English: what does normative mean?

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always interesting. The tutor defines normative.

normative (adj):

either setting a standard or following one.

The principal watched students perform skateboard tricks in the hall. He observed that, while spectacular, their behaviour wasn’t normative.

Source:

Barber, Katherine, et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: poetry: Closing Time by Semisonic

Tutoring English, you cover poetry. The tutor brings up Semisonic’s Closing Time.

Closing Time, by Semisonic, came out in 1998. I wouldn’t take notice of it until ten years later, as I drove my kids to their activities and it would play on the radio.

While I wasn’t a fan of Closing Time, it seemed a friendly song. Its premise is relatable enough, and it’s got some clever lyrics. I just think the chorus falls short, and I like a good chorus in a song.

Over the past couple years, Closing Time speaks to me more and more. I’m like that, though: often, something has to age 20 years before I look at it seriously.

Closing Time has some clever lyrics, to be sure. The line

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here

is legendary. Personally, I like the imperfect rhyme in

So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits

In addition, I appreciate the tender empathy in the line “I hope you have found a friend.”

The line “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” – I didn’t accept it at first. Believe it or not, I would often think about it, driving in the car, coming up with scenarios of new beginnings that happen from nowhere, with no simultaneous ending.

I’m not sure, even now, that when something begins, something else has to end. However, I understand that point of view.

To wrap up: while I don’t find Closing Time a catchy song, it is a feel-good song, in a melancholy way, with some smart lyrics.

BTW: Dan Wilson wrote the song.

Source:

www.songfacts.com

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Canadian culture, poetry: You Learn, Alanis Morissette

Tutoring English, you encounter poems and songs. The tutor comments about one with which he’s gotten reacquainted.

Alanis Morisette’s album Jagged Little Pill yields numerous good songs, among them You Learn.

Back in the late nineties, I liked You Learn, but it didn’t speak to me as now. Twenty three years later, I’m finding more of a lesson in it, while back then it was just a fun song. BTW: I was 25 when Jagged Little Pill released, so I’ve about doubled in age since.

The song’s lesson, of course, is that if you play it safe to avoid embarrassment, you don’t progress. If, on the other hand, you try, you’ll probably fail – the first time. Yet, you learn.

Going even further, Alanis pokes fun at embarrassment itself:

I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth…at anytime…
(Feel free…)

In fact, You Learn confronts haters. Alanis is stating that those who would make you feel awkward or ashamed have no real power; rather, it’s just your fear of them that gives them influence. Instead of being shamed by their criticism, you should be ashamed of yourself for worrying about it. Don’t let them prevent you from trying – from learning.

At this age, I get her message; I wish I’d understood it much sooner. Nowadays, I take her advice – and, to quote her, “I recommend” it, along with You Learn.

Source:

You Learn, Alanis Morisette: YouTube

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what does opprobrium mean?

Tutoring English, vocabulary is always important. The tutor defines opprobrium.

opprobrium (noun):

1. disgrace or criticism for disapproved behaviour

2. a cause of disgrace.


Source:

Mish, Frederick C. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Barber, Katherine C. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English, economics, history: what is mercantilism?

Tutoring a number of subjects, the term mercantilism might arise. The tutor defines it.

mercantilism

economic policy that favours exports, discourages imports, and has the objective of amassing precious metals.

Source:

Barber, Katherine et al. Oxford Canadian Dictionary of Current English. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2005.

www.investopedia.com

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Coordinating conjunctions: yet

Tutoring English, the coordinating conjunctions are important. The tutor brings up yet.

Yet is a coordinating conjunction that can add meaning. Consider the following two sentences:

The owner threw the ball far away, but his dog fetched it.

The owner threw the ball far away, yet his dog fetched it.

Perhaps the word yet can give a livelier sense sometimes.

Source:

Hodges, Horner et al. Harbrace Handbook for Canadians. Scarborough: Nelson Education, 2003.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English: what does oily mean?

Tutoring English, vocabulary is so important. The tutor defines oily.

oily (adjective):

extravagantly smooth and gracious; polite and attentive in a showy way

The oily host finally managed to disarm the grumpy client.

Source:

www.merriam-webster.com

www.dictionary.com

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Computer science, English, philosophy: what is a schema?

Tutoring academic subjects, meanings are so important. The tutor shares ideas about the meaning of schema.

schema:
a description of a particular subset of reality. The schema will include members of that reality and their properties. It will also include the relationships between them.

A schema might often be shown as a diagram, table or flowchart in order to express the relationships among its members.

A truly good schema will not only describe reality accurately, but will suggest possible relationships before they have even been realized. Hence, schemata (plural of schema) are used not only for teaching, but also for research.

www.verywell.com

www.informit.com

Mish, Frederick C. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Home computer use, English: bookmarks

Home computer use can lead to constant self-tutoring. The tutor reflects about bookmarks.

In The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost arrives at a fork where he must pick one road to travel. Looking down each as far as he can, he chooses the second. He then confides to the reader,

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

An internet researcher faces much the same situation: one site can lead to another, then more may link from it. You might even visit a page but not read much of it, only to save it as a bookmark “for another day” – knowing, just like Frost intimates, that you’ll unlikely return.

Today I began looking through the bookmarks that I’ve accumulated on the main computer. I rediscover so many links to great sites that I recall finding, but didn’t follow up. Time is limited, and the topic that was urgent that day soon gave way to another.

On the internet, we’ve all joined the company of Robert Frost in a way perhaps unimaginable when he wrote The Road Not Taken circa 1915. With so many pages acting as nodes to groups of others, the internet surfer faces choice after choice, leaving by far most pages – and the ones that would follow – unexplored.

Source:

Smith, Philip (editor). 100 Best-Loved Poems. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1995.

www.poets.org

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

English, Military terminology: radar is an acronym

Reading leads to more self-tutoring: the tutor reveals what he just learned: radar is an acronym.

RADAR: RAdio Detection And Ranging

In this context, ranging apparently means determining the detected object’s range, or distance away.

Source:

Mish, Frederick C. (editor). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2004.

www.abbreviations.com

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.