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Grammar Lesson with Piano

Existence and Location

Henry: You see, Simon, there are three kinds of “there”. There is “there”: T-h-e-r-e. “There are the donuts.”


Henry: Then there is “their”: T-h-e-i-r, which is the possessive.”It is their donuts.”


Then finally there is “they’re”: T-h-e-y-apostrophe r-e, a contraction meaning “they’re”. “They’re the donut people.”

Checking for Understanding

Henry: Got it?

Simon: M-hm.

Link to there is – the existence page

Link to Easy English

The above video clip is from a movie. The movie was written and directed by Hal Hartley.

Have you ever heard of Hal Hartley?

Have you ever seen any of his movies?

The guy at the piano is called “Henry Fool”.

What do you think of him?
How do you feel about him?
What kind of guy does he seem to be .. to you?

Write your answer in the comments section below.



These three words have the same pronunciation:


Existence – Talking about Existence

Have you seen the existence page?

Does God exist?

We ask:

Is there a god?


Does god exist?

Some people believe in god. They have faith. Some people do not believe in god. They do not have faith. Some people do not know. They wonder. They ask. They are unsure. Which one are? What are your feelings? What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section.

Does god exist?

How do you talk to god?

How does god talk to you?

World English Course

There are lots of things you can learn in the World English Course. There is a place where you can talk about work and there is also a place where you can find a job and a place where you can find staff. There is a place where you can have fun and there is a place where you can talk about food or family. There is also a place where you can talk about money or love or philosophy. You can study anything you want anytime you want. You can do it once a week or every day or any time you like. Have fun! Work hard! Tell your friends and family members! Enjoy!

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Do you trust me?

What do you think about love and trust? Are they the same thing? is trust an aspect of love? Do they always come together? Write your answer in the comments section below.

Maria: What time is it?
Matthew: 5:03.
Maria: Did you mean it? Would you marry me?
Matthew: Yes.
Maria: Why?
Matthew: Because I want to.
Maria: Not because you love me or anything like that, huh?
Matthew: I respect and admire you.
Maria: Isn’t that love?
Matthew: No, that is respect and admiration. I think that is better than love.
Maria: How?
Matthew: When people are in love they do all sorts of crazy things. They get jealous. They lie. They cheat. They kill themselves. They kill each other.
Maria: It doesn’t have to be that way.
Matthew: Maybe.
Maria: You’d be the father of a child you know isn’t yours.
Matthew: Kids are kids. What does it matter?
Maria: Do you trust me?
Matthew: Do you trust me first?
Maria: I trust you.
Matthew: Sure.
Maria: Yes.
Matthew: Then marry me.
Maria: I will marry you if you admit that respect, trust and admiration equal love.
Matthew: Ok. They equal love.
Maria: Good! I trust you. Now it’s your turn.
Matthew: What?
Maria: Go on up.
Matthew: Maria, that is pretty high.
Maria: Don’t you trust me?
Matthew:Of course I do.
Maria: Go on up.
Matthew: Maria,I am twice your size.
Matthew: If I fall on you from that height, I will kill you.
Maria: Trust me.
Matthew: This isn’t a matter of trust.
Maria:Matthew, Go up. I will break your fall. I promise.


Are you married?
What are your thoughts on marriage?
In your society, do people always get married or do they sometimes just live together?

This post is dedicated to the work of Hal Hartley. Thank you, Hal.

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Giving Advice – Be true to yourself

I believe you are sincere and good at heart.

First Conditional

If you do not attain happiness, always remember that you are on the right road.
Try not to leave it.

Above all avoid falsehood, every kind of falsehood, especially falseness to yourself.

falsehood – lying – lies

Interjection: Teach us something something useful!


Watch over your own deceitfulness. Look into it every hour, every minute.

Avoid being scornful both to others and yourself. What seems bad to you within yourself, will grow pure by the very act of you observing it.

Interjection: This is ridiculous!

Interjection: We are paying for this.

Interjection: You are a disgrace.

Avoid fear.Though fear is only the consequence of every sort of falsehood. Never be frightened at your own faint-hearted-ness in attaining love. And don’t be frightened over much but your own evil actions.

I am sorry that I can say nothing more consoling to you for love and action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love and dreams. Love and dreams is greedy for immediate action rapidly performed so everyone can see. Men will even give their lives if only the ordeal does not last too long but is soon over with all looking on and applauding as if on a stage. But active love – active love – is labour … and fortitude.


fortitude – strength


Who is the speaker?
Who is the audience?
Where did the conversation take place?


Is this good advice?

Can literature show us how to live?
Have you ever had a teacher like this?

Link to the story of Love and Death

Link straight to the dream:
The Dream

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Science – A New Book about Science

a delusion – an illusion

Relative Clause with Present Participle and Passive Infinitve

The science delusion is the belief that science already understand the nature of reality, leaving only the details to be filled in.

to fill in – to be filled in

Past Participle as Adjective

This is a very wide-spread belief in our society.

a wide-spread belief
a widely held belief

Relative Clause

It is the kind of belief system of people who say I don’t believe in god. I believe in science.

Do you believe in god?
What is your belief system?
Write your opinion in the comments section below.

Relative Clause and Present Perfect Tense

It is a belief system which has now been spread to the entire world.


