Dr. B.Lee Hobbs, a professor of English who has worked in various sectors of education since 1993, invites you to participate in this online space for all Literature/Language/Writing scholars & students willing to meet, discuss, engage, learn & resolve issues in an academic discourse--ongoing since 2005.
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Confused on what to do for the upcoming "Formal Oral Presentation" that each of you will need to do for ENG 121? My guidelines, borrowed freely from the University of Hawai’I at Manoa's Dr. Leon James's “Instructions for Oral Presentations," are below. Use my modified guidelines however (thanks Dr. James!) for our course. The first . . .
That's right, free literature courses. According to a report from education-portal.com, MIT, U of Utah, Utah State U, U of California, Berkeley, U of Sheffield, and others are offering the course material for several literature courses to the public without cost via the Internet. They don't all offer credit but they do offer the same information you'd otherwise pay for from many online degree programs. According to the site . . .
Enjoyed the literature class and now considering/thinking of becoming a "Literature Major" in your current postsecondary program of study? The following two 10-minute videos from the University of Wales in Bangor follows "Rich," a representative literature undergraduate student through a typical day of school to show you *(partly) what this field of study entails at the higher education level.
'A Day in the Life of an English Literature Student I' Video Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8UOMGQfuLk
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.
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Adam Mc.:
The Art of Concrete
Ever since the age of twelve I've been working for my dad pouring cement. I've been learning about it and hearing about it since before I can remember. My dad taught me the trade and his dad taught him. Most people would think that it's a simple process. You pour the cement, you smooth it out and you're done right? However, just like any other job it's not as easy as it appears at first glance. In fact the job is so complicated that even after seven grueling summers of pouring cement, for less than reasonable wages, I'm still learning something new each time. And even though the pay is low I'm gaining experience that will last me the rest of my life. So now I'll try to sum up in a few paragraphs what has taken me seven years to learn . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Allison R.:
The Steps to Take in Order to Enjoy the Ride
Trotting along through a wooded forest, looking at the surroundings, listening to nature exist as I ride on a horse. This sounds like the perfect day, but as much fun as riding a horse can be, there are some steps that must be completed before it is time to ride. A horse is a responsibility not just a hobby; it involves cleaning it, putting a saddle on, and preparing it to take out of the barn. In this process essay, I will cover these steps and explain some minor cautions to take while preparing your horse for a ride . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Samantha V.:
The Fascinating Process of the Batik
The batik is a method of textiles by adding wax to parts to be left uncolored. Batiks are an ancient tradition that are evident to have developed in parts of Middle and Eastern Asia and India. The process of creating the batik can take several hours, and often leads to taking a couple days to complete. There are many uses of the batik; such as, clothes, bedding, curtains, table cloths, and any other decorative fabric. Although the batik has many forms, the method that will be discussed is a batik tapestry. From sketching the design, outlining the design in wax, and dying the fabric, the finished product will exhibit all the hard work it takes to be produced . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Terrell W.:
No Cure for This Disease: How a Computer Virus Works
In today’s society, the computer has become a staple of the American lifestyle. Nearly every American household has a computer, and the Internet has become the biggest means of communication in the world. However, despite this technology, there are drawbacks to the use of the computer. One of these drawbacks comes in the form of a computer “virus”, which is a type of program that can significantly affect how a computer operates. Similar to a medical disease (such as AIDS), a computer virus can grow to epidemic proportions if nothing is done to stop its progress. But most people do not understand exactly how a computer virus works. The following explains the steps involved in creating a virus and how it affects computers . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Rachael T.:
The Right Way to Train Dog Without Biting the Hand That Feeds
When one thinks of a highly trainable animal the first thing that most often comes to mind is man's best friend, the dog. They're intelligent, obedient, and very easy to train to do numerous things such as opening a door on their own and attacking potential threats. Dogs are seen in movies doing amazing stunts and listening better than most human actors, and police dogs are often used to take down a dangerous criminal with extreme ease. How does one just pick out a dog and train it to be a guard dog or an animal actor? Being an animal actor doesn't seem practical, seeing as not everyone has Hollywood contacts, but being a household protector is. To teach a dog, or puppy, to be an ideal guard dog there are certain things trainers must do and steps they must follow . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Thoryn S.:
Healthy Life is Easy
Every year there is an increase in the people who get disease from such things as obesity or bad habits like smoking. People suffer because of the way they live their lives. There have been cures for some of these diseases but there is another safe way to prevent these diseases. Living healthy means staying away from bad habits, exercising, and eating all of the right things to improve your overall body health and life span . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Cathy R.:
Planning a Successful Get Away
