Communication: the dismissal “Get lost.”

Self-tutoring about communication then and now: the tutor reflects.

Back in the 70s, “Get lost” was oft-heard. It dismissed its target, meaning “go away, I don’t care about that, I don’t want to listen to you, etc”. It wasn’t diplomatic – or was it?

I didn’t hear it for decades, until maybe a couple of years back, when I heard a man who looked in his 60s, and a hippie, saying it to another man. It was summertime; they were standing by a parking lot.

I was so shocked to hear “Get lost” after so many years, I did a double-take. The men were too far away to notice me. He who’d been told to “Get lost” apparently did so.

Back in the 70s, nobody seemed to anticipate political correctness. Today, “Get lost” could reanimate, in my opinion, for two reasons:

  1. It’s non-judgmental.
  2. It’s not personal.

Could “Get lost” make a comeback?

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

Academic habits: cramming

Self-tutoring about study habits: the tutor mentions cramming.

In my opinion, studying is best done day by day throughout a course. It’s not an original opinion; it’s one I heard countless times as a student. Moreover, I’ve experienced success from it myself.

One reason, in my opinion, that day-by-day studying works is that, doing so, you’ll likely end up spending much more time on a course than if you just try to cram. However, perhaps the more important advantage of daily studying is that the material develops in your mind once you’ve absorbed it. The longer it percolates, the better your understanding will be. The human mind adapts gradually.

My experience is that cramming can work, but only on top of daily studying. You might have numerous courses going on and you might once have known the first few chapters of a given one, but vaguely recall them now. Yet, if you did know them before, cramming can bring them back, quite effectively. Such is my experience.


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

Health and fitness: why people gain weight with age

Self-tutoring about health and fitness: the tutor explores the reason people tend to gain weight with age.

According to an article I read recently, weight gain with age, for the most part, isn’t for the cliche reason that “your metabolism slows as you get older.” Rather, it’s because people’s physical activity tends to decrease with age. As an example, if you drive as an adult, but walked as a kid, of course you’ll tend to gain more weight as an adult unless you compensate with some other activity.

The point is obvious enough, but its truth might be more powerful than people typically acknowledge.


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

Home computer use: shortcut to maximize or minimize window

Self-tutoring about home computer use: the tutor mentions a trick.

To maximize a window, I find the combination Windows Key + up arrow will do it. To shrink it back, Windows Key + down arrow.


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

Home computer use: shortcut key method to access taskbar

Self-tutoring about easier ways to use the computer: the tutor observes….

The programs on the taskbar can be opened by the combination of the Windows Key and a number. For instance, the third item on the taskbar can be opened with the combination Windows Key and 3 key. The way seems to be to hold down the Windows Key then press the number key.

I find shortcuts more and more helpful because, to me, they’re easier on the wrist than using the mouse.


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

Lifestyle: How much might a corkscrew cost?

Self-tutoring about life on the road: the tutor observes….

Living in a hotel, you might not realize what you don’t have because you’re away from home.

Last night, I bought a bottle of wine. I didn’t have the presence of mind to check its closure, which turned out to be a cork. In the hotel room I realized I had no corkscrew.

Tonight I went out to buy a corkscrew, having little idea what it might cost. I ended up buying one at Thrifty’s for $3.49. It opened the wine no problem.

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

Holidays: Christmas 2019, Nanaimo

Self-tutoring about the recent Christmas season: does it endure?

We’ve all heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas, which run Dec 25 through Jan 5. Yet, can Christmas endure even past then?

Last night, January 5th, I walked some blocks in Downtown Nanaimo. So many Christmas lights remained, and displays in stores, that it seemed like Christmas Eve.

This evening, January 6th, returning from the grocery store, I appreciated the air was mild and soothing. Walking up the hill, I heard from behind me church chimes playing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”

I began to wonder if the Christmas season is surpassing its defined span. The intensity of Christmas doesn’t seem sustainable; yet, in the soft evening air, I wonder if, in some subtle form, it can sustain past the time frame one might imagine.


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

Parenting: the right side of a memory

Self-tutoring about life: the tutor mentions a wrong he righted.

I’ve always listened to music with my kids, especially 2012-2018 at breakfast time. One missed opportunity haunts me, however.

My older son must’ve been around 8, when he asked me to listen to “The Lazy Song” (Bruno Mars) with him. I said no, because I didn’t like the song.

I’ve relived that moment many times, and realize the answer should have been “yes,” because he liked the song, so I should have wanted to share it with him. I was stupid, though, and failed to understand the opportunity.

A week ago, driving home from Nanaimo, I sat in the back seat, my wife in the passenger seat, and that son of mine driving. He was playing the stereo and having a great old time, driving us home in the dark.

He asked if he could play “Rock Star” by Nickelback. It’s not my favourite song, and I had so many better suggestions, that I at first said, “no.”

Thankfully, my inner voice piped up while a different song played. “You idiot – you’re making the same mistake! Don’t you regret saying ‘no’ to ‘The Lazy Song,’ 10 years ago? Smarten up!!!”

I leaned forward: “Since you’re driving,” I began, “you can play Rock Star if you want.”

“Thanks, Dad! You’ll see it’s great,” he replied, and my younger son started playing it from his phone. Both my boys loved listening to it as Paul (my older is Paul; my younger, James) conducted us along the dark freeway. I admit it was better than I’d remembered.

I’ve made innumerable mistakes as a parent, but I’ve learned some lessons, too. In this case, I changed my mind, ending up on the right side of the memory:)

Source: Bruno Mars, The Lazy Song, lyrics Nickelback, Rockstar, lyrics

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

English: what does endemic mean?

Tutoring English, words are always interesting. The tutor mentions an example.

I still recall the first time I heard “endemic,” almost 25 years ago. A radio broadcaster used it. (That was in the days when people made commentary without worrying; it was a lifetime ago:)

Endemic is an interesting word because it’s a good example of Led Zeppelin’s claim in “Stairway to Heaven”: ‘sometimes words have two meanings.’ Endemic’s two meanings are somewhat at odds with each other, depending on your perspective:

Endemic (1): common among individuals in a particular context. You might say, for example, that dieting is endemic in the entertainment industry.

Endemic (2) both native and restricted to a region. The American alligator is an example: it’s common in the American south-east, but not found anywhere else.


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.

Chemistry: soap vs detergent

Self-tutoring about soap and detergent: the tutor begins…

I recall hearing, as a kid, a product’s being “real soap.” What is a real soap, vs a detergent?

My research tells me this: Soap is made from oil produced during the life of an organism, such as lard or vegetable oil. Detergent, on the other hand, is typically made from petroleum.

Because of their different backbones, the charged end of the soap molecule is a carboxylate group, while a detergent molecule may have a sulfo or other group instead.


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