interview, he had his watch set 10 minutes faster than real time.  Yet, despite his apparent attempt to be on schedule he arrived about that many minutes late to our meeting.  In this case study I will discuss Carl’s learning styles and strategies, his personality factors contributing to learning, and sociocultural factors involved in learning. Continue reading

Leadership Development among Navajo Youth

Michael P. Shead

Senior Paper

International Community Development

Oral Roberts University

Tulsa, Oklahoma

December 7, 1999

Part II: The Community Development Project

For part one click here

Leadership training among the Navajo men  between ages 12 and 17 in the Shiprock Agency of the Navajo Nation Reservation.

A Note From the Researcher.

A comprehensive documentation of the needs and suggested solutions for any people group would probably fill volumes.  This document is not, by any means, an attempt to address all the needs of the Navajo people but to identify specific leadership issues and present a possible solution in this area.

This project is an effort to contribute an organized leadership training program for young Navajo men.  Its purpose is to train up young leaders who know Jesus Christ as Savior and friend and who will be able, honest, and wise leaders in every area of Navajo life.  This project will take on several stages before completion: analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation and empowerment.

Michael Shead

Tulsa, 1999

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