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May 27, 2006

Where I Surf - Meeting Toni Morrison


The following online article was written by my colleague at IUP, Alyce Baker Putt. After reading it, I thought I'd share it with my readers or for anyone who might be interested with the re-print below (see end of article for citation source):

Tell Your Mom Thank You

Despite her small stature, she entranced me. All I could do was stare at her—even though I know it is impolite. No one else seemed to notice her. They were busy chitchatting and eating. I was busy looking at her.

My passion for Toni Morrison’s works began during the summer of 1999 while taking a major author course at Shippensburg. Prior to this course, I had never read any of Morrison’s works. By the end of the five-week course, I had read all six of her novels. She has published two more, which I, of course, bought and read immediately. I have also read her non-fiction and much of the criticism about her works. And I have read practically every interview she has ever given.

People have asked what lures me to Morrison’s works. Most often I reply . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 02:55 PM and is filed under Where I Surf.

May 25, 2006

Essay - (A)pathetic State-of-Affairs?

Hello Everyone,

One thing the American public certainly does NOT seem apathetic about is who should be the top Pop "IDOL," (read: an image used as an object of worship), with - according to M.C. Ryan Seacrest (see the MSNBC story HERE) - some 50 million people participating in the voting process to ultimately elect Taylor Hicks as the latest winner. The web is virtually crawling with websites devoted to the subject and the apparent controversies surrounding the Idol organization's refusal to publish the actual numbers and political analysts using the theoretical projections to make comparisons with the last presidential voting turnout.

Today, however, Ellen Degeneres had an interesting report on her show today about New Orleans, the Katrina aftermath and how it seems to be recently forgotten by mass-media and the public at large (although many individuals and groups are doing outstanding volunteer work). In response to . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 11:06 AM and is filed under Essays.
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May 19, 2006

Industry Events - 2006 Wisconsin TESOL Annual Conference

Hello ESL Folks,

Just a reminder that the Wisconsin TESOL [WITESOL] Annual Conference will be held in Appleton, Wisconsin, this year (2006), convening from September 29th to the 30th, at the Paper Valley Convention Center. Their theme this year is "Literacy for All," and the proposal submission details are included below.

To see the official Call for Proposals please click HERE:


Information about the conference is updated regularly at . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 01:04 PM and is filed under Industry Events.

May 16, 2006

DIY: How to Write a Good College Essay

Hello Readers,

Recently, someone left a comment to an essay on this blog that basically asked, "what does this have to do with ESL?" (see comments HERE). Since the subject matter of the essay itself was not an ESL topic per se, I understood (as did some of the subsequent commenters) that the actual question might have been directed toward the art of essay writing, or composition in general. I, for one, believe that composition and essay writing in particular have everything to do with ESL learning even if this blog does try to target English, as a discipline, in a very broad sense far beyond the confines of ESL-only.

Both Patricia Dean and Dr. Brenda Townsend Hall - on Hall's ESL School blog, have commented twice on student writing in English classes.

In the first article (HERE), Dean discusses how some students in today's classes seem reluctant to write and in another (HERE) Hall emphasizes the real need for students to be capable of writing an academic paper.

In "When ESL Students Won't Write," she says:

Reluctance to write has many possible causes. Writing may seem the most artificial of the language skills unless the writing tasks reflect the reality of the students’ worlds . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 10:59 PM and is filed under DIY Articles - "How to...".
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May 11, 2006

Essay - When Passivity is a National Pastime

Today's Essay courtesy of English-blog contributor Melissa Z.

America's Passive Society

With such strong sources in media today, the American society is able to witness many different events and happenings all over the world. With such media, more inspiring events can be witnessed, including student revolts, blue-collar protests, and rallies. Of course in America there are protests and rallies, but how far is America willing to go to preserve its' motto; "Land of the free"? It may seem as though Americans do all that they can to obtain such a free society, but next to other countries, such as Poland, Germany, and other surrounding countries, can the drive and determination of America even compare?

In the film Generation '89 by Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz (see full article HERE), young Polish students lead a revolution in their country in 1989. The reason for this revolution was . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 02:09 PM and is filed under Essays.
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May 09, 2006

Film Review: Amityville - A Horror in Any Year

Today's Film Review courtesy of English-blog contributor Allison R.

*Warning: Article may contain spoilers!

The Thriller That Keeps You Guessing

The Amityville Horror, a film directed by Andrew Douglas, was released in 2005 starring Ryan Reynolds. A combination of special effects, suspense, and a well written story line help to make this film an instant success in the cinemas. If its mystery and on the edge of your seat suspense that the viewer craves, then this is the film to see. After seeing this film once viewers everywhere will be begging for more! The film is based on a true story of a family murdered during their sleep by a brother/son, Ronnie DeFeo, who goes insane from spirits living in the house. These spirits take control of the boy and convince him to commit the murders. The film then moves on to show a family, a year later, move into the house and experience all the bizarre incidents that occur. The main character, George Lutz, undergoes psychological changes and in the process is possessed by the same spirits that took over Ronnie . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 12:33 AM and is filed under Film.

May 07, 2006

Travel Photography - 'Der Danse Macabre VI' © 2006 Lee Hobbs

Der Danse Macabre VI - © 2006

Caption: The sixth in a series of "Dance of Death" motifs from various churches, cathedrals and basilicas in Poland (2004) . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 04:42 PM and is filed under Photography.

May 05, 2006

Industry Events - 2006 Annual TexTESOL State Conference

Hello ESL Folks,

Just a reminder that the annual TexTESOL State Conference will be in Austin, Texas, this year (2006), convening from October 26th to 28th, at the Omni Southpark and Marriot South hotels in Austin. Our theme this year is "Focusing on the Ability to Learn," and the proposal submission deadline is May 30.

Below is the link to the Call for Proposals:


Information about the conference is updated regularly at . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 01:38 PM and is filed under Industry Events.

May 01, 2006

Awesome Travel Locations - Madrid, Spain

Today's Travel Review courtesy of English-Blog contributor Justin Y.

A Walk in Madrid

While some people might only read about faraway places in books or see them in pictures, certain individuals visit exotic spots so that they can better understand others and where they fit into our world. Traveling gave me the opportunity to draw independent conclusions about a place for myself, without outside opinions or bias.

Recently, I was lucky enough to accompany some of my peers on a ten day trip to Spain. On my first day, I walked . . .

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This entry posted by lhobbs at 12:37 PM and is filed under Travel Locations / Stories.
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