Sometimes the flower before you, no matter how lovely, is not the flower for you…
Does Insect Refrain
compound eyes fallen, upon pollen’s halo
aloft, in humid sweet trajectories
golden day-glo and watched
so virtually uncertain to ascertain
yet entertained, like a rectory friar
does Insect refrain
so fruitful landfall remains
ingrained upon unhindered
pollen’s life, and table
provided the wind is right
and her soil is stable
Insect returns to hive unburdened
though certain as his glands
reveal his fruitless duty
so his cortex commands
a minute memory of beauty
Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. Correct?! How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.
• We listen to obtain information.
• We listen to understand.
• We listen for enjoyment.
• We listen to learn.
Tip: If you’re finding it particularly difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying, try repeating their words mentally as they say them – this will reinforce their message and help you stay focused.
Becoming an Active Listener
There are five key elements of active listening. They all help you ensure that you hear the other person, and that the other person knows you are hearing what they say.
1. Pay attention.
Give the speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message. Recognize that non-verbal communication also “speaks” loudly.
• Look at the speaker directly.
• “Listen” to the speaker’s body language.
2. Show that you are listening.
Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention. .
• Smile and use other facial expressions.
• Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and uh huh.
3. Provide feedback.
Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. This may require you to reflect what is being said and ask questions.
• Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. “What I’m hearing is.” and “Sounds like you are saying.” are great ways to reflect back.
• Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say.” “Is this what you mean?”
EC DANCE PARTY!!!
Don’t miss the best Spring Party!
Buy the tickets now at the front desk!
Only $20! Included Food!
EC Walks for Hunger!
It’s not often that you get a positive response if someone asks “Want to walk 20 miles on Sunday?” Especially when it is the Sunday after Cinco de Mayo. If your Saturday celebrating Mexican heritage and pride involved scrabble in Spanish you might be up for the challenge, but if it was blur of tequila shots and maracas you might have been leery of a Sunday morning mega march. Well, it turns out that EC staff and students are a hearty lot with big hearts, as 35 EC Bostonians assemble in front of the Boylston St. Dunkin’ Donuts at 8am ready and willing to walk 20 miles to stamp out hunger.
Sunday May 6th was Project Bread’s 44th annual Walk for Hunger and one of the most successful events yet. Over 43,000 walkers flooded the streets, bringing in over $3.6 million! The funds raised on Sunday go towards supporting a wide range of hunger relief programs, aiding over 700,000 individuals in Massachusetts who struggle to find a daily meal.
In addition to having the opportunity to raise money and awareness for a meaningful cause in the area, Sunday was a great opportunity to spend time with fellow students and staff members. While we did not have customized team track suits or sweatbands, we did have the Center Director’s enormous EC Orange fanny pack to follow and it ended up doubling as a mobile 7 Eleven unit, equiped with snacks, drinks, bandaids and tabloids.
If you did not get a chance to make it to the event this year there is still a way to be part of the solution. You can check out Project Bread’s website page at http://www.projectbread.org/site/PageServer?pagename=walk_main to find out the other ways to get involved.
Thank you to all teachers, staff and students for your participation, it turned out to be a truly great day!
Would you like to speak to native English speakers?
Would you like to give back to the Boston community?
Below are some organizations and websites to consult to find volunteer opportunities:
American Red Cross,
Greater Boston Food Bank,
The New England Center for Homeless Veterans (http://www.nechv.org/), or
There are some others you can find if you google search soup kitchen or food pantry or volunteering in Boston, MA.
http://www.bostoncares.org/ is another great website to find volunteer opportunities.
Many of these organizations will ask that you fill out a form and/or attend a training. Most of them have many, many volunteers, and it may take a couple of months before you can be scheduled to volunteer. Once you start volunteering, they usually ask that you come regularly so that they can depend on you. It will be a wonderful experience for you to speak to all these native speakers.
Enjoy and good luck!
Join Lauren for an incredible trip back in time THIS SATURDAY, MAY 12th. 100 years ago to be exact! Experience the entire city of WALTHAM, MA as it would have been a century ago.
The EC BOSTON trip will meet this Saturday in North Station, right in front of Dunkin Donuts at 11:00. We will gather for 15 minutes, then board the train for Waltham on the commuter train (FITCHBURG LINE). Fare is $10.50 round trip so Bring Cash and buy your ticket at the station. We will arrive in Waltham Center at 12:00PM. FREE shuttle service is available to and from the train station. Admission Price for Festival Tickets is $15, which includes a hot air balloon ride. This is a photo opportunity to snap pictures of people dressed in vintage costumes. You will be traveling back to the Victorian era, when steam engines ruled during the steam powered industrial age. Air ships were thought to be the most viable form of air travel of this time period.