Taking a vacation is a great way for a person to relax, have fun, and forget about all the stress in life. A vacation is something exciting to look forward to during the year to help stay sane and motivated. There is, however, a process of preparation one must forego before partaking in those long awaited poolside drinks with umbrella straws. There are many things to do and buy before leaving. There has to be a place to go, a way to get there, a means of payment, and all of the essentials of living to go along. Taking the time to thoroughly plan for a vacation will help avoid any last minute stress or worrying . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Sean O.:
Taking More Comfortable (Subcutaneous) Injections
Many people are afraid of needles; it is a natural tendency to fear what is potentially painful. For some people though, such as diabetics, shots are part of day-to-day life. Taking injections can be a difficult ordeal, but with a little experience and technique, the pain associated with shots can be minimized. When there’s less pain, there’s less hesitation. That makes it easier to take injections when they’re needed. Confidence and freedom from uncomfortable shots make it less difficult to care for chronic medical needs or emergencies. It’s important to realize that the way an injection is administered affects the chance for pain and the absorption of medication. Keeping some important tips in mind, it’s relatively easy to improve injection technique and greatly reduce the reoccurrence of unpleasant shots . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Kashiff M.:
Washing and Drying: A Tool that Everyone Should Know
Many college students say that they do not know how to wash their own clothes. This is unbelievable, considering how easy the process is. On top of being easy, knowing how to washing clothes is a useful tool. For those who may not be so lucky to have a butler or maid, they need to know how to wash clothes. Knowing how to wash clothes is a tool that will be very useful in the future for many people. Washing clothes can be easily taught to anyone who wants to learn . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Linda M.:
Chopsticks are a Way of Life
Approximately 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, chopsticks, two even-length narrow sticks, were developed in China to be used as an eating utensil. They vary in size and length, but they are usually tapered at the end because it has more surface area in order to hold the food. Chopsticks are made with plastics, ivory, bone, metal, wood and bamboo. They are mainly used in the eastern Asian countries, such as China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Plastic chopsticks are more common and modern now, because it is cheap and it does not contain any bacteria on it after it is used. It is believed that in ancient China, silver chopsticks were used, because it was able to detect if there were any poisons in the food. If there were any poisons on it, the silver chopsticks would turn black. Chopsticks are very important in the Asian culture. A lot of the American people have not yet been able to effectively use it as a main eating utensil. There are several steps in order to correctly use the chopsticks and eat something successfully . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Kelsey L.:
Packing for College
Packing is a process most of us probably do not enjoy. It can become very stressful, especially if it is a big move. One example of this type of move that many of us make is the move from home to a college dorm room or apartment. Packing for this move is something that should be started long before the departure date. A lot of the time, necessities that we do not think of due to the limited time and pressure to be packed in time for departure are left behind. Many incoming freshmen would most likely be grateful to have directions on what to pack and when to start packing. One of the best sources this information could come from would be someone who has experienced moving into dormitories or an apartment before. The process described below will hopefully be of much help to anyone who is lost when it comes to packing for his or her first semester at college . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Liz L.:
Time management is probably the most difficult things that students face throughout their educational career, especially in college. A student for the first time has a lot of freedom that comes with a lot of responsibilities. The key to having time management is once students start their time management schedule, never stop. There are also other aspects that have to be taken into consideration while dealing with time management such as not procrastinating, paying attention in class, seeking help and answering questions, going to class all the time, writing down things that need to be done, and making time for yourself . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Kelly J.:
The Fun Adventures with Twister Grooves
Twister Grooves is a fun experience for all ages. It is a great new game, which combines the thrilling entertainment of Twister and the enjoyable sounds of music and dance all in one, can provide fun for the whole family. The objective, setting up the game and even the rules are fun to learn in playing the activity. Learning a new game can open doors of opportunities for not only kids, but adults as well to explore new things. It can challenge anyone to learn more about themselves physically and socially. Children can learn how to actively socialize with others through a healthy activity, while learning how their bodies function physically. Adults can learn the same concept as children. So grab some friends and some music and dance. But first, it is important to understand the objective of the game, to understand why anyone would play it . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Sam H.:
The Great Fall Down: Learning How to Ski
Skiing is an adventurous sport and is always a thrill to those who have mastered the skill. Skiing can be as painful as it is fun, but once the skier learns a few basic skills the experience will become much more enjoyable. The first thing to keep in mind when learning to ski is patience. If the skier were to give up after the first try, how would they expect to improve? Patience is key; be sure to get back up every time and keep on trying. The only way to learn in skiing is to fall.
