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Be Logical and Analytical

19 Dec

Tips for writing papers for your English classes.  In many college English classes (even in China), you will see the same pattern. The teacher gives you an article with some “message” and then they ask you to analyze 分析 it. NOT summarize 总结 – although students always try to do this instead. 

Tip 1 — English teachers RARELY 很少 want you to write an answer telling them all the ways the author was RIGHT. In English, a lot of your job is finding weaknesses 弱点 or problems. So they usually don’t want you to say “The author is correct because _________________”  You can talk about a couple ways the author is right, but you should also have something talking about how the author MIGHT be wrong or incorrect.

Tip 2 — Pretend the author is a review on Taobao. You want to buy the product, and you see ONE person who gave it 5 starts and a really excellent review. Do you buy it? NO! Now you do more research: How many stars did the product get overall? What do other reviewers say? Did someone pay this person to review the product? Did they post Pictures to prove it?

We do the same for English essay writing. Just because the message LOOKS really good, doesn’t mean the author is completely correct. What proof does the author give? Do they have examples? Do they make good arguments? Are they biased (did someone pay them to write the article, like a magazine or tv station?). Are they related to the topic in some way (for example a woman writing about feminism or someone writing about their friend.)


MESSAGE = “Women deserve equality” — GOOD

A) Because my father says so — BAD.  Why do we care? What if your dad is Darth Vader or Thanos? Do we still care what he says? 

B) Because all women were oppressed and forced to live at home in the past. — BAD.  Overgeneralization. What about successful women like Empress Wu Zetian or the Celtic women who fought in battle beside their husbands?  If this author were trying to sell you something on Taobao, what concerns does the article give you? 

How to Use Mathematical Equations in your Blogging

27 Apr


If you’re like me, you might need the help of mathematical equations in your blogging or professional writing.  But writings and copying an equation from Word into your website simply won’t work.

Research kept taking me to sites that recommended MathJax, LaTeX, MathML, etc. But to be honest, without an idea of how those work it just got all sorts of confusing. Certainly not as simple as I needed.

But I did finally find a website that worked for me! I’ve tested this method and it allowed me to add Mathematical Equations to:

  1. WordPress
  2. Weebly
  3. LinkedIn

I’m sure it works for other sites as well!

  1. Open up your post. 
  2. On another tab, open up the LaTeX Equation Editor (
  3. Using the Equation Editor, create your Math Equation.  If you don’t immediately see your format, try hovering your mouse over one of the categories to see more equation formats.
    1. For WordPress: Simply copy the image that the Editor produces and paste into your WordPress post!
    2. For LinkedIn or Weeble: Right click on the image and save it as a GIF. Then go to your post, add an image, and upload the picture.
    3. For other websites where steps 1 or 2 don’t work, you can copy the code at the bottom of the page and paste it into your post via HTML coding.

So Easy!


Important PC Keyboard Shortcuts

17 Mar

Cartoon Computer and Desktop by DTRave

I am always surprised at how many people are not aware of the keyboard shortcuts available on the Computer. A fairly quick typer, I would be lost without my quick fixes and shortcut options when working on Lawrence the Laptop!  But I teach a lot of college students and adults who aren’t really familiar with even some of the more basic options available. So here is a quick list! 🙂  *Sorry, I don’t do Mac, so I can’t help there 😦

The ones in Red are shortcuts I use really, really often and find most helpful. They make typing or online work much faster.

Ctrl +

  1. Ctrl + A = Highlight Everything
  2. Ctrl + B = Bold.
  3. Ctrl + C = Copy
  4. Ctrl + D = Favorite / Bookmark 
    1. Ctrl + Shift + D = Bookmark All Tabs
  5. Ctrl + F = Find (on the page or in the folder
  6. Ctrl + H = Open History Page
  7. Ctrl + I = Italics
  8. Ctrl + J = 
    1. In Word = Justify Left, Right, or Center
    2. In Browser = Open Downloads Page
  9. Ctrl + L = Start typing in the address bar
  10. Ctrl + N = Open New Page (or Slide or Document depending on the program you’re using)
  11. Ctrl + P = Print
  12. Ctrl + R = Refresh
  13. Ctrl + S = Save
  14. Ctrl + T = Open New Tab
    1. Ctrl + Shift + T = Open Previous Tab
  15. Ctrl + U = Underline 
  16. Ctrl + V = Paste
  17. Ctrl + W = Close
  18. Ctrl + X = Cut
  19. Ctrl + Y = Redo
  20. Ctrl + Z = Undo
  21. Ctrl + Enter = Adds “http://www.” and “.com” to anything you put in the address bar
  22. Ctrl and + = Zoom in
  23. Ctrl and – = Zoom out
  24. Ctrl + Left Arrow = Start typing at the beginning of the previous word.
  25. Ctrl + Right Arrow = Start typing at the beginning of the next word.
  26. Ctrl + Down Arrow = Start typing at the beginning of the next paragraph.
  27. Ctrl + Up Arrow = Start typing at the beginning of the previous paragraph.
  28. Ctrl + F4 = Close the window of all tabs but the one currently open.
  29. Ctrl + Alt + Delete = Open Task Manager (how to close pages that aren’t responding)

