Tag Archives: Duolingo

Commune, Coursera and Duolingo

Standard
Commune, Coursera and Duolingo

I’m back in Mexico and that means I’m back on line taking courses again. There are so many of them out there and it’s hard to choose. But here are the three I’m doing now.

Duolingo. I’ve been doing this one for years now to improve my Spanish. When I go up north for a few months every year I always take a break from Duolingo. But seeing as I’m the only gringa in my neighborhood, I really need my Spanish. I have friends learning other languages on this site, but for now I’m quite content with Spanish only.

Commune. This is a new one to me. There are a variety of guest speakers on this site primarily geared toward women. Breathing, body image and yoga have shown up in the first couple of days. So far it’s been interesting. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll sign on for the full course. I’ll make that decision once the free trial ends.

Coursera. I’ve taken several courses on this site in the past. While I’m mainly interested in psychology, I have taken other courses in writing, philosophy, anthropology and sociology. Right now I’m taking a course from Yale called The Science of Well Being. I did the preliminary survey and discovered that I’m not as happy as I thought I was. Interesting. Once the course ends I get to do the survey again and then compare the results with the preliminary one.

So this is what I’m doing at the moment in my quest for learning. I highly recommend taking courses online. As a bonus, when you audit there are no tuition fees and there is no exam stress. Instead it’s possible to learn at your leisure. And at this stage of my life, this is a great way to keep on learning from the comfort of my home.

It’s Smoky Out There

Standard
It’s Smoky Out There

The featured image for this post is a photo my daughter sent me from Kelowna last year when they were evacuated. But there are areas in Washington state that look like that today. Highway 2 is closed due to the fires raging at Stevens Pass. That’s about one hundred miles away from where I live, but the smoke is thick here in East Wenatchee. The mountains have all but vanished. And it may be time to once again start using a mask.

In Cashmere on Sunday the turnout for the 9/11 service at Spirit of America was much lower than in past years. The air was thick with smoke. Combine that with the extreme heat warnings and it was definitely not a good day to be sitting outside. But it was a very moving experience for those of us who did attend.

I still haven’t booked my flights yet. I know that I’m going back to Aguascalientes for the winter. But right now I need to decide which airport to fly into. Last year I flew into Guadalajara and was happy I did. It’s hurricane season now on the west coast and flying into Puerto Vallarta could be tricky. I’ve flown in there before in the aftermath of a hurricane and it was not a good experience. Likewise for Mazatlan. Flying directly to Aguascalientes means going through Dallas, not one of my favorite airports. Okay, Alaska Airlines. You’re my favorite airline so I’ll check out the connections through LAX.

Tomorrow is Thursday and it’s our last binge with Virgin River to finish off the season. When I’m in Mexico I only watch TV in Spanish. English is reserved for my time here in Washington. Speaking of Spanish, time to get back to Duolingo. I’ve taken a break over the summer.

Interesting the impact of Queen Elizabeth’s death on some of my American friends. In all honesty, it had more of an impact on some of them than it did on me. And I’m Canadian. I still have haunting memories of singing God Save The Queen back in elementary school. But her death marks the end of an era. And she has definitely left her mark in history.

That’s it for humpday today. Hope you have a good one.

Countdown

Standard
Countdown

Please tell me another week has not gone by already. I need to start thinking about packing.

Facebook reminded me that on June 17th in 2013 I was having surgery in Winnipeg. Glad it’s now 2022 and I was leading the exercises in fitness training this year instead on June 17th. Even Walmart didn’t annoy me on Friday.

On my commute by bus to Leavenworth to teach SAIL classes on Thursday, I met an activities director of a personal care home. She noticed the shirt I was wearing and asked if I’d consider teaching at their facility. I told her I’d touch base in August when I get back from Canada. I still have more training to do so that I can coach A Matter of Balance.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever envision myself teaching fitness classes at this stage of the game. Add it to more stories to tell my grandkids.

Writing is going well. Actually it’s going so well that I haven’t found time to catch up on reading books in English, usually a favorite pastime when I come up from Mexico every spring. I do go to the library, but it’s mostly to print out documents.

