More comments

1. Comment for Mike Trevett blog
Without a doubt, podcasting can be a resourceful tool. It can be undervalued because of all the other options that there is in social media. However, I am slowly seeing how relative and interactive it can be. It is important for everyone to consider their communication tools and utilize them for their profit. By doing so, we are helping the communication world to grow and spread into a better organization.

2. Comment for Melanie Shoultz
Melanie, I love your blog. I think that your tips for blogging and interacting with social media are very practical and realistic. It is so easy to get caugh up with many social medias and not be centralized. It so important to learn to consider all our networks without leaving some behind

3. Comment for Laurie Lea
You are very right. A lot of these celebrities think that they have special rights or live in another world. They must bare the consequences for their actions and also keep in mind that they must be careful with their actions. Many people, such as kids, are watching and take after their example. If there are no consequences, this can portray a wrong image to the youth. Love your input. Well said!

4. Comment for Tara Shwartz
Indeed, it is really hard to see where the world is coming to in regards to how sexuality is being used unappropriately. It’s an issue especially when you don’t know which audience that will be watching. It is clear that these companies do not care about anyone children or people’s sensitivity about things. In this generation, anything that can trigger people’s visual stimulation is what is used to sell more. Sad statement.

5. Comment for Stephen Ponce
I find it is really exciting to see late Princess Diana’s son to get married. It’s a beautiful thing and know that this is a significant changing moment for the Royal family. I look forward to seeing the new transitions in the Royal family. It’s a beautiful thing to see people of this caliber to get married for love. I ,also, have to congratulate them on their union and wish them the best to come!

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Living springs of water (via Ferrell’s Travel Blog)

I thought this was interesting to share. They are traveling and sharing their accounts from a biblical standpoint. Enjoy!

Living springs of water Today we traveled north from Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee to Hazor. About the time our bus stopped the rain began. We waited a while, but left the bus as soon as the rain let up. This gave an opportunity to visit the gate, the Canaanite palace, and a few other areas before the rain started again. Finally we left and went on to Dan. There we were able to visit the site with only sprinkles. By this time of the year I had come to expect that major … Read More

via Ferrell's Travel Blog

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Danielle in Brazil

Danielle’s Tips for Teaching English in Brazil I’ve been having bad luck with classes and students this week, and I’m home bored. So I’ve decided to write a list that I wish I had seen in my Google searches for “teach English in Brazil” before I came here. I hope it’ll help some people who have the same idea.

Planning before you go…

1. Bring a lot of money with you. It’s going to take time for you to get established as a teacher, and even when you are established, you’ll still have months of ups and downs. Your American currency goes far here. So save, save save. Even if you start making money here, it may not be enough sometimes for you to pay for your living expenses. I would say to bring at least a couple thousand if you plan to stay for the entire 6 months of your visa, and be sure you’ve already bought a return ticket home that is refundable and changeable flight dates. (You’ll actually need to buy the return ticket home to get the visa anyway.)

2. Try to find a Brazilian travel agent in your area. This may sound silly, but if you don’t know much about the country or the visa laws, these agents can help you a lot. (The one I went to also sold Brazilian candies. Fun!) The one I went to also charged a really small fee (only 100 dollars) to go get my visa for me from the consulate. This is a great deal, because it’s cheaper than the gas and missing work to get it yourself. In my case, the closest Brazilian consulate was 3 hours from my house on a good traffic day, and I had to go early on either Tuesday or Thursday morning to sign up, and then I had to go back to pick it up 2 weeks later. So do the math and figure out if it’s worth it for you. If you’re in the southwestern US, I recommend MargoTour, based in San Diego. They offered me the cheapest ticket by far, and were very friendly and helpful. (Also remember the candy.) They also will do some business over phone/email. Just be sure your ticket is refundable!

