What’s Up at Elite?
Baseball is often considered the “all-American” sport.
Baseball has given us idioms: strike out (very unsuccessful), home run (very successful), ballpark number (an approximation), curve ball (something unexpected), keep your eye on the ball (pay attention), out in left field (unexpected or strange), touch base (stay in contact), hit it out of the park (do an excellent job), batting a thousand (to always succeed), step up to the plate (take action), rookie (an inexperienced person).
To say that I read a lot of books would be an understatement on par with saying that blue whales are large animals.
I read with my students, especially the younger ones. I read to find books to suggest to students. I read for my own enjoyment, both fiction and non-fiction. I read a lot of books, but I seldom buy books.
Every summer, I see knights, noble lords and ladies, wizards, faeries, a walking plant twice as tall as I am, and even the queen. Do I travel through time? Kind of—it’s time for the Renaissance Festival again!
When it’s time to go grocery shopping, where are you most likely to go? Options for buying food are pretty varied in America. There are:
national mega stores like Walmart and Target, big-box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, regional grocery store chains like Publix, HEB, and Meijer, independent local grocery stores, even dollar stores.
But for part of the year, there is another option: the farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets have been growing in popularity, from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 markets currently registered in the United States Department of Agriculture.
All languages change and grow over time. This is obvious when we look at English from several hundred years ago; if someone walked around talking like they walked out of a Shakespearian play all the time, it would likely get some odd looks. It’s pretty surprising to look at the dictionary today and compare it to that of even 50 years ago – there are an amazing number of new words as well as lots that have been taken out over the last 5 decades.
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.'” Shakespeare
Star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet might have thought that words in general and names in particular didn’t matter all that much, but it turns out that the language(s) we learn and the words we use do have a substantial impact on how we think.
When is it ok for a kid to have a beer but not a lemonade? When it’s root beer and hard lemonade.
Many restaurant menus have a section for “soft drinks,” where non-alcoholic beverages like lemonade, tea, and soda pop are listed. If “soft” drinks exist, are “hard” drinks also a thing? Yes, any kind of beverage with the word “hard” in front of it is generally considered to have alcohol in it.
The 4th of July marks the anniversary of the official start of American independence—sort of. Though July 4th was the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed, the delegates from the 13 original colonies approved the resolution of independence from British rule on July 2nd. That’s the date that many of them—including Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration—thought would be celebrated in the future. When celebrating the 4th of July these days, you’ll likely find more parades and barbecues, similar to Memorial Day. According to the National Beer Wholesalers Association, beer sales are at their highest around Independence Day (Memorial Day and Labor Day are right behind).
To be honest, this post was inspired by actual events at my home several days ago. We were having a fairly substantial rainstorm, which isn’t particularly unusual for this time of year in the Midwestern United States. What happened next isn’t particularly unusual, either: we lost power.
One of the first things I determine with a new student is what their objectives are (or if the student is a child, what the parents’ objectives are). Often the goal is “improve my communication,” but sometimes it’s “pass a proficiency test,” “help with homework,” or “start exposure to the target language.”
If you live in the United States, especially if you are in a city, chances are good that sometime in June, you might notice an increase in rainbow-themed clothing and flags, or even a brightly colored parade taking place. It’s Pride Month, which means that LGBTQA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Asexual) and the people who care about them (sometimes called “allies”) pay tribute to the people involved in the Stonewall Riots.
Father’s Day is always the third Sunday in June. In 2021, this puts it on June 20. Like Mother’s Day in May, Father’s Day isn’t a federal holiday, but is widely celebrated. Father’s Day began in 1910, two years after the first official celebration of Mother’s Day in the U.S. Sonora Smart Dodd, inspired by how her widower father rose to the challenge of parenting six children alone, thought there should be a special day to recognize dads as well as moms.
Juneteenth is short for June nineteenth. This day of celebration honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday in the US. Other names attached to the date have included Juneteenth Independence Day, Freedom Day and Emancipation Day.