Churchill’s Pub — An Alternative to South Beach

Every week, as I get new students, I can always count on being asked about places for them to go out.  More specifically, I’m asked about bars and clubs for them to visit.  I have to make a True Confession at this time:  I’ve never gone to a club on South Beach.  I’m not exactly what you would call “a dancer” (two left feet — my friends call me “The President of the Rhythmless Nation”), and while I am obsessed with music, the offerings on Miami Beach are not for me.  More to the point, I’m not into electronic music and all its various incarnations at all.  If an artist has “DJ” as part of his name, it’s 100% not my kind of thing.   So, when people ask me about the famous clubs on South Beach like Mansion or LIV, I have to shrug my shoulders.  I’ve never been there, and have no interest.   But, if you are into Rock music (all kinds), there’s a place just across Biscayne Bay (a quick cab ride) that I can definitely recommend:  Churchill’s Pub.   A “dive bar” is a bar/pub that is considered to be a local neighborhood hangout.  Somewhere that people from all walks of life can feel comfortable, and drink/socialize cheaply.  Churchill’s explifies the idea of a “dive bar” perfectly.  Churchill’s first opened in September of 1979, and is considered to be a Miami “institution.”    It’s small, with a couple of pool tables, televisions for international soccer matches, and an area for live bands to play every night of the week.  Whether it’s early Monday evening or late Saturday night, someone will be onstage rocking the crowd.  Local bands can always be found there (one of my personal favorites is Askultura), as well as national and international acts.  The people … Read more

Epicure: Mark’s Lunch Alternative!

One of the biggest misconceptions students from other countries have about us here in the USA is that we survive on a diet of fast food.  But, nothing could be further from the truth!  Of course, there are many fast food options on Miami Beach (just like the rest of the world).  But it’s just as easy to eat healthy food as it is to grab a greasy burger and fries.   It can be challenging to eat right, but we’re very fortunate at EC Miami to have a gourmet market located directly across the street.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Epicure market.  You can shop quickly for fresh food, baked goods, and even various candies from other countries.  Epicure makes fresh salads and sandwiches daily, as well as coffee and other drinks in their cafe (located in the back of the store).   Typically, I  grab one of their freshly prepared salads for my lunch break, and then hide out in the teacher’s room with my iPod.  If it isn’t too hot (or rainy), there’s an area just outside on Lincoln Road where I sit and listen to music, eat my lunch, and watch all of the interesting people that pass by.  Anyone that has visited Miami Beach before certainly knows about the “people-watching” that can be done!   Burgers and fries are great — once in awhile.  But give Epicure a try!  It’s closer …  and healthier!

The Art of Possibility Chapters 5-8

The Art of Possibility Chapters 5-8 In this blog post I will be talking about some of the key points that were stimulated in me whilst ready these chapters. What I would like to share first is this wonderful bit of wisdom I got from a friend over the weekend. “Always see the good in people first. . . Because if you don’t, you’ll always see the bad and the opportunity of that moment will be lost.” This had been playing on my mind I a totally felt it more due to the reading. Remembering the chapters, which talk about the calculating self and the central self. How the balance of action and reaction are so delicate. When we are faced with a situation oftentimes our (re) actions are based from the calculating self who is trying to avoid pain, thus making fear based decisions from pride and ego etc. One way to connect with the central being of not only yourself and others is through acting from a place of love and compassion. Seeing the good in every interaction we have before marring the picture with judgments and should, seeing things the way they are. It is challenging to BE in the present moment and remain objective especially in such an abstract world. But by being able to stay present and take things in following rule number 6 opens up so many possibilities! At a recent rehearsal I noticed how band members were talking about what the drummer ‘should’ do in 4rd person without addressing the drummer himself. Upon noticing this I was instantly reminded of the ‘Leading from any chair’ chapter of the book. I was instantly inspired to ask the drummer what he thought about what should be done. This instantly allowed us to carry on with … Read more

All About Mark Little

Many times, when you first come into EC Miami and look in the first classroom, you will see a teacher with weird hair who is either furiously moving around the room or is sitting cross-legged on the table.  Yes, that’s Me!   I’ve been here at the Miami school since we opened in January 2012, and have been lucky to teach all levels.  My teaching career, however, began more than 15 years ago – in Colombia, to be precise.  I was a teacher at the Centro Colombo Americano for close to five years in the capital city of Bogota.  During that time, I was also able to work as an extra in various “telenovelas” on Colombian TV.  If you look closely, you can find me in episodes of Suenos y Espejos, La Mujer del Presidente, and La Madre.  My voice was also used in a movie, La Deuda.  I can’t tell you how exciting it was for me to hear myself on a big movie screen in a packed theater at the premiere!   I’m from Washington, D.C. originially, but my family moved to Florida when I was 10 years old.  In my spare time I enjoy going to rock concerts, sporting events (football, baseball, soccer, hockey) writing, and just generally being around my close friends.  I also enjoy talking to the students we have from various countries and walks of life here at EC Miami.  It’s amazing to me to see how much we’ve grown (from fewer than 20 students on our first day)!!  I’m looking forward to more!    