3. Don’t pay for vaccines in the US. I’m not saying to be silly and not get ANY vaccines, but I’m saying to wait and get them for free in Brazil instead of paying 300+ dollars to do it in the US. Neither I nor anyone I’ve talked to was asked to prove that they had gotten vaccinated in the US before they could enter Brazil. You just need them for youself so that you don’t die for some dumb reason, like a preventable disease. So when you get here, ask around for where you can get the free vaccines. It’s usually in the local hospital or “ambulatorio,” which is like a government clinic. (I WISH someone had told me this!) You don’t need to buy malaria pills unless you’re going to be smack in the middle of the Amazon (not many English students there), and there’s no vaccine for Dengue, which is actually your biggest threat. (So be careful with the mosquitos.) You can check out this CDC website for the vaccines that you need, but the doctor you see in Brazil will know what you need for the reigon:

4. Learn at least a little Portuguese. Don’t be one of those Americans who thinks that English is the only important language in the world, and don’t assume that everyone’s going to speak it, especially if you go to a city that’s not São Paulo or Rio de Janiero. Be respectful, and make your life and everyone’s lives easier. It will also make you a MUCH better teacher, and it will give you the option of teaching beginning English classes (more $$). Check your local community college for a class, or at least get a book on Amazon. If you speak Spanish, you can get by here, but you won’t be able to understand what people say, and all of the basic verbs are irregular in a different way. If you are a Spanish speaker, I recommend a WONDERFUL fabulous textbook called “Brazilian Portuguese for Spanish Speakers.” Also remember that the word tem (or sometimes têm) is your friend. (It’s pronounced “teng” or [tẽ] for the linguists). It means “he/she/you/you guys/they” have, “there is/there are” and “is there…?/are there..?”.

5. Learn how to teach English! Oh, this one makes me crazy. Please, please don’t assume that, just because you speak English, you can teach English. Just because you know how to drive a car, would you walk into a mechanic’s office and apply for a job? No. Do you know the difference between “make” and “do”? Between “for” and “to”? Do you know what a helping/auxilary verb is? What about an allophone? Or the communicative method? Do you know why we need “do” in the question “Do you know what time it is?” but not in the question “Are you hungry?” You have to explain things that you’ve never thought about before. Don’t be a punk, and don’t do a disservice to your future students. Many community colleges offer classes about teaching ESL/TESOL. You can also pay for a TESOL certification class for a few weeks, and get certification to boot. The Oxford one is pretty well known.

6. Buy some English textbooks and bring them with you. You will find that some schools are lacking in resources, or they only have textbooks that are made by non-native speakers. It is in your best interest to have some more options for yourself, and they can also be really helpful if you start teaching private classes. I really like George M. Rooks’s Let’s Start Talking series (There are other books with similar titles in the same series). I got a copy on Amazon for 3 bucks. These can be great, easy, time-consuming activities for intermediate and advanced classes. Any ESL textbooks by Cambridge are usually good. Oh, also, BRING A DICTIONARY. The vast majority of dictionaries here are made by Brazilians, and they have a LOT of mistakes and bad translations. My favorite is the Harper-Collins (not just Collins) English-Portuguese dictonary. My vesrion is paperback, and green and white. I paid 6 bucks for it at a used bookstore, and it has been one of my best friends here. It’s very good.

7. Bring first-world living with you (to an extent). Food and healthcare in Brazil tend to be cheap, but everything else is expensive. Like, offensively expensive. There are things that you don’t think about packing, but without them, your life can be very frustrating.

Bring: makeup (!), razor blades (or an electric razor, for the men… they can cost between 50 and 300 reais), a few pairs of your favorite jeans, shoes for all occaisons (though Brazilian women’s shoes are amaaaaziinng), lithium or rechargable batteries, your favorite face wash and other beauty/grooming products. To give you an idea, Finesse Mousse (1.99 in the US) is 28 reais. A microwave is 300. Another big problem is buying any kind of electronics. If you may use them, bring your American cell phone (and any old cell phones you have– maybe you can sell it or maybe your newest one won’t work), camera, laptop, and MP3 player. Oh, also, I have yet to find an American-style hand can opener.

Another thing that’s a bit of a touchy subject but I’ll say it anyway, for the women: a month’s worth of birth control can be as cheap as 5 reais, and you don’t need a perscription– you just need to know the chemical compound of yours, or the shelf name of your compound in Brazil. So if you pay for birth control in the US, don’t worry about bringing a lot with you. You can just walk into a pharmacy here.