I’ve also given Duolingo a rest. I received an email the other day telling me how sad Duo is because I haven’t been checking in every day. Poor little owl!

I met a guy the other day who is up here from Florida to be in Leavenworth Summer Theater. So happy to hear that I won’t miss all of them when I’m in Canada. My favorite is still Sound of Music. The surrounding woods and the mountains are the most amazing backdrops.

Que tengas un buenisimo domingo!

I Went Out For A Walk

Standard
I Went Out For A Walk

It’s been a crazy weekend so far, a real roller coaster ride. And I’m trying to get off of it. But it’s a tough struggle.

It started on Friday when I read something on Facebook. And then I made the mistake of reading the obituaries in my hometown newspaper. And if that wasn’t enough, I received malas noticias from a friend here in Mexico. The icing on the cake is the crisis one of my characters is going through, and I can’t get it out of my head.

Time to clear my head. Time for a long walk, by myself. Hoping I don’t bump into anyone because I just don’t feel like talking right now.

Some people call me homeless because I keep moving around. But this woman is truly homeless and she doesn’t move at all. No, she’s camped out on a boulevard on a busy street here in Las Flores.

I walked by a travel agency and saw this interesting poster. I’m thinking it was an old one, before Covid.

Luckily the only person I had to talk to was the server at Country Break. And yes, I ordered a burger to go along with my “comfort food.”

I think the walk helped. Duolingo is calling. Today’s story is a cheesy one about a secret place. I wonder what Junior will be up to today….

Technology Today

Standard

As a child technology consisted of occasionally answering a telephone or watching the odd television program on one of the three available channels. Cable didn’t arrive in Winnipeg until I was a teenager.

My children grew up with cell phones and computers. And let’s not forget all those videogames. Records? 8 Tracks? Cassettes? VCR? CD? DVD? All dinosaurs now.

My granddaughter was just over a year old when I bought her a tablet. Okay, admittedly it was Fisher Price, but a device nonetheless.

On Thursday I decided to track my device usage, just for fun. Although I do have a tablet, I have not yet replaced my laptop that died in Mexico back in April of 2020. So how much do I actually rely on technology? Apparently quite a bit more than I thought.

Alexa. Short conversations. Good morning. Weather. Tell me a joke. Trivia. Play music. Hmmm, it all adds up.

Actual tasks. Renewed travel health insurance. Updated info on WordPress. Paid credit card bills. Worked on a blog post. Emails. Revised SAIL exercise routine.

Stress relief time. Candy Crush and Word Cookies. Social media, although at times it seems to add to the stress. Playlist for meditation.

Only television time is maybe a half hour of Olympics. No Netflix today.

Phone calls. Voicemail. Texting, Messenger, Google Duo and thank you God I only use What’s App when I have my Mexican chip in my phone. And then there are all the photos I take with my phone.

Time to practice Spanish. Love my Duolingo! Average of 115 XP every day.

I haven’t tracked the time, only the activity. I don’t think I want to even know how many hours a day I am consumed by technology. But I’m sure it’s still much less than the younger generation whose ear buds are permanently attached to their bodies.

I’m done writing this post now. I’m going to read a book. And I’m not going to read it on my tablet. I’m going to read a real book with pages that you actually hold in your hands. And I can do that without even searching through a frustratingly long list of passwords!

Even The Geese Are Confused

Standard
Even The Geese Are Confused

While my friends in Leavenworth are wearing boots, here in Wenatchee we have rain and need umbrellas. The geese are back. They haven’t headed south yet although they have left Canada behind. And it’s almost mid January.

In my quest to simplify my life, I eliminated two email addresses and removed What’s App. Only one email address to check now makes it easier. What’s App is useful when I’m in Mexico but not when I’m in the USA.

I was at Dollar Tree yesterday and in one aisle there was Christmas, Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s Day. I guess Easter is on the horizon. The garden tools and skipping ropes are already on the shelves.

I’m enjoying my new phone and getting used to the changes. I’m still discovering new features. Cell phones have come a long way since the cumbersome one in a suitcase that I had back in the early 90s.

Renewed my travel health insurance for another month. My body is still complaining that we should be in Mexico in the winter.

Time for Duolingo.

Que tengas un buen dia!