Who’s Holding Your Safety Net?

My colleague, who teaches at a private ESL school with small classes and close connections to her students, recently shared a story with me.  A group of students were playing in the park and had a minor injury. Afraid to go to the ER, they called her. She drove to meet them, assessed the situation, […]

Be Kind to Others

    In Oklahoma, we have a saying, and you may have a similar one in your language as well. Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins. Although we never really know what someone else is going through, empathy can certainly help us to practice kindness with others.  I’ve been […]

Black or White… or Grey?

In teaching this week, two different phrases came up that required explanation for my students: mixed blessing and false dichotomy. Additionally, I used the phrase double-edged sword in a mini-lecture and had to explain that as well. These phrases and the explanations got me thinking about absolutes and how we like things to be one […]

Success by Choice

It’s almost midterms at IVC, so everyone, instructors and students alike, is on edge.  Over the past week, several of my colleagues have bemoaned their students’ lack of understanding of basic college concepts– not the classroom content, but the soft skills so needed for success in an American college. Here in the USA, it is […]

Keep Your Fire Burning

One of the most awesome yet arduous aspects of working for or with others is that there is help in feeding the fire of accomplishment and motivation.  Unfortunately, many aspects of life require us to stay motivated on our own and finish what we started without cheerleaders or spectators.  To be successful, you have to […]

Life Lessons from the Super Bowl

Football is the quintessential American entity with both simultaneous awful and awesome aspects. There little doubt that ticket prices are exorbitant, player salaries are not equitable, and injuries are potentially extreme; nevertheless, it provides some measure of unity across social, age, gender, and economic classes. The topic transcends the sport. When you have nothing to […]

American Friendship

In my position as a Community College instructor, I often read ESL college placement exams. A theme that I encounter again and again is how living in the USA is a lonely experience. People attend college for a variety of reasons, one of which is a simple desire for better communication. Even my degree-seeking students […]