Just a few pics from the past few weeks.
Just a few pics from the past few weeks.
I just got back from vacation in New Mexico, but I confess I kind of slacked off when it came to photographing bicycles. I missed some good opportunities, especially in Albuquerque where most buses has cool bikes on the racks on the from of the bus. There are also a fair number of cyclists on the roads, but I usually don’t photograph these because it’s hard to get a good shot of a bike with a rider on it that’s in motion. I didn’t have my bike and I wish I had, because it definitely seems like a bike friendly place.
Just some bikes. I realized I had a lot of pictures of them, and thought I’d share some in their element.
This is not a particularly spectacular story, but it is about a spectacular place! Enjoy!
A while back I posted a couple lists of train songs. Then I stumbled across one of those songs about train songs. Finally, only about a week ago, taking into consideration suggestions that had continued to come in, I posted a new revised list. I thought for sure that would be it. Of course not. Here, dear reader, is yet another list.
The vast majority of train songs I’ve found are Country and Blues songs. But all of the lists include songs from many different genres, and that is true here, too. The first song is Barry Manilow‘s Border Train, and it is a typical Manilow ballad. That’s followed by Sarah McLachlan‘s Train Wreck, again typical McLachlan’s. Neither of those tunes is exactly crossover material, at least not as recorded here, and they are not country.
These are two rather nice videos, discovered via a Twitter search. It’s a tour of the “Portugese City” in El Jadida in Morocco. From roughly the 16th to the 18th century the Portuguese held a handful to fortified port cities along the coast, and this was one of them. AlthoughEssaouira is probably the most well known, but El Jadida is arguably better preserved, though both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s very small, and the cistern, which seems to indicate a need for a water source inside the walls, leads me to wonder if it was ever more than a fortified port. Perhaps “city” is an overstatement.
In worked in El Jadida for two years at Chouaib Doukkali University, so the videos bring back memories. It is mostly the images that I really appreciate. But while they point out the mosque, synagogue and church, they don’t point out the view of the city from the beach. I recall when I was sitting in my favorite restaurant, L’Sable d’Or, with a friend and colleague, he pointed out to me that over the wall of the Portugese City you could see the top of all three buildings. This was around sunset, and it was beautiful.
A lot of technologies promise to have you speaking a language in a matter of weeks, 30 days maximum. They seldom deliver, of course. But finally there’s is an application that delivers, and better and faster than any other book, audio recording, software or even liv teacher or tutor. Within a matter of minutes, literally, this application can have you speaking a basic set of essential phrases in French or Arabic with the fluency of a native speaker. Yes, you’ll be able to ask directions, order food and drink, discuss sports, book a hotel and all the other things you need to get by on a daily basis. And the words will come out of your own lips.
Do you know any other good sites?
Check out this paragraph from a piece I just read.
Blacks and Latinos, it appears, are allowed to hold conventionally conservative social views about gay rights, abortion and (in the case of blacks) immigration without being mocked and denounced by elite white liberals in the pages of the Washington Post and Mother Jones, as long as they vote for the Democratic Party on the basis of other issues. This strategic logic should lead liberals to seek out and welcome the vote of white social conservatives in the South and elsewhere, as long as they vote for Democrats for reasons other than the social issues. Indeed, socially conservative white voters helped to create and to maintain the new Democratic majority in Congress. But many liberals, it would appear, would rather have a smaller Democratic Party than one that includes more white Southerners with typically “black” or “Latino” views about sex and reproduction.
It’s a provocative but perceptive quote from a very interesting article on Salon.com by Michael Lind. If you want to know what he means by “black” or “Latino” views you have to read the article. It’s worth it. Lind is spot on, however. I find that a lot of New Englanders understand the American South only slightly better than many Moroccans I met understood what life was like in Europe. This is a sad state of affairs.
Recently I was asked for information on blogs associated with abroad programs. I’m posting the information here in case it is useful to anyone else. It’s just a few links that came to mind. I know there are many others and I will post them when I remember them. Please, also, post them in the comments if you know of any.
Student blogging from abroad, in a structured manner, is common. What is less common is innovative or pedagogically sound uses of it. There is a very interesting project supported by National Geographic called Glimpse. This is a user-generated, professionally edited website in which students and others post blogs, images, travel tips, etc. In addition to the site, there is a magazine that you can pick up a newsstands here and there. It’s a handsome, glossy publication.
One of the earliest projects of this sort (2005-2006) that I am aware of was the Blogging the World project involving Middlebury, Haverford and Dickinson.
Some International Education offices use a blog for practical reasons, simply to post news, such as this from my undergraduate alma mater, VCU.
Others, like Bucknell, consolidate student postings into a central blog.
At Cornell students maintain blogs and the links are collected on a central page.
There are some study abroad podcasts, too. Here’s the Japan Study Abroad podcast.
I haven’t listened to it because I don’t speak Japanese, so I can’t tell you what is it about.
There are more study abroad podcasts in the iTunes podcast directory, if you go to iTunes and simply search on “study abroad.”