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Where we’re raised shapes who we are. It shapes what sports we play, what we believe in, what we value, what we think we know to be right from wrong, just or unjust. It also shapes our modes of communication and how we learn to cope as social beings; what words we use, what phrases we choose to fit a given moment. Learned language helps us not only be understood but accepted.

Where do we go
When we grow
Tired and old?

Do we turn
To dirt?

Are we bought
Or sold?

The following is an excerpt from a presentation I gave for colleagues and fellow educators regarding the role of innovation in education. The conference took place at Jumeriah Hotel, Etihad Towers on November 23, 2016.

Green is the color of greed; the color of Capitalism. It can also be the color of plenitude; the color of nature; the color of peace. Southern Ontario is spoiled. Because of its rich landscapes. Its curvatures. Its muscular skeleton called the Canadian Shield. It’s a hard land with hard people brought up in the cold, coping with dark winter days and cold draughts.

I remember, as a child, going on family holidays to Florida. Cocoa beach with its big waves; the freeway sprawled before me, windows rolled down, radio tuned to a local radio station playing “Kissed By A Rose” every hour, on the hour. I remember lizards clinging to walls, frozen out of fear; lizards on the road, splayed and flattened. I remember most of what it means to be free.

One of the most common questions teachers and those who aspire to teach abroad ask, or more likely debate ad infinitum on obscure internet forums, is whether it is better to apply directly to schools or to use the services of a recruiting company to obtain gainful employment teaching abroad.

Recently several unsuspecting https://www.esl101.com/ members lost a significant amount of money to scammers posing as employers in the United Arab Emirates.

November 2011. The suspense was finally at an end. Team Jacob had lost. A fairy tale dance in the woods leaving him doe-eyed, worse for wear; wounds blistering beneath a statuesque surface. Bella and Edward, forever and for eternity. For better or for worse.

"Mile after mile after mile of malls after malls. Many, many malls. Major malls and mini malls. They put the mini malls in between the major malls, and in between the mini malls they put the mini marts."
- George Carlin

I am a teacher. Not the title I want on my gravestone but a teacher nonetheless. It’s a job, a means to an end, my meager money-making profession of choice. To narrow it down farther, I’m an international quasi-ESL classroom teacher following the American Common Core curriculum, instructing in English, expected to assess ESL learners according to a rather rigorous Westernized standard.

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