Good is Not Best

diamonds_best_friendI have here a headings exercise for NA1 students. You have to read the text and match those paragraphs that are numbered with one of the headings in the box below, as in the example (0). There are three headings you will not need.




10.07.07. Advanced, Force-Feeding, Headings. Leave a comment.

We All Fall Down


A pocket full of posies;

Ashes! Ashes!

We all fall down.

Shoot! They’re dropping dead so quickly, one after another, those icons of my youth, it’s scary and ever so depressing. In loving memory of Japanese filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, here goes a Cloze for NA2 students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Cloze Tests, Films, Force-Feeding, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

Old Dogs, New Tricks

a-friend-in-need-cassius-marcellus-coolidgeI know it’s awfully kitsch and lowbrow, but it’s also kind of a classic in a cheesy, tastless way, this painting by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge from the 1900s, very aptly titled A Friend in Need. A Headings exercise for Advanced students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Art Forlorn, Force-Feeding, Headings, Humour. Leave a comment.

4-Bean Chili


24 oz Bean Appétit Chili Mix

8 cups water for cooking

1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken

1 ½ cups onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup green, sweet pepper

4 cups canned tomatoes

1 8-oz can tomato sauce

2 tbsp chili powder or to taste

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp sugar


Sort and rinse bean mix. Soak beans overnight in refrigerator. Or, quick soak by bringing beans to boil in water. Immediately remove from heat and leave covered for 30 minutes prior to use. Drain. Cook beans. Brown ground meat. Sauté onions, garlic, and green pepper. Combine all ingredients. Cover and simmer on low approximately ½ hour. Makes 12 1-cup servings.

The Bean Appétit Chili Mix is a mixture of kidney beans, navy beans, cranberry beans and black beans, packaged by Carlson-Arbogast Farm, in Howard City, Michigan.  I added, as I usually do, 1 tbsp of baking soda to the beans and let them soak in water overnight.  I didn’t brown the ground meat, I used leftover roast chicken instead.

The painting that illustrates this post is by Caroline Magert and its title is Kitchen Floor. Those of us who enjoy the company of cats know how true to life this picture is. I love it.

10.07.07. Advanced, Art Forlorn, Recipes, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

A Photographer for Life


You know, it isn’t easy to choose among all the many powerful pictures Margaret Bourke-White took throughout her lifetime. I decided upon this one because of the ironic message she delivers through a myriad of contrasts: black/white, cheerful/glum, well-off/hard up, on foot/by car, sideways/frontward, above/below, and so on. A True or False exercise for Advanced students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Humour, True or False. Leave a comment.

Ken Russell Funerailles

There goes another one down under. Sigh! We do grow old, don’t we? A gapped text for Advanced students adapted from TIME magazine.



10.07.07. Advanced, Force-Feeding, Gapped Texts. Leave a comment.

Loulou and Yves

How lucky of her, not having much else to do in life other than get by! I can think of worse things than being dubbed Yves Saint-Laurent’s muse. A cloze test for Advanced students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Cloze Tests, Force-Feeding. Leave a comment.

Time Waster, Weight Gainer

Come summer, when it’s scorching hot, all you can do is drag your feet from bed to couch and fritter away precious time watching the usual rubbish on TV. Don’t do that! Here’s why. A gapped text for Advanced students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Force-Feeding, Gapped Texts. Leave a comment.

On Doing What is Right and Helping Others in Need

Oh, why must fools always meddle with other people’s private issues? What right does anyone have to decide somebody else’s fate? And on what grounds? What is a matter of faith to you is an act of irrationality to me. If someone chooses to take a bow of his own free will, who are we to stop him? Time will prove Kevorkian right: it is only reasonable. A gapped text for NA2 students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Force-Feeding, Gapped Texts. Leave a comment.

Kanagawa Oki Nami Ura

Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) carved this fine woodcut, The Great Wave of Kanagawa, in his early seventies. The print speaks volumes about Japan’s ongoing feud with natural disasters.  A gapped text for NA2 students.



10.07.07. Advanced, Force-Feeding, Gapped Texts. Leave a comment.

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