Don’t bring: your nice work clothes. The style of dress is generally more casual here, especially for teachers. I wear jeans and a decent shirt and nice shoes to work. If the school wants you to dress up, they give you a uniform. I wasted a lot of space in my suitcase with this.

8. Have contacts in Brazil, preferrably someone to live with. I don’t know much about finding a place to live as a foreigner, because I was fortunate enough to already have a living situation set up before I came here. But you won’t be able to just want into an imobiliaria (like a leasing office, but the people with all the power in the apartment industry) and pick a place. From what I understand, in order to be the main signer on a lease for an apartment in the state of Sao Paulo, you have to already own 2 properties. It’s really difficult and strict. So I don’t know what you can do; I just know what you can’t. If anyone knows anything else about how to find places to rent, please leave comments.

9. Don’t get caught up in any teaching scams. As a general rule, unless you’re a rich college kid whose just using a teaching program as an excuse to convince your parents to pay for you to party in Brazil, you shouldn’t have to pay to teach here– they’re supposed to be paying you! These programs can be convenient if they offer room and board, but more often than not, they’re just scams. You shouldn’t expect to find a job before you get to Brazil. You’re better off showing up here with the money you saved up (see number 1) and applying to schools in the city you’re in.

10. Pay your American debts before you go. Unless you have someone to help you pay your bills in the US, you will find this difficult to do. Santander bank has a thing where if you have an American bank account and a Santander bank account, you can send money for free between the accounts. However, you can’t open a bank account here because you are working illegally and can’t prove your income. So you have to pay to wire transfer money to your US account, and that can get super expensive. Plus, the exchange rate is bad. So try to finish up those credit card payments before you quit your American job, okay?

When you get here…

1. Put yourself out there. Apply to all the schools in your area, especially the ones in walking distance if you won’t have access to a car. (We just opened the yellow pages and went to “escolas de inglês”.) Also, have your Brazilian contact (see 8 above) help you make and put up flyers (in Portugeuse!) saying that you can teach private classes. Put them up at the local universities and private high schools (if you’re willing to teach kids), and avoid places like shopping malls and hospitals (so you don’t get calls from creepies). Also, don’t worry about translating your resume to Portuguese. It’s polite to offer, but no school took me up on it, since the owners/coordinators are fluent in English. Just note that flyers aren’t a big hit. Your biggest source of students is going to be word of mouth, hands down.

2. Decide what kind of experience you want, but also keep your options open. You’ll basically have two options in terms of English schools: the huge chains and the small franchises. They pay about the same– you should expect between 10 and 20 reais per hour (10 being bad, and 20 being very, very good.) The huge chains, like Wizard and Fisk, and are typically very rigid about what and how you should teach. This can be good and bad. You don’t have to do much prep work at home, but you have to follow a LOT of rules. (These rules usually focus on stupid crap, like seating arrangements, and ignore big problems, like how the test has nothing to do with the chapter.) The smaller franchises will usually give you more leeway, but are VERY unorganized and inconsistent, and often don’t have enough resources (see number 6 above). The bosses at the smaller schools are also more likely to make lots of big promises to you that they can’t keep, so my advice is to make your decisions based only on what you can see for yourself at the school, not what they say that they’re planning. No school is going to pay for a work visa for you. No school is going to make you full-time or give you any management positions. In fact, if you meet a boss like this in an interview who makes you lots of big promises, don’t be naive like I was… run away! If you receive more than one job offer, accept 2 or 3. Here’s why:

3. You have to think about yourself before the school. I know this can go against your American work ethic, but the industry is ruthless here, and you have to always do what’s best for you. Take both jobs and then accept the classes/students that fit your schedule. If you’re working at more than one school, both bosses will pressure you to quit and work exclusively for them. Be polite, but don’t do it. Like I said, neither one can offer you full-time, and neither one is going to fire you if you can’t teach all the classes that they want you to teach. Almost all of the Brazilian teachers here teach at more than one school and also teach private classes on the side, and no one feels bad about it. If you can get between 25 and 30 hours of classes per week, consider yourself lucky.

