Ezra Vasquez

The personal blog of an applied linguist, writer, & educator

Month: May 2019

  • Old guard music education

    Old guard music education

    ClassicalGuitarMagazine.com posted Michael Chapdelaine’s performance of Albéniz’s “Mallorca,” to comemorate the Spanish composer’s birthday, and the performance is delightful. In the notes at YouTube, nonetheless, the artist links to a masterclass Segovia conducted at USC, in which Segovia berates Chapdelaine’s performance of the same piece. Segovia’s manner with the student exemplifies everything that’s wrong with […]

  • College admissions should replace service with hospitality

    College admissions should replace service with hospitality

    Today in writing class, my students conducted a seminar on the article “Serving in Florida,” by Barbara Ehrenreich, in which the author relates the trials and tribulations of waiting tables in an American restaurant. Since the subject content this semester has dealt with the shortcomings of higher education, the article reminded me of the expectation […]

  • If you work in higher education, there’s a new book to tell you what you already know

    If you work in higher education, there’s a new book to tell you what you already know

    The book titled Cracks in the Ivory Tower, written by a professor at Georgetown and a researcher from The American Institute for Economic Research, excoriates the moral and ethical shortcomings of higher education, and according to Scott Jaschik, writing for Inside Higher Ed, the authors find fault with everyone. Universities are perplexing places. They are […]

  • Wednesday, May, 22nd

    Mondays are the front grill of an oncoming Toyota Sequoia, but Wednesdays throw it in reverse and complete the effect.

  • Los Angeles’s Cherry Blossoms

    Los Angeles’s Cherry Blossoms

    A nice write-up in the LA Times on the jacaranda trees that blossom along Del Mar boulevard in Pasadena. The trees are always a treat in the spring, and unlike the cherry blossoms for which Japan is famous, the jacaranda blossoms linger for several months. L.A.’s oldest jacarandas are 80 to 100 years old, and […]

  • How Dungeons & Dragons Can Help Kids Develop Social-Emotional Learning Skills

    How Dungeons & Dragons Can Help Kids Develop Social-Emotional Learning Skills

    Featured image: “TSR Basic Set , circa 1980,” by Bryan Costin is licensed under BY-NC-SA 2.0 … for the most part, if you don’t cooperate you die … In addition to encouraging students to work together and form social bonds, Callahan and other educators who use Dungeons & Dragons and similar role-playing games claim that their students […]

  • It’s Barrios’ Birthday! Watch Two of His Pieces Played By Gabriel Bianco and Tatyana Ryzhkova — Classical Guitar

    It’s Barrios’ Birthday! Watch Two of His Pieces Played By Gabriel Bianco and Tatyana Ryzhkova — Classical Guitar

    Now here’s something worth celebrating. Boy, would Agustin Barrios be surprised that folks all over the world love and obsess over his music 124 years after his birth in Paraguay on May 5, 1885. But we do, and make no apologies for it, because what an incredible body of work! To celebrate, here are videos […]

  • Second Language Acquisition–Harder Than You Expect

    Second Language Acquisition–Harder Than You Expect

    Here’s something to rattle off the next time you hear someone say, “I want to learn a little French“: Children need seven or eight years of intensive immersion to speak like a native. These years must start by about age 10, to fit them all in by age 17 or 18, when there’s a sharp […]

  • March 31 – April 6, 2019 – The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema

    Originally posted on This Week in Mexican History:
    This week we’re going to take a break from politics and discuss a more entertaining topic (literally). Unbeknownst to some in the United States, Mexico has a long history of film production, with a Golden Age of Cinema that occurred around the same time as ours did,…

  • Creative Writing in a Second Language — TESOL Blog

    This is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, as someone who practices creative writing as a hobby. Another thing to consider is that poetry offers additional avenues for vocabulary learning. Poets employ a larger repertoire of words than writers of prose. Either way, it’s something to consider in the EAP classroom. Many […]