Day 285: There, Their, They’re

There, their, they're.

There, their, they’re.

Last night’s The Walking Dead premiere was great — I won’t go into the details here for those of you who haven’t watched yet, but I wanted to share the above comic. It’s got zombies … and a quick lesson on there, their, and they’re.

I’m sure everybody sees the same mistakes being made over and over again on social media. From misspellings to incorrect your/you’re usage, the Internet is a living, breathing grammar and spelling worksheet.

There, their, and they’re are easy to remember, but if you need a refresher, check out that zombie comic, then go to your Facebook page and practice your newfound knowledge on all of your friends’ status updates.

Day 48: Two on Tuesday

Statement of Accomplishment from

Statement of Accomplishment from

Two things that made my Tuesday:

1. I received my Statement of Accomplishment (with Distinction) for completing the U.S Department of State and the University of Oregon’s online course Shaping the Way We Teach English 1: The Landscape of English Language Teaching. I enjoyed this class on so much that I immediately enrolled in second part of the course that started last week.

2. I got another shout-out from two of my favorite social media personalities Phil Yu and Jenny Wang during their Fresh Off the Boat post-show chat. I could get used to these weekly 15 seconds of Internet fame. I’ll wait until at least next week before hiring an agent.

Day 39: Podcasts I’m Listening to Now

Stephen Colbert, courtesy of

Stephen Colbert, courtesy of

This morning I saw the news item about Adnan Syed and how a Maryland court will now hear an appeal for his case. Syed was the subject of the first season of Serial, the podcast released last October that became a huge hit. I loved the Serial and after binge-listening to Syed’s case (he’d been convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend before receiving a life sentence), I wasn’t sure of his guilt or innocence, but I felt that the State did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty. He couldn’t have been locked up based on the evidence given, could he?

Well, thanks to the success of Serial, his case could be re-opened. It’s another twist to a fascinating story, a tale that was so expertly presented by Sarah Koenig during the 12-episode first season.

After I had finished that brilliant first season, I decided I needed more podcasts for driving or working out, since I usually listened to music for both. I did a quick Google search that led me to two fantastic podcasts: Soul Music and Working. I recommend either of them for your next podcast binge session.

1. Over on the BBC website, Soul Music offers “the stories behind pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact.” Listen to the episode about the song “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” with its touching and poignant anecdotes. The story about Teddy Pendergrass is heartbreaking.

2. Slate’s Working is a podcast about work. For each episode, one person discusses a typical day at their job. Whether it’s a lexicographer explaining the process of defining words for the Merriam-Webster dictionary or Stephen Colbert going over a typical day at The Colbert Report, the results are always informative and intriguing.

Day 26: Back to School


The Rolling Stones


In a future post I’ll write more about, the online learning university that offers free classes from colleges worldwide, but for now let me say this: it’s one of my favorite things about the Internet. I’ve taken college-level courses in computer science, English, and music appreciation over the last two years and have been surprised at how sophisticated the classes are, as well as fascinated by the technology that makes MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) possible.

I’m currently enrolled in two courses. Through the University of Oregon, I’m taking Shaping the Way We Teach English 1: The Landscape of English Teaching. I’m halfway through the class and it’s been enlightening and beneficial; perfect for my line of work.

Through the University of Rochester, I’m taking The Music of the Rolling Stones, 1962-1974. I’ve taken other music appreciation classes with Professor John Covach and so far, this one is just as good as the others. The one thing this class has reminded me of is how young the Rolling Stones were at the beginning of their career. When I saw them back in 1990s, they were already considered old by rock standards, but it turned out that they had decades worth of farewell tours left in them.