Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Past, Present, and Future Progressive (Continuous) Tenses

Reminder:  The importance of grammar is in writing or expressing your thoughts clearly, correctly, and precisely.

Instructions:  Answer each question in a complete sentence.  (You will need to use your imagination for many of the questions.)

1.  What is John doing right now?  (Present Progressive)

2.  What was Mary doing in the pool this morning? (Past Progressive)

3.  What will you be buying your mother next year for her sixtieth birthday? (Future Progressive)

4.  What is Miriam doing in the bookstore right now?  (Present Progressive)

5.  What were Sergei and Larry doing in the lab at Stanford University? (Past Progressive)

6.  What will the kids be doing at the park later?  (Future Progressive)

7.  What are you doing at the library right now?   (Present Progressive)

8.  What will James be performing tonight on the talent show, America's Got Talent?  (Future Progressive)

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Are You Going With the Majority? (Video and Writing Exercise)

Watch the video or read the summary.  Then free write according to the instructions below.

Summary of the Talk

* By the time Francis Chan was sixteen, his mom is dead, his step mom is dead, and his dad is dead.  (His mom died while giving birth to Francis.  His step-mother died in a car accident.  His dad died of cancer when he was twelve.)    Then his remaining guardians Uncle George and Aunt Sandra also died (in a murder suicide.)  At a young age, Francis Chan had experienced more instability than most of us have.

* When things around us become unstable, we tend to play it safe, and we hug and straddle the balance beam [instead of performing on it] as Francis demonstrated in his analogy of Olympics’ gymnastics.

After experiencing some instability, we tend to think, "This is crazy.  I'm just going to have my nice little family.  We're going to keep to ourselves.  We're going to live in a gated community.  I'm going to home school my kids [and] make them wear helmets everywhere.  I'm not going to let them outside because the sun has bad rays... You just live your life in this - I don't want to do anything crazy for God.  I just want to go to church and give maybe 2%, and may be serve/help the nursery (because I feel guilty.)  You do this your whole life.  Your greatest prayer is, "God, I would love to die in my sleep and not even feel it, and I would love to go to heaven."

* Then you wake up in heaven and stand before the judge and you go - [Francis does a pose of victory that Olympic gymnasts normally do at the end of a routine.]

Imagine watching the Olympics and the girl just straddles and hugs the balance beam for several minutes throughout the whole routine, and then gets off the balance beam in a pose of victory.  What is the judge supposed to do?  "Wow, well done!"  Is the judge going to say that?  "Well done!"  You lived the safest life possible.  You didn't slip.  You didn't fall."  This is what the majority will do with their life.  Do you want to go where the majority goes?  Are you going the same way as the majority?

* I don't want to go where the majority goes.

Free-writing Exercise

Write two or more paragraphs addressing one or more of the following questions.  Do you think you will be happy and fulfilled just pursuing a safe comfortable life with money, a nice house, a nice car, a nice family with kids, and nice vacations periodically?   Is this typical pursuit really going to make you happy when you obtain all of it?  For those who already have attained all of these, are they truly fulfilled and happy?  Not that we shouldn’t have this comfort and security, but is there something else, something greater than yourself you should also pursue?  Is there something greater you should pursue alongside working for these necessities and amenities of life?  How can you pursue something greater that would ironically also provide all these necessities and security in the long run?  How can going where the majority does not go, provide greater fulfillment (while also providing the lesser necessities and amenities most people pursue)?  Are you currently going where the majority is going?  Are you okay with that?  If not, what do you need to do to change course?

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

CATW Practice - Minding the Millimeter

Begin by reading the passage below.

Are You Minding the Millimeter?

In any undertaking in life, it is important to mind the millimeter.  What is minding the millimeter?  To put it simply, it is minding (or attending to) the seemingly miniscule components in any type of work.  However, the minor factors add up to (or multiply into) major problems. On the other hand, if you attend to the right small matters, they would multiply into major desirable accomplishments or outcomes.

The importance of minding the millimeter is apparent in the sport of bike racing.  Mark Cavendish (professional cyclist and winner of many stages of major bike races such as the Tour de France and the Tour de Britain) is known to mind every small adjustment on his bike and in his training, down to the millimeter literally.  According to 453 and a Half, "Cavendish is well known for being completely obsessed with every detail in his preparation, paying close attention to everything from his wattage output to adjusting his saddle position a fraction of a millimeter."

Similarly, Phil Jackson (the former basketball coach who had won ten NBA championships) taught his players this importance of not neglecting the details.  He told them that a war is lost on a single nail of a ship.  Apparently, this was programmed into the mind of Michael Jordan, the basketball legend coached by Jackson.

The principle of minding the millimeter also applies to computer programming and software development.  For programmers, leaving out just a minor part of the code may result in major problems, such as the whole application not working at all.  Therefore, they must be mindful of every millimeter.

Does attending to the millimeter lead you for certain to produce the desired outcome?  No, it is not a guarantee, but it significantly improves your chances if you mind the millimeter.  Nothing in life is a guarantee.  An athlete training for the Olympics is not guaranteed to win the gold medal, but it would be foolish of him to neglect the training and neglect the millimeter adjustments just because there is no guarantee.  Unfortunately, people have the foolish logic of not minding the millimeter in other areas of life just because there is no guarantee.   Another reason for this common fallacy is that one minor adjustment in itself does not solve the problem and therefore, why bother.  This logic is flawed.  When you adjust for one millimeter here, a gram there, and another millimeter here, they will synergistically contribute toward the outcome you want.

Adapted from article by Amadeo Constanzo, life.SpirFit.com , September 14, 2015
(You may freely post and distribute this article if and only if you include this statement with the link or URL to the original article or website.  More CATW Practices and lessons are available at SpirFit.org  Send questions and inquiries to healthsciencewriter@gmail.com )

Writing Directions
Read the passage above and write an essay responding to the ideas it presents.  In your essay, be sure to summarize the passage in your own words, stating the author’s most important ideas. Develop your essay by identifying one idea in the passage that you feel is especially significant, and explain its significance. Support your claims with evidence or examples drawn from what you have read, learned in school, and/or personally experienced.

Remember to review your essay and make any changes or corrections that will help your reader follow your thinking.  You will have 90 minutes to complete your essay.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Academic Calendar: Keep an Eye on It

Looking at the academic calendar is one of the most important things to do at the beginning of every semester and throughout every semester. This applies to all students, tutors, faculty, and staff members.  Why this is so important is explained at the bottom of this blog.  Academic calendars can be found at:

Kingsborough Community College Academic Calendar

In Alphabetical Order

Baruch College Academic Calendar

BMCC Academic Calendar

City College of New York Academic Calendar

Guttman Community College Academic Calendar

Hunter College Academic Calendar

John Jay College Academic Calendar

Kingsborough Community College Academic Calendar

Laguardia Community College Academic Calendar

Queens College
http://www.qc.cuny.edu/registrar/calendars/Pages/default.aspx  (Click the correct semester under "Important Dates" section.)

Why the Academic Calendar is So important
I know of a tutor who, when he was still new to the college, did not bother looking at the academic calendar. On one Tuesday that was a Monday schedule (as indicated on the academic calendar), he did not show up for the labs and workshops he was supposed to be teaching that day, because he did not pay attention to the academic calendar and therefore did not know about the schedule change for that specific date.

Keep an eye on the academic calendar throughout the semester. Enter the holidays and the days of schedule-changes (conversion days) into your personal calendars, Google Calendars, or smartphones. Such a simple action will prevent problems.

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