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Jennifer G.:
Preparing for Prom
Senior year is off to a great start. Like many high school seniors, beginning counting down the days until the four major events in senior year are not abnormal. The events are senior prom, senior class trip, senior dinner dance and of course the most important day of everyone’s life graduation. The first event that is coming up in the senior year is the senior class prom, the most magical time in anyone’s life. Many girls have been dreaming of this day ever since they started elementary school. The dream of becoming a princess and finding their desired prince for a night of magic in a breath taking ballroom are only days away. There is still so much to do before any girl begin to look like a princess, and are dancing in the arms of their prince. Every girl may want to follow these following steps for their magical night to become a reality. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in. So each individual wanting to become a princess should be willing to use up all their spare time to get read for the big night. Here are the steps the long awaited dream: receiving an invitation for the prom which has the date, time and place of the prom, go scouting out for the prince, reserve two tickets for prom, start tanning, begin dress shopping, find the perfect shoes, go out looking for accessories that make the dress stick out, reserve a limb, schedule a hair appointment, schedule a dinner reservation, and last but not least order a boutonniere. These are the major steps to help make, prom night magical . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Angela H.:
How to Properly Send in College Applications
As if graduating high school is not stressful enough, students have to send in applications to different colleges, which is easier said than done. There are a variety of things that must be taken into consideration such as; choosing where to apply, visiting colleges, selecting a major, beating the deadlines, and filling out applications.
When filling out college applications, students must first decide what college is right for them. Students must consider all aspects such as; staying near their hometown, moving away, going to the city, or residing in a rural area. This decision is very complicated for many reasons. If the student plans on staying near home, how close is too close? Yet, if the student plans on moving far away, what if there was a family emergency? Once the student has decided that, they have to choose whether they would rather go to a larger or smaller college. This is another difficult choice since the only reference the applicants have is hear-say . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Emily S.:
The Process of Adjusting
Emigrating from Puerto Rico to America can be very life changing. Despite the fact that Puerto Ricans are considered citizens automatically upon arrival to this country, there are a lot of other aspects of living that can place stress on a person, the first one being a language barrier. If prior to moving one did not place any emphasis on learning the English language, then it could perhaps prove difficult to learn it. Another stressful factor of moving from Puerto Rico to the US, are the stereotypes placed on the new arrivals by fellow Hispanics and likewise by Americans. They are looked down on for not being able to speak English and for continuing to have their old customs. Lastly, emigrants are forced to face the frowns that come from relatives left behind and the possibility of never being accepted again as a true Puerto Rican . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Ali L.:
Over time, the appeal of tie-dyed items has decreased. Very popular in the sixties, the love of tie-dye has slowly returned. Many people decide to buy pre-dyed items which can take away from the fun that is involved in turning a plain, boring piece of fabric into a far out array of colors and designs. In order to make the perfect tie-dyed item, supplies must be gathered, fabrics prepared, and finally dyed. Following these steps will help to increase the chance of having a successful tie-dyeing experience . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Holden J.:
Building a Gingerbread House
There are many activities that occur during holiday seasons such as the Easter egg hunt during Easter time, trick-or-treating during Halloween and sending flowers, cards and candy during Valentine's Day. These activities truly make the holidays festive for people both young and old. But above all of these there is one holiday that children enjoy the most and is during Christmas time, making a gingerbread house. The entire process is exhilarating and produces anticipation within kids. From organizing the ingredients and setting up the foundation for the House up to decorating and ultimately the eating of the House, makes children look forward to this seasonal activity. It makes some children feel like a master chef every time they make this delicious treat because of the diversity of candies and sweets that can be used to ornament the project. No matter what candies they use to decorate their gingerbread house they still come out with an edible masterpiece . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Adrianne E.:
Up, Up and Away . . . To College
Having a college degree is something that employers require and it would be in everyone’s interest to get one. When in high school, if a person isn’t thinking about applying to college, he/she is viewed as not having much of a future. So, on top of getting by in school just enough to graduate, the student has to make sure that they will be eligible to attend a university. There are many steps that need to be taken in order for one to get that highly anticipated acceptance letter. Recommendation letters, personal essays, SAT scores, organizations and most importantly grades are among the requirements that need to be taken care of when thinking about applying to college. This all might sound like a big burden but it all begins to take shape well before senior year.
Ninth grade is when the student really has to begin to take their studies seriously. This is because . . .
Today's "How to" article courtesy of English-blog contributor Melissa Z.:
How to Create a Digital Photograph Album
With all of the new-aged technologies breaking into a more available state, society is basically forced to learn how to use these technologies. One specific instance where technology has had a big influence is photography. Digital cameras are everywhere and in ever shape, size, and style. The pictures are easily uploaded from a camera onto a computer, making it possible for anyone to create their very own digital photograph album right on their computer. How does one go about even starting this digital photograph album? After reading these easy steps on how to do so, anyone can be a pro.
The first step is very simple. One must read the instruction manual enclosed with the digital camera package. Usually, all digital cameras require a connection to a personal computer, whether it is a desktop computer or a laptop. In most cases . . .