A Conflict between A and B with Noun Phrases and a Metaphor

But there is a conflict in the heart of science between science as a method of inquiry based on reason, evidence, hypothesis and collective investigation, and science as a belief system or a world view.

the heart of science
a method of inquiry
a belief system
a worldview

Present Perfect Tense with a Relative Clause and a Metaphor

And unfortunately the world view aspect of science has come to inhibit and constrict the free inquiry which is the very life blood of the scientific endeavour.

to inhibit – to constrict – to limit – to control

Present Perfect Tense in Passive Voice with a Relative Clause and an Adverb

Since the late nineteenth century
science has been conducted under the aspect of a belief system or worldview which is essentially that of materialism – philosophical materialism.

the early nineteenth century
the middle nineteenth century
the late nineteenth century

A Metaphor and a Past Participle as Adjective

And the sciences are now wholly owned subsidiaries of the materialist worldview.

a totally owned subsidiary
a wholly owned subsidiary

a partially owned subsidiary

Future Passive

I think that as was we break out of it, the sciences will be regenerated.

will regenerate – will revitalise
will be regenerated – will be revitalised

Relative Clauses and a Present Participle

What I do in my book “The Science Delusion” which is called “Science Set Free” in the United States is take the ten dogmas or assumptions of science and turn them into questions- seeing how well they stand up if you look at them scientifically.

None of them stand up very well.

stand up -hold up – make sense

none of them
one of them
a few of them
some of them
almost all of them
all of them

Relative Clause

What I am going to do is first run through what these ten dogmas are.

And then I will only have time to discuss one or two of them in a bit more detail.

run through – go though – list – elucidate

But essentially the ten dogmas which are now the default worldview of most educated people all over the world are first that nature is mechanical or machine-like. The universe is like a machine. Animals and plants are like machines. We are like machines. In fact we are machines. We are lumbering robots in Richard Dawkins’ vivid phrase – with brains that are genetically programmed computers.

Passive Voice

Second, matter is unconscious. The whole universe is made up of unconscious matter.

The Vocabulary of Existence from Macro to Micro

There is no consciousness in stars, in galaxies, in planets, in animals, in plants. And there ought not to be any in us either, if this theory is true.


Consciousness – Word Family and Present Perfect Continuous Tense

So a lot of the philosophy of mind over the last hundred years has been trying to prove that we are not really conscious at all.

consciousness – noun
conscious – adjective
unconscious – adjective

Passive Voice

So matter is unconscious. The laws of nature are fixed. This is dogma three. The laws of nature are the same now as they were at the time of the big bang and they will be the same forever. Not just the laws but the constants of nature are fixed, which is why they are called “constants”.

Relative Clause – when

Dogma four – the total amount of matter and energy is always the same. It never changes in total quantity except at the moment of the big bang when it all sprang into existence from nowhere in a single instant.

matter and energy


purpose – purposeless – purposelessness
point – pointless – pointlessness
meaning – meaningless – meaninglessness

The fifth dogma is that nature is purposeless. There are no purposes in all nature and the evolutionary process has no purpose or direction.

evolution – the evolutionary process

Complex Biological Vocabulary

Dogma six. Biological heredity is material. Everything you inherit is in your genes or in epi-genetic modifications of the genes, or in psyto-plasmic inheritance. It is material.

material – physical – tangible

Passive Voice Memory

Dogma seven: memories are stored inside your brain as material traces. Somehow everything you remember is in your brain in modified nerve endings, phosphorelatyed proteins.

memory – memories

No-one knows how it works but nevertheless almost everyone in the scientific world believes it must be in the brain.

The Mind and the Brain

Dogma eight: your mind is inside your head. All your consciousness is the activity of your brain and nothing more.

Psychic Phenomena

Dogma nine, which follows from dogma eight: psychic phenomena like telepathy are impossible. Your thoughts and intentions cannot have any effect at a distance because your mind is inside your head. Therefore all the apparent evidence for telepathy and other psychic phenomena is illusory.

I am telepathic. – Are you telepathic?

People believe these things happen but it just because they do not know enough about statistics, or they are deceived by co-incidences, or it is wishful thinking.

coincidence – coincidental
statistics – statistical


Relative Clause – the Vocabulary of Medicine and of Mechanics

And Dogma ten: mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works. That is why governments only fund research into mechanistic medicine and ignore complementary and alternative therapies. Those can’t possibly really work because are not mechanistic.

Link to a conversation about medical research

machine – mechanic – mechanical – mechanistic

They may appear to work because people would have got better anyway or because of the placebo effect. But the only kind that really works is mechanistic medicine.

mechanistic medicine
mainstream medicine – alternative medicine
Chinese medicine – western medicine
Ayurvedic medicine
homeopathic medicine – allopathic medicine


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The Light Bulb Conspiracy

obsolete – obsolescence
useless – uselessness

The light bulb is the symbol of an idea but in reality the idea is artificially limited. Watch this documentary about planned obsolescence:

Present Simple Tense

This is Marcos from Barcelona but he could be anyone anywhere.

What is about to happen to him occurs daily to people in offices and homes all over the world.

Present Perfect Tense and Present Simple Tense

A part inside the printer has failed and the manufacturer sends Marcos to technical support.

It is no coincidence that all three shopkeepers suggest buying a new printer.

First Conditional – Real Conditional

If he agrees Marcos will become yet another victim of planned obsolescence, the secret mechanism at the heart of our consumer society.


Our role in life seems to be to consume things with credit and borrow money to buy things that we don’t need.

Real Conditional

If the consumer does not purchase, you know, the economy is not going to grow.

Do you agree with the son of the man who designed planned obsolescence?

Write your opinion in the comments section below.


Infinