Monday, April 28, 2014

In 17 Syllables

Thanks to Susan for linking us to the recent project at the New York Times. Readers were asked to submit a haiku about one of six aspects of New York City life: the island, strangers, solitude, commuting, 6 a.m., and kindness. Reading teachers especially, this is a great thing for you to share! Some of my favorites are below.

On the 6 to Spring
two cops help a tourist whose
map is upside down
Frances Richey, 63, Manhattan

Riding through the park
no daffodils blooming yet
— but unbuttoned coats.
Sharon Rousseau, 50, Manhattan 

Union Square Market
Blueberries for ten dollars
New York City blues
Sharon Cohen, 33, Dallas

Friday, April 18, 2014

Activity Roundup: A Girl And Her Eagle, Bodega Cats, and Portlandia

Pictures as prompts, audio, and video: here are some current things you could bring into the classroom.

These amazing images have been making the rounds this week. Meet Ashol-Pan, a 13 year-old hunter in Mongolia. A full photo essay and some text is available at the BBC, and I think these photos and her story could serve as rich prompts: Do people still hunt in your home country? What does traditional hunting look like in your country? What "men only" professions are women starting to participate in? If you could tame any wild animal, what animal would you choose?

WNYC has some fun stories about the bodega cats of New York City. This video imagines a few bodega cats if they could talk. This story (audio and text) reports on the legal and practical issues surrounding our furry grocery guards. And, if you want some pictures, may I present to you Bodega Cats Of Instagram? If you think of a lesson activity to go with these materials, let us know!

I designed a listening, vocabulary, and conversation activity to go with this clip from the show Portlandia. The vocabulary is appropriate for students at higher levels, and the topic is a great satirical take on the state of our social relations.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

TELC World Cup: Co-Ed!

Some students are wondering if the TELC World Cup planning meeting is "just for men." As a daughter of Title IX, I beg you to get the word out that it's co-ed! Thursday, April 17, at 1:00pm in C322.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The TELC World Cup!

Please share this in your classes this week. We are looking for students and teachers to help us plan a fun field day! Wayne and Nursen are the faculty contacts if you have any questions.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Heartbleed Bug: Which Passwords Should You Change?

Image from Mashable
The Heartbleed bug has infected a great deal of the internet, making your personal information (especially passwords) open to hackers. This list of compromised sites and passwords to change is the most useful I've found so far. Set aside some time today and change your passwords!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Your New York Times Digital Subscription

The New York Times online edition is now available to all CUNY employees - and it works from any computer, tablet or mobile! If you haven't signed up yet, here's how.

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Register, and set up an account using your LaGuardia Groupwise email address.
  3. Check your inbox for a confirmation email, and follow the links to confirm your eligibility and get your Academic Pass.
Once you have completed the registration process, you can sign in (using your Groupwise account) from any computer - and you can do the same via the Times app on any of your devices. The subscription is good for 1 year from the signup date. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Faculty Website Down

Our faculty website is currently down, and IT is attempting to get it back up and running. This means, among other things, that you can't see the book order forms or schedules. Thanks for your patience while we work with IT to sort this out - in the meantime, please send any questions to a member of the administrative staff.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Activity Roundup: Styles of Writing, Prized Possessions, and Modern Family

Welcome to the spring term! Here are some ideas for your classes.

Grant Snider is one of my favorite cartoonists, and I thought this piece would be fun to share in writing classes. There's a lot of rich vocabulary and imagery here!

About a year ago, I shared some photos of children and their most prized possessions. This project by Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti has grown since then, and he has a book out this month. The (truly fantastic) photo blog at Slate has some more images up - use them to spark discussion or writing. (Ideas: What was your most prized possession as a child? Choose two photos and compare and contrast them. Which child do you most identify with?)

I've also designed a short activity that can be done as a warmup in listening and speaking classes. This short clip from Modern Family has some very natural spoken contractions, and the activity is designed to help students concentrate on vocabulary, pronunciation, and the grammatical structure of spoken contractions. It's very short and light, so please use it as a warmup: you can access and print the activity here.