Meet Andrea Sanabria – Student Ambassador

At EC Miami, our Student Ambassadors are very important.  They are a vital link between staff and students, and we depend on them greatly.  Today we’re going to meet one of our newest Ambassadors, Andrea Sanabria from Venezuela.   “When I first came I made a friend, her name is Rosaria.  She was also an Ambassador.  It caught my attention how she interacted with other students and it seemed a fun thing to do while you learn from other students doing different activities.”   Andrea Sanabria, 24 Upper-Intermediate Venezuela

Meet Sungmin “Agustino” Song – Student Ambassador

At EC Miami, our Student Ambassadors are very important.  They are a vital link between staff and students, and we depend on them greatly.  Today we’re going to meet one of our newest Ambassadors, Sungmin Song, from Korea.  (His friends all call him “Agustino.”)   “Firstly, I want to join more activity and meet many friends.  Secondly I want to give good impression and friendly feeling to new student.  Because, when I arrived in Miami, the ambassadors gave me a warm reception.  So I want to give back for them.”   Sungmin “Agustino” Song, 24 Intermediate South Korea

Doraku – A Restaurant Review by Sabrina

Doraku is famous for the most delicious sushi in town.  I already tried a lot of sushi restaurants but Doraku is my favourite one.   The waiters are very friendly and kind.  We didn’t wait for our food for a long time even if the restaurant was quite crowded.  The surroundings are very modern and I felt comfortable.   The food was very fresh and tasty.  We had different sorts of sushi and it was pretty cheap because it was happy hour.  During the time from 5pm to 7pm they offer you a cheap happy hour menu very day.   Doraku is located on the famous Lincoln Road and parking is next to the restaurant.   They prepare the food on a beautiful plate and it looks fantastic.   I really recommend this restaurant and I will enjoy more sushi again.   Sabrina is one of our FCE students at EC Miami.

The Art of Possibility

The Art of Possibility (Zander & Zander 2000) has so far been a very inspirational book. The first chapter asks us to look at our selves and our perspectives. One part was about two shoe salesman. How one saw a business opportunity and the other didn’t when on a trip to Africa. I’m sure we can all relate to that. This reminded me of something my Reiki teacher spoke about. Think of a time when you were listening to someone talk or moan about an issue they have and in an effort to turn their thinking around we start the sentence with “no but.” This in itself just goes to reinforce the polarity of the situation. The words we choose can seem so meaningless yet can shape our whole world. In times when I may not agree I try my best to say nothing, even if the person I’m speaking with is fishing for more. A great quote that I try to live by is: “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”  

All About Michelle Brillouet

Those of you who are familiar with the EC Miami have probably noticed you have a teacher who ‘speaks funny’. That would be me. A London UK native, currently on a long term hiatus in Miami Florida. I have been in education for over 12 years, teaching a variety of different disciplines. Working as a youth worker, case worker, teacher and learner.  I graduated from The University of Westminster (UK) with a BA in Commercial Music, which focuses on music business, production and sociology. My main focuses were COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT projects and NEO-TRIBALISM within music genres. As well as looking at YOUTH CULTURE and IDENTITY. My latest academic endevour has been an MS in EDUCATION, MEDIA DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY at Full Sail University FL. As well as being an avid educator I am also a musician and photographer. You can hear some of my music here

Student of the Month – Marco K.

Kathy has a lot of wonderful students, but she chose Marco in the Intermediate class to be her student of the month for February.  Marco, from Switzerland, can  be seen around the hallways of EC Miami smiling, laughing, carrying a skateboard and speaking lots of English. To find out more about Marco, keep reading! Student’s Miami Recommendation My advice for to go out are Monty’s down on 3rd St. or Mangos on Ocean Drive. If you want to meet some local people go north to about 68th St. and join Sandbar or at 74th St. go to Lou’s Beer Garden (lounge). The Everglades is definitely a place you have to visit. I also recommend Coconut Grove. Teacher’s Comments Friendly, kind, down to earth and hates speed dating ;-)! This was his self-description, and it is perfect. He is great student with a positive outlook on life. Marco was bumped up to intermediate a few weeks ago and jumps into everything with an infectious enthusiasm! I am convinced he will tackle the grammar and put “see us” in his past. Congratulations Marco!