2012 in review

While struggling to post some sort of review of the past year, I received the following information from WordPress about my blog. It’s not what I would have written, but it just saved me a lot of time.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

 This blog got about 3,300 views in 2012 from people living in 91 different countries.

Click here to see the complete report.


About Lew in Macedonia

Recently retired, but wanting to extend my career and continue being useful. I have decided to act upon a plan I had while in college, but never was able to actively pursue. I have applied to and been invited to serve in the Peace Corps. I will be serving in Macedonia September 11, 2011 until November 23, 2013. If interested in my Peace Corps application process, which began on 4/27/2010 and took until 9/9/2011 when I arrived at Staging, read my previous blog. My TIME LINE can be found there among my August 2010 blogs at: http://palew.blogspot.com/ My Peace Core experiences from application through 27 months of service in Macedonia can be found at: https://4lew.wordpress.com/
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4 Responses to 2012 in review

  1. Herb Smith says:

    Hey Lew!

    The WordPress summary has got to be satisfying, maybe in a strange way……when working on your site its got to be hard to grasp, in an other than intellectually, how far-reaching your thoughts/experience can be seeping out in a sort of trim tab effect on the world. Illustratively on people like me contemplating their own service.

    I’ve had the thought of beginning one, but 1) Once I start it is eminently doable in terms of my ability and the technologies involved, and I know I’ll spend ALOT of time on it. Even with bad connections I can work on it off-line for the occasional good connection to upload my work (I suppose, correct me if I’m wrong). 2) The tough part is knowing I’ll have to come up with something readable and maybe interesting to say, knowing my blog may actually be read, and any number of people will have a chance to get to know me…..it becomes a vulnerability thing!

    Well, “taking chances” is what this whole thing is about (as the title of another PCV’s blog says). My priority now is making sure my application doesn’t fall between the cracks in DC, or that I don’t fall victim to fiscal cliff compromises….or any number of other things about having a life in the US, not wanting to make any real commitments to it with the possibility of departure this summer supposedly looming.

    I’ll be staying tune as things unfold for you. Not to overstate the over-the-hump thing, but at this point you are now one of the vets people are looking to as having all the answers!


    Herb in Tucson


    • Good to hear from you again, Herb.
      Ironic that you posted your comments today, as I was just thinking about writing to you to see if you have any knowledge of, or thoughts about this online language study program:
      Hmmmm . . . I tried to insert a link for you to click on, but I have never tried this in WordPress, so you might have to copy and paste it into your browser.

      Well, if you are knee-deep in RAS, and fighting off worries about where in the stacks of application files yours might be found, all I can recommend is to send that occasional ‘just checking’ email. I tried different approaches as the year following my nomination wore on. I did not pester the Placement offices, but rather followed up with first my Recruiter and then later with the Medical Review Nurse. As it turned out, the Review Nurse was personable and very helpful, because she had been a “seasoned” PCV and seemed to have an affinity for other older applicants. She made me laugh when she went out of her way to write and tell me that she could not give me any specific information, as that was the responsibility of the Placement office, but from what she had just found out, she advised me, “Do not buy any green bananas.” Well, that was two years ago, as I am coming up on three years since I submitted my application and here I sit, freezing, and wondering if I will accomplish my current goals before I go through COS (Close of Service), unless I extend.

      Keep in touch and let me know when you hear from a Placement Specialist. I’ll appreciate it in the meantime if you would let me know what you think of the above online language site.

      Bets wishes!

  2. Ghaaa . . . !
    I just discovered that while WordPress allows for editing the content of a posting, it does not allow editing of a comment. Oh, yeah, the ‘proofread’ application is no better than MS SpellCheck in that it cannot spot correctly spelled, but improperly used words (Bets is a word).
    I wanted to correct “Best wishes” but cannot find a way in my WordPress dashboard to do so.
    Also, I saw that the link I tried to insert did not appear. Here is another attempt: http://www.everydaylanguagelearner.com/2013/01/02/distilling-some-insights-from-second-language-acquisition-research/

  3. Herb says:

    Hi Lew,

    Sorry I’ve been OOT with pressing business etc. And with medical tasks from PC that the system should’ve assigned back in Sept. The upshot being that my purported June departure was a bit ambitious. They’re using a good CRM system, but with the number of people they’re processing (crunching the numbers, you have to respect its difficulty), it inevitably puts a premium on homogenization, so anyone whose not perfect, or has idiosyncracies to contend with, should pre-load patience and anticipate things needing to but back on-track manually.

    You’ve an interesting link on SLA. Last summer it struck me a very carefully and tightly worded 1000 word handout to preface any language course/book might go miles to help put students their ambitions in a proper/useful perspective. This guy notes 3 threads in the research, and in fact the current leading practice in ESL teaching is the Communicative Language Approach, which when you look at it closely actually integrates these notions: they’re hardly discrete and I’d agree with him from my reading.

    I think the greatest ore of good thinking that helps boil it all down has been done by Krashen. To wit, the biggest barriers are the affective ones that take many forms, and I can attest to their power even when fully prepared to overcome them. When (?) I actually speak with a Placement Officer this is part of what I want to discuss: whether its better to take on a new language rather than staying with my Spanish. I can certainly tackle another, but at this point I have a darn good idea of what’s going to work for me: but will the PC system and my posting accommodate it? Once you’re at the level (intermediate, more or less) where you can extend what you know in the simple course of life, it becomes fun and your exploration of the other culture opens itself to you; short of that two years would pass very, very slowly (and I’m putting it positively).

    One of the ideas I’d put in that 1000 word preface would be the importance of only using your left hand if you wish to develop that capability: anytime you “help” put the peas on your fork with your right you are not just progressing, but actively backsliding. Now, if a PCV teaches EFL for 2-4-6 hours a day, and during the remainder is helping students progress by drawing them out and interacting with a CLA, its full-time practice with your L1. Now, on the walk home, you might buy some fruit in your target language, or do any number of other simple functional things, supported by pantomime, etc, but that’s not going to get you where you want to be. Not by a long-shot.

    I really need to go, but these are deep waters that’d ultimately go the heart of what you’re really doing in a given posting, and what you (they) want your outcomes to be: those goals may work against each other. Some other time. Drop a line directly and I can be in touch more promptly.

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