On Saturday, there is a chance of rain showers so please tote an umbrella and wear comfortable shoes. Bring extra cash for your lunch at the festival. We will establish a meeting spot so we can check in for a late afternoon lunch together at 2:30PM and again before we gather to go back to the train station at 4:30PM. You are encouraged to wear aviator goggles, boots and cools hats (steampunk gear) but not required. Please sign up on the 4th floor before Friday at 1PM. I will see you at North Station. For more info go to http://internationalsteampunkcitywaltham.org
New in Boston or you are running out of ideas of things to do in the city?
Two wonderful neighborhoods are awaiting just a few minutes walk from EC Boston.
One of them is situated north of the Boston Common and the Public Garden: Beacon Hill. The second one is north of EC Boston and is called the North End.
Beacon Hill will make you travel through time and offer you nice little streets, lined with red brick houses, gas streetlights, little gardens, and, most of all, now that spring is showing up, arches of trees in bloom will give you an amazing mix of colors in the streets. This neighborhood will allow you to discover the area of the 19th century “Boston Brahmins”, as they were called, but also the place where The African American Civil Rights Movement started. Do not miss Charles Street and its nice cafés (Paramount, Panificio…), antique shops, but also some design and decoration stores. This neighborhood is close to Boston’s parks but also close to the Esplanade, which will give you a nice view over Boston and a pleasant spot for a picnic. Don’t miss its smallest street: Acorn Street and, of course, take a little detour the State House and its golden Hub. Beacon Hill is a charming historical neighborhood that will take you away from crowded places, stress and rock you into a European atmosphere such as the one you can find in London’s Notting Hill for example.
The second neighborhood that will also make you travel through time and cross the Atlantic is the North End. The North End, often referred to as, Boston’s “Little Italy” will make you plunge into an Italian atmosphere only within a few seconds. You will see numerous Italian restaurants, gelaterias and cafés. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Boston and it will lead you to discover some of Boston’s key historical events. Maybe the most famous places, though, are the two confectioneries on Hanover Street: Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry. Both are the same in quality. There you will be able to taste amazing pastries such as cannolis or cupcakes!
Walk along Hanover Street and then back on Salem Street and you will be somewhere in Tuscany or Campania!
Both neighborhoods are worth visiting while your are in Boston and you have no excuse not to go there and take a walk, as they are so close to the school. No need to bring something except for a camera and a few dollars for a cappuccino or a slice of pizza!
This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ms. Eliana Lopez from Bogota, Colombia.
Ryan: Hi, Eliana. How are you?
Eliana: I’m fine and you?
Ryan: Fine, thanks. Eliana, tell me about your hometown.
Eliana: Well, it’s a big city.. hot, so hot.
Ryan: Too hot?
Eliana: Yes, like 30 degrees Celsius.
Ryan: Which in Fahrenheit is…?
Eliana: No. Fahrenheit? No.
Ryan: What do you do for fun?
Eliana: I hang out with my friends, drink some beer, go to the cinema..
Ryan: Drink beer at the cinema?
Eliana: No! (laughs) Actually, you can drive to the liquor store and play really loud music in your car with all your friends.
Ryan: So it’s kind of like a “drive-thru” club?
Eliana: (laughs) Something like that.
Ryan: OK, what is your greatest challenge learning English?
Eliana: Hmm.. watching TV shows in English and trying to understand everything.
Ryan: Which TV shows do you watch?
Eliana: Have you ever heard of “Pretty Little Liars”?
Ryan: No… do you relate to the show’s title? Pretty? Little? Liars?
Eliana: Just the first part.
Ryan: (laughs) OK, your first child: a boy or a girl?
Eliana: Hmm.. a boy.
Eliana: Juan Andres.
Eliana: I don’t know… I like the sound of it. It’s a mix between Juan and Andres and it’s not too common.
Ryan: Good point. Alright, and what is your favorite dance move?
Eliana: Well, I love to dance to reggaeton. Do you know reggaeton?
Ryan: Yes, of course. But what is your favorite dance move? Like, move your shoulders, move your arms like a chicken, etc?
Eliana: I guess I move my hips?
Ryan: OK, good move. And your last question, if you had to have horns like a goat or ears like a rabbit, which would you choose and why?
Eliana: What kind of question is THAT?
Ryan: C’mon, Eliana, people want to know this stuff!
Eliana: OK, rabbit ears.
Eliana: Because it’s cute! Rabbits are so cute.
Ryan: I totally agree.
If you have any suggestions for questions or would like to be interviewed in this segment, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!