TIVAT, MONTENEGRO – Greeting from (mostly) sunny Montenegro.
Two weeks ago I escaped Prague.
Like a surfer inches in front of a giant wave, I’ve been on the move, staying ahead of the latest covid restrictions crashing down on Europe.
So far I’ve seen Vienna, Budapest and Podgorica.
And now here I am in a small town in Montenegro sharing a house with interesting travelers from around the world.
I’ll be here for a few more weeks, and then I’ll return to the U.S. for Christmas.
In my bedroom there’s a painting of the English poet Lord Byron.
And at the bottom of the painting is a sentence he said over 100 years ago:
“At the birth of our planet, the most beautiful encounter between the land and the sea must have happened at the coast of Montenegro.”
In other words, it’s a lovely country.
While I’ve been exploring the physical world, I’ve also been exploring the English-teaching world.
Last night I was on Facebook when I saw this message:
“Improve your English FAST and EASY.”
“Well, that sounds good,” I thought. “Who doesn’t want that?”
So I clicked.
And I bought.
And I explored…
Here are some words from lesson one:
nutritive valuegastrointestinalbone fracture
That’s not a joke.
The course I bought really thinks an intermediate student (that’s what level I said I was) needs to learn those words.
Well, here’s my opinion:
You can travel the world…
You can meet every native speaker in Canada, Wales and California…
You can lead a rich, full, exciting life with English…
And you will probably never, ever hear, use or need one of those words.
If I said or heard that word once in my life I would be surprised.
I feel bad for the students who bought that program and think they actually need those words.
The world is full of time vampires ready and willing to suck the time out of your day.
But first, you must give them permission to waste your time.
So you’ve got to be smart.
Always ask yourself:
“Do I really need this word?”
“Do I hear or see this word often?”
“Will this word let me understand the people I want to understand?”
If the answer is “No” ….
Keep on exploring.