Alt + Buttons

  1. Alt + Tab = Move Between Open Pages
  2. Alt + Enter = View “Properties”
  3. Alt + Esc = Move between Pages in the order that they were opened.
  4. Alt + F4 = Close Page

F Buttons

  1. F1 = Help Page (for whatever program  you have open–i.e. using Google Chrome it opens Chrome’s help page. Word, it opens Word’s help page)
  2. F2 = Rename (if you highlight a file/folder)
  3. F5 = Refresh
  4. F6 = Instantly Start Typing in the Address Bar 
  5. F7 = Spell Check 
  6. F11 = Go to Full Screen (Open or Close)–Shortcut for making videos big 🙂
  7. F12 = “Save As” window in Office

Shift + Buttons

  1. Shift + D = Delete permanently without sending to “Recycle Bin”
  2. Shift + F3 =
    1. When using Microsoft Office = Click to easily go back and forth between 1. all small letters 2. Every Word Is Capitalized and 3. ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
    2. When using a Browser = Find
  3. Shift + F7 = Highlight a word and use Shift + F7 to look it up in the Thesaurus

Windows + Buttons

  1. Windows + D = Show Desktop
  2. Windows + E = Open “My Computer”
  3. Windows + F = “Search All Files” option will open so you can search your entire computer
  4. Windows + M = Minimize all Windows.
  5. Windows + Shift + M = Restore (Maximize) Windows

Other Buttons

  1. PrintScreen (PrntScr) to take a Screenshot. Then Paste it into OneNote or a Word Document and save as a picture.
  2. Hold down Shift while Highlighting to Highlight things in a row.
  3. Hold down Ctrl while Highlighting to Highlight unconnected words. 
  4. To pull a group of tabs off into a new page–> Click the first tab + Hold down Shift + Click the last tab . Now Click and drag off the toolbar and they’ll come off and open up in a new page together. Only works in some browsers!

ESL Trouble

7 Nov

My students are all Senior’s in college, and as such are prepping for their big college entrance examinations / English proficiency exams.  Many of the come to me looking for help with their papers and writing practice, and I’ve been noticing a particular trend in their work.

They almost all have excellent understanding of noun, verb, adverb, adjective placement; however, two significant blocks for them are the Prepositions and the Articles (a, an, the).  The students simply don’t understand how those words fit in with everything else.

So I pulled together a brief list of practice worksheets I found on the internet.  Just in case someone else was interested, here they are!

“A preposition is a part of speech, just like a noun or a verb. It connects a noun or pronoun to another word in the sentence, showing us the relationship between them. Prepositions usually answer the questions where? or when?, telling us about a person or object’s location in either time or space.”
Articles (A, An, The) (Helpful, but maybe confusing? ~ the rules)
Hope something here is useful!

Cool Link: Kuler by Adobe

5 Apr

Confession: I am addicted to changing colors, styles, themes, and fonts on stuff.  Powerpoints are my favorite things ever, purely because it promotes playing with the appearance of your product.  

For fellow amateur designers, I wanted to tell you about the amazing thing that is Adobe’s site ‘Kuler.”  The professionals already know about it, because it is pretty much the best-thing-since-sliced-bread invention of web designing.  

The way it works is you pick a base color you particularly are interested in, and it gives you at least four other colors that it would go with.  For example, you can chose from “monochrome” and it gives you varieties of the same shade.  Ask for “complementary,” it pulls from opposite sides of the color wheel to make your swatch.   Here is an example from the “pink” I had chosen as my base (“cf135e”)













There are even a ton of sample swatches for you to start with or choose from!