4. Don’t expect a 9-5. Your schedule is going to change every week. You’ll probably need to have classes spread out from 7am -11:00pm. People change their schedules. Your bosses change your classes. Students come and go. Remember, you’re teaching adults with families and full-time jobs. English classes are not their first priority. They’re going to try to fit it in when they can. Speaking of which,

5. Expect many of your classes to be cancelled. This sucks, but it’s true. Many students are F-L-A-K-Y Flaky. (See #4 for reasons why.) Typically, the schools won’t pay you if you don’t teach, even if the students don’t call to cancel. So yes, you get ready, show up, wait, and don’t get paid. (Sometimes the bigger chains are better about this, which is a benefit for working for them. Ask during the interview.) You can set the rules of your private classes, but remember, if you make a rule that students have to pay even if they can’t come, it may be harder for you to find students. I had a rule with my private students that, if they call within 24 hours of the class to cancel, they have to pay half. Some people offer makeup classes if they give you this 24-hour notice. I was at a point where I had so many students that I didn’t offer makeup classes at all. To give you an idea, if I have a week with 25 hours of classes scheduled, I end up teaching about 19. That’s why I say, if you’re choosing between groups at schools, accept the bigger classes rather than 1-1 classes if you’re trying to decide. The bigger classes don’t get cancelled. (Though put your own private students before the schools, because you make the rules!)

6. Don’t expect to extend your visa for more than 180 days total. So here’s the situation with visas for Americans. Trust me, I’ve become an expert! Your first visa is for 90 days. If you want to extend it for another 90 days, you have to go to the Policia Federal’s website and print a receipt saying that you’ll pay 60-odd reais. You take it to a bank to pay, and get another receipt. You take these papers to the Policia Federal office in your area. You fill out a form and give them everything, and then you get a stamp in your visa.
If you want to stay for more than 180 days, you have to get married or get a “civil union contract.” If you don’t have some job contract and you’re not a student, then that’s it. Those are your options. (See my earlier entries for details.) Like I said, the schools won’t pay for a long-term visa for you. They have to pay a LOT of money and they also have to prove that they’re being legit with their taxes, and they usually aren’t. It’s cheaper for them to just hire a Brazilian teacher.

For each day that you stay illegally, past 180 days, you have to pay $8.80 reais. I don’t know if you have to pay in the airport or if you only have to pay if you try to come back, but you won’t be able to leave and come back without paying, and I don’t know if you’ll get restricted from future visas or anything. You’ll see below in the comments that people have had different experiences with this.

7. Get your CPF ASAP. A CPF is like a Brazilian social security card. A Brazilian address and the tourist visa in an American passport is enough to qualify for one. It’s free, and it can come in very handy. You just have to go the Ministerio de Fazenda and fill out some paperwork, and then they mail it to you.

8. Have fun! I know this list makes it sound like teaching in Brazil is like getting a tooth pulled, but I promise that’s not true. Teaching is fun and fascinating, and doesn’t even feel like work. You’ll meet so many interesting people, and you’ll learn a lot. You won’t get to travel much on your teacher’s salary, but if you’re in one of the big cities, that won’t be too bad. It’s an experience I wouldn’t change for anything (except the same experience with more money, ha).

If you have any other questions, just leave them on the blog.

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Keep it simple!

There is no doubt that the Martin Waxman interview was helpful. The approach for his agency which is simplicity, energy and integrity makes it clear that this man doesn’t like ambiguity. Can I mention that I also loved that he was Canadian? Reason for that is that I am Canadian! Yes indeed I am and this motivated me to listen even more to what he had to say.
It was very insightful to hear the techniques that he used to perfect his podcast. As a student that just recently learned how to podcast, I thought they were really good tips to take for future projects.
Another thing that I also agree with is how important it is to be familiar with the traditional media technologies. If you are like me and is slowly getting a hand of all these new media technologies, this insight is for you! Prior to taking my social media class, I was not nearly as media literate as I am now. I actually take some pleasure in involving myself with certain technologies and am looking for more opportunities to do so. It is so fundamental for people to understand that old technologies are the ones that support new technologies like the root of a vine. Taking them into consideration is a must!
His tips for university students about to graduate were great too. Although, we were supposed to learn some of them while in elementary school, like knowing how to spell and using correct wording. Sometimes we, college students, try too hard to impress and use words that are not appropriate in a sentence. Martin makes it clear that we must just keep it simple. After all, it is less complicated for us and the people reading anyway.

