Category Archives: Uncategorized

Boston’s Best Sights – An ESL Friendly Guide

Do you know this guy?

Summer school begins on Tuesday. I’m teaching at two schools. The teacher choses the curriculum for the summer. I decided to structure part of my lessons around popular tourist sights in Boston.

The first task is to teach the students the six sights we will study as part of our summer class. I sourced some online photos and made a PowerPoint presentation. And it was dreadfully dry.

How I envisioned my students reacting to the PowerPoint.

Then I had an idea. My niece loves putting on shows and making videos. She’s taken summer courses on making videos. We’d already planned a day in Boston together and would be near five of the six sights. What if we made a video?

Come on kids – Let’s put on a show!

She was game. We made videos in several locations around the city using our iPhones. The biggest challenge was that the iPhone’s microphone pics up every noise, not just my voice. We quickly realized that me talking on camera wouldn’t work. Instead, we shot video at the different locations (or borrowed it from YouTube). When I later edited it together, I added narration. All of that was done on my iPad using iMovie.

You can find the final result here.

Boat Restoration

I brought my niece to the USS Constitution for her first visit last week. Outside the security area, a group of sailors were restoring a couple of rowboats that had sat out in the weather too long. They were doing it old school. They sanded them by hand and pulled out old caulking with a pick. I made this image of a sailor trying his best to get out the caulking. They said the caulking was inferior, but it seemed to want to stay in place.

Your Own Covered Bridge Tour

https://sayinsurance.com/sayinsights/plan-a-driving-tour-to-see-these-majestic-covered-bridges

Last year, I presented photos of the covered bridges of New Hampshire. Many of you said you had covered bridges in your area and would like to take your own tour.

This week, I was contacted about an article sponsored by an insurance company. The article talked about some of the history and facts related to these beautiful structures. The best part is that about halfway down the page, there are descriptions and links to organizing your own covered bridge tour in various parts of the U.S.

Take a look and perhaps get inspired. You can find the article here.

Thank you (aka: I say “portico”; you say “patio”.)

Thank you to everyone who responded to my question this morning. The concensus seems to by to call it a portico, though terrace and patio seem like good synonyms to describe its function.

The challenge to writing is that you can’t use the same term repeately in a paragraph. Having synonyms helps.

What’s the word for….?

The work on my memoir continues. I’m on chapter fifteen of the second draft. That’s about of a third of the way through the book. I also signed up for a memoir writing course later this summer.

But today I need your help. I’m not great with architectural terms. In the picture above, what do you call the area between the courtyard in the foreground and the classrooms behind the rear wall? It’s a roof supported by pillars. It goes along two sides of the courtyard inside the school.

There is a different view in the picture below. It is to the right where the three girls are standing.

Thoughts?

USS Constitution

I didn’t post yesterday because I had my niece, Liv for the day. We had a busy day seeing different sites around Boston and riding Boston’s Blue Bikes along the Charles River and then across the city.

We toured the USS Constitution. It was Liv’s first visit. Afterwards, we wanted to make a lens ball photoof the ship. It was hard to find a good spot. This was truly a collaborative effort. I balanced the ball on one a surface that threatened to move if I took my hands away. She took the picture on her phone.

Variations on Motif No. 1

The so called Motif Number 1 (see bottom image) is a classic that has been captured in many photographs, paintings, and other mediums. The top two shots are different angles on the same setting.

If you go back to yesterday’s post about the man fixing lobster traps, you’ll also see Motif Number 1 in the background. Sometimes, we need a different perspective.

The famous Motif Number 1

On the Pier

My wife and I ordered lunch at the takeout window then went around back to to find a table. She sat down. I wandered further down the fish pier. Rounding the corner, I found this man repairing lobster traps. Where the cage had separated, he installed a metal band to tie it back together. We said hello.

“Do they require a lot of maintenance,” I asked.

“These are wrecks,” he said. The younger guys don’t even bother to repair them anymore. They just throw them away. But at $130 a trap, I’d rather repair ’em and get more use out of them.”