You don’t even have to know your base color at the beginning; just drag the circles around the color wheel until you find a color. The nice part about this is that it gives you both the HEX code (#000000) and the RGB code.  I’m just upset that doesn’t let you use the codes anymore, instead you are limited to the first color samples.  But, it still works with Tumblr! 🙂


How to Overlap Sound Recordings on Windows Movie Maker

11 Mar

Learned this process yesterday when making my educational Youtube video:

I created this video by making a recording of my voice, adding pictures, and then adding a music sound track.  Since the Movie Maker only works with one sound track at a time, it didn’t want to overlap my voice and the music at first.  It took a while, but I finally figured it out.  It’s surprisingly easy, but most of the instructions I found were outdated from the new Windows Movie Maker.  Consequently, I had to make it up as I went! 🙂  

Sound Recording 1

  • Create your project with just the first sound track. Add pictures, effects, etc. until it is complete. 
  • Go to File in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Click it.
  • Now find Save Movie. it should be the sixth option in the list.  
  • Choose “Recommended for this project” 
  • Now it’s going to bring up the pop-up page that walks you through saving the movie.  Save the video.  This compresses the sound and video into one file.
  • Let it finish processing; the program will tell you when your video is done.  

Sound Recording 2

  • Close this project down.
  • Start a new project in Windows Movie Maker.
  • Under the “Home” tab, you’ll find “Add videos and photos.”  Click it.
  • Find your video with the first sound recording on your computer and add it to the project. This will import the video and sound as one file.  You cannot adjust the first sound recording now, but you can add another sound recording to it.
  • Now under the “Home” tab, you’ll find “Add music.”  Click that and add your second sound recording.   
  • Now you can play with the start times, end times, etc. to get it all perfect.
  • Go through the Save Movie process again, and voila! your video is finished with two sound recordings!

Sound Recording 3-~

  • Repeat the same process, compressing everything into one video file and then adding to it with each project.

How to Type in Korean on Windows 8

18 Feb


How to Type in Korean on Windows 8


You can enlarge the images by clicking on them

  • Go to your Windows 8 Sidebar on the right and click the “Search Button.”  It looks like a magnifying glass.



Spelling Tip: Remembering Desert v. Dessert

26 Jan

Got into a discussion with a friend about how to remember which one has the second “s” – This is how I remember it 😛

This dry and sandy spot exists because it has limited amounts of water–generally an entire absence of the stuff.  Thus it is limited to only one “s”–it’s missing something. 

This stuff is all about overkill — sweetness and calories galore.  Ergo it get’s an overabundance of the letter “s.”  

The Joy of Childhood

31 Dec
I wrote this particular poem a while back, but this seems like a good time to share it since the wish still applies. So, Here is my New Year’s Prayer for You All!
The Joy of Childhood

Childish giggles fill the house,

As tickling games are carried out.

Cars are driven with humming noises,

Dollies talk with girlish voices.

Girls were purses, hats, and skirts,

Boys ride horses, kicking their boots.

Legos and Blocks build castles and towers,

Or even a fortress against enemy powers.

Imaginary dragons and knights come alive,

Damsels and princess’s are rescued by guys.

The earth becomes lava or maybe a flood,

Pies and cakes are soon made out of mud.

A good game of tag brings smiles to faces,

Trees are discovered to be awfully good bases.

My wish for us all in the coming new year,

Is that dragons and ogres are the worst of our fears.

I hope that you keep all your childhood dreams,

And remember forever you’re a king or a queen.

I hope we all have a sorrow free, joy filled New Year, and that each of us views the coming days with a child’s excitement. May we find a table on which to sit through the floods and volcanoes of life. May we find a way to make a pie out of the mud. And may there always be a good tree against which to rest. But most of all, may we each find a sticky hug and kiss at the end of the day. Happy New Year to everyone! 


How to Find Your Wireless Password without the Router

27 Nov

I ran into this problem today, so I figured I would share the information with you 🙂

If you need to find the wireless password and you don’t have access to the Router (I.e. you are at an extended family’s house like me  :P) Here is how you go about locating that.  

  1. Enter into the URL box in your browser. That’s it. No www or http://.  Just those numbers.
  2. It’s going to ask you for a username and password.  Usually that’s admin and admin for both username and password.  Sometimes it’ll be something like admin and password.  It always works with just admin for me.
  3. Now it should bring up a page with all of your internet’s information- name, router information, etc.  Somewhere there will be a place for Internet Security (or something similar). That is going to have your password!
  4. Mostly, just fiddle around with the page it pulls up, looking at the different tabs and options, until you find security with the password’s information.

Worked for me; hope it helps you!!


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