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Viral videos

Okay, I have to admit, the viral video of “David after Dentist” was quite funny. But was it that funny to get over 88 million views? I dont know. Maybe watching an innocent kid’s aftermath from taking anesthetizing drugs has the reasoning for captivating millions of viewers that could relate to his pain.
Viral videos’ successes have sometime unexplainable results. But one thing that is sure. They are funny, authentic and relative. This is why people love them so much. One of my favorite viral video is “Charlie bit my finger-again” The boys on that video are so cute and let’s not forget their adorable accent. To see how two siblings can bond at that age is what caused my heart to melt for this video.
The other interesting video that made it in my top favorites is the one of the Golden Voice man. This video touched the heart of millions of viewers because of this man amazing hidden talent. This video showed millions that the possibility of finding treasures on the streets is not something that is only seen in fictional stories. Not only has Ted found a job, he found the chance to renew his life in the positive direction. His life was changed forever and so can the life of many others who use social networks to their advantage.

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The Enemy of Unity

Dave Ramsey was another speaker that shared amazing insight during this conference.
The speaker wanted to reveal the truths about the reality of a disorganized and a problematic work environment. In doing so, he exposed the five enemies of unity. His main goal was to elaborate on these five concepts so that business people in leadership positions will benefit from having a peaceful and unified work environment.

One of the two new concepts learnt from the speaker is his mention about whenever there is no moral restraint, it’s a monarchy. At first, this statement stirred a bit of ambiguity but as it was reflected upon it enlightened me to understand from his perspective. The other statement is when Ramsey mentioned that when unity is valued in the culture of the team, the team will also act to keep these enemies from the gate. Often times, we think that conflicts can never be mended but when there is a common ground that is established among the team, they will fight to keep the peace in the organization.

He also quoted: “What we win is what we are focusing on”. This quote is very important because it brings about clarity. The only way that one can truly succeed at what they do is if they remain focused on their goal. A person that is confused and unorganized can not press on towards a goal to succeed because they do not have one. A goal must be established and a plan needs to be in practice to actually see the objective come to past.

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Erwin McManus

I also had the priviledge of attending the Southeastern University Forum
I have learned a lot from these diverse speakers. One of them was Erwin McManus I decided to share some of the most memorable ones. One of the information mentioned by Erwin Mcmanus that I was not previously aware of is when he mentioned that it is far more important to pull things out of the student then to try to put things into them (referring to teachers strategies on methods of teaching).The other one was very mind renewing. He mentioned that so many people pursue dreams that do not fit in their lives. This was grasping because it illuminated me on the fact that it is possible to envision or hope for something that we are not mandated or called to do. Even though it may sound good or have good intentions, it is important to do only what has been required by God to do. This also ignited the thought that many think that because they receive a prophecy and have a dream that it will easily come to past. But then the speaker continues that point by stating that it takes determination, hard work and vision to fulfill one’s dream. Here is an interesting quote that he stated.
Being famous is what you do for yourself and greatness is what you do for others” by Erwin Mcmanus
This statement is very true and can be demonstrated in numerous ways in today’s society. People that are celebrity limelight desire all the attention in the world and seek to promote themselves in everything they do. Many of these celebrities’ actions are centered on themselves and their appearance. There is a clear distinction between people that seek to be great and people that are naturally great. What becomes great is when one gives up one’s self to be an available hand to one in need. Jesus is a great example of the definition of greatness. People that follow after this example do not need to seek to be great because their actions are actually doing all of the talking on their behalf. I would also like to add that it is not only the actions done for others that defines greatness but also the intention of the action that places more value on the beauty of the deed.

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