Saturday’s Book: Three Generations with “I Claudius” by Graves

Naomi's photos
Naomi’s photos

Three generations. If that’s not a sign of a classic, I don’t know what is. And the book was published in 1934!

My mother talked about the book incessantly when I was growing up, citing it as one of her favorite. She was born the year the book came out.

As a teenager I decided to give it a go and loved it too. I later loved the BBC adaptation as well. I actually watched  the complete series twice – once with my parents in the late 70’s and then later with my husband when it was broadcasted again in the 1990’s.

And now both of our young-adult sons have read the book and enjoyed it as much as the previous generations!

I find that moving.


Saturday’s Book: “Neuland” by Eshkol Nevo

The Pacifier Tree outside the Kiryat-Ono Public Library
The Pacifier Tree outside the Kiryat-Ono Public Library

This was the first audio-book I had ever listened to in Hebrew.

One one hand, a big round of applause to the Kiryat-Ono Public Library for having a small selection of audiobooks in Hebrew that one can borrow (on CDs). Another round of applause for the reader who was absolutely excellent.

However, I had a lot of trouble with the technical side of it and will not be taking others. My sweet son spent half an hour working on the track numbers because the tracks would not upload in the right order to my Ipod. Then, if I felt like listening to a podcast for a change before going back to the book, the audio reverted itself to the beginning of the track. Since each chapter of the book got its own track, some of the tracks were very long indeed….

Anyway, I liked most of the book. The story has a lot of interesting twists, clever connections and gives historical background. I liked the author’s many references to songs and familiar things from life here.

What bothered me was that for a plot that has so many characters and moves the story forward from different points of view, the author bring in too many additional characters and spends too much time on describing them. In addition, there are too many digressions from the plot itself. I know it all ties together eventually but it bothered me.

I don’t remember saying this before, but I sort of felt that it was a book written for people younger than myself – a lot of “young-angst”.

Overall though, it’s a good book.

Reviving Pearls from the Past for the Present at ETAI!


Naomi's Photos
Naomi’s Photos

The Summer ETAI Conference is less than a month away! Join me, if you like, on a short, lighthearted look at some things from previous summer conferences, or jump right to the page which will let YOUR voice be heard (or to be precise, seen,) at the upcoming conference. It’s all embedded here at the bottom of this post.

Teachers from all countries, do share your SHORT (one sentence or two short sentences) pearls of wisdom for new teachers. It will be posted as “Message to Younger Teacher Self”.

We already have wonderful contributions from all over the world, thanks to the interest generated in the topic by the amazing Joanna Malefaki. Here’s a link to one of the great posts on Joanna’s blog, to inspire you –  click here!

Saturday’s Movie-Following-a-Book: “Capote”

Naomi's Photos
Naomi’s Photos

Following recommendations from friends who read my previous post about the book “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, I just saw the movie “Capote” (in some places on the Internet the name of the movie appears as “Truman Capote”, but the film itself opens with “Capote”).

It’s a good movie and Hoffman is superb! I must admit that I would have liked more information about Capote himself, how he made the transition from his unhappy childhood to being a successful writer. The movie is about him and how self-centered he was in any case. Nonetheless, it is very good.

As someone who just read the book, I was somewhat surprised at how self-centered he was (or at least, was portrayed) in the film. In the book you find an author who gives you an in-depth perspective of other people’s (lots of other people!) point of view. I don’t quite understand how a very self-centered person could do that. But people are very complex, aren’t they?

Harper Lee is a main character in the film too – I knew nothing of the connection.

Watch the film!

Experimenting with ROOJOOM as a Teacher Trainer


Choose your own direction! (Naomi's photos)
Choose your own direction!
(Naomi’s photos)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m taking an in service training course on EDTECH with Hishtalmoodle (highly recommended, interesting & with excellent support for participants) and it seems there is a lot of redundancy in the field of educational technology. Many programs offer similar services.

This time the new (for me) EDTECH tool is called Roojoom. In many ways it seems similar to Live Binders. It allows you to collate links (embedded), documents, slideshows (anything PDF) all in one link, ready to be shared. A nifty feature of ROOJOOM lets you write an introductory text on the side, which is easier than sweating out a title for each page of the binder that will explain why you are showing it.

Because both tools offer the option of skipping the pages that aren’t relevant,   I find that such tools lend themselves well to teacher training.

Here’s the link to my collation of information for a teacher who has a new student with a hearing loss in the EFL class.