Saturday, December 17, 2016

"Get tough, or die!"

Let me try to keep this story about advice I've received relatively short, yet informative. Though at first you may consider the advice valid only for participants in a particular event in Montana decades ago, in the end I hope you may find ways to generalize (adopt or adapt) it to your own circumstances. Here goes.

In high school, I competed in gymnastics. The coach of a cross-town rival team and I became friends after I had entered college, and beg[u]n judging local gymnastics meets. 

In the off-season, the cross-town high school coach and I also became rivals in canoe races. In one race, actually a three-legged team-relay event, in which a grade school friend of mine had run, I'd cycled, and the two of us paddled together, my old friend and I finished fourth. 

Though our running and cycling times weren't stellar, we'd been white-water canoeing together for years (since high school). So we passed a number of other teams on the river, including slow rafters, and were about to overtake another when the river narrowed.

As we passed just astern of a raft running the rapids ahead of us, an inner-tube it was towing on a tail line dragged under our canoe, and dumped us immediately. We lost time swimming the canoe to shore, emptying the water from it, and resuming the race.

At the end of the third leg of the race, my old friend and I finished fourth. My rival and his team had finished first or second. In the parking lot, at the end of the race, was where I got the advice. 

My rival and his partner had loaded their low-cut racing canoe on his car rack. It was easy to distinguish from ours–a high-gunneled recreational model. The advice was on a bumper sticker on his car.

As the race committee began awarding prizes, it became clear that the third-place team hadn't waited around for awards. So my partner and I received the third prize. Though I don't remember what that prize was, I do remember the message on my rival's rear bumper.

It read, "Get tough, or die!"

[356 words]

Originally published on pab's potpourri, 2016.12.17

Republished with permission of the author (pab)

Friday, May 22, 2015

We No Speak Americano - Understanding International Students' Writing

In this video by Wibergh and Hawthorne (2010), grammatically competent international students explain challenges they'd faced in academic writing in the U.S. 


Wibergh, Felix (Producer), & Hawthorne, Nicholas (Director). (2010). We no speak americano: Understanding international students' writing [YouTube video]. U.S.: Nick Hawthorne's Channel. Retrieved from

[48 words]

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Writers, hasten slowly!

The poetry in the snapshot[s] below represent... sage advice from Nicolas Boileau to writers that derived from an ancient Greek adage by way of Latin, "festina lente" (Wikipedia, Festina lente), meaning hasten slowly.

"Hasten slowly..." (Boileau, 1674, & Beaufait, 2015), ver. 1
"Hasten slowly..." (Boileau, 1674, & Beaufait, 2015), ver. 2

The snapshot[s] above comes from a presentation in preparation by Edwards, Beaufait, and Lucovich ([n.p.], [n.d.], except as otherwise noted some rights reserved). The French text comes from the Wikipedia article (Festina lente, History, ¶5, similar rights reserved).

[147 words]

Friday, February 13, 2015

WSBlog Bedtime + Best Biblio's and PFs

Eight years I plugged away at chronicling, filtering, modelling, showcasing, recycling, reflecting, and reviewing in posts for students on the Writing Studio Blog (WSBlog). During that time, I learned a lot about blogging with students, and there have been several satisfying advances in Blogger blog affordances as well, for example the advent of pages, and the threading of comments on posts.

Blogger renamed widgets gadgets, and baked many new ones in, which made them easy for casual bloggers such as English-as-an-additional-language learners to use. The link roll on the WSBlog has grown to almost a page in length, and the label cloud, to almost a page and a half (actual size). Embeddable external-source gadgetry like Cluster Maps and Flag Counter indicate[s] that the WSBlog had over 7,000 (perhaps not unique) visitors in the four years up till November 2014, and that there have been well over 18,000 page views since August 2010.

Though I'm relatively certain that those aren't the largest numbers in the blogosphere, they're large enough to reflect on with a certain degree of satisfaction. Regrettably, however, RSS services that colleagues and I had adopted to concatenate feeds of independent learner blog entries for inclusion in our teaching blogs went the way many free or inexpensive services do, and workarounds never quite made it back to the stage of single feeds to display posts from multiple blogs in now standard RSS gadgets–so much to do, and so little time to do it.

Before I put the WSBlog into suspended animation (from which it might snore itself awake from time to time), I'd like to do one more little bit of showcasing–this time not for students in successive cohorts, but rather for those in classes which finished meeting last month. They sat exams on January 28, 2015.

To wrap things up for now, I'd like to point out to class members and their near-peers a few of the best bibliographies–modified APA-style lists of books that individual students reviewed, and the most reflective portfolios (PFs) in pages that students added or linked to their blogs.
  • Students, please remember that if you aren't logged in to your university accounts, Google documents and spreadsheets stored on the university site will be invisible. 
  • Please also note that for the PFs themselves, the writing before, between and after the iframes was more important than the activities and progress represented within the iframes.
Without further adieu, ...

Best biblio's (book listings):

  1. Takahiro's
  2. Nana's, and
  3. Rina's (includes a good first go at a movie listing, too); and 

Best PFs:

  1. Misaki's
  2. Miri's and Nana's (tie), and
  3. Kazuyo's.
Many thanks to all!

[445 words]

Sunday, February 1, 2015

100 legal sites to download literature - i heart intelligence

Want to start or keep reading electronic books?

Check out the list of sources in this Aug. 31, 2014, post by Stan:

i heart intelligence FREE BOOKS

'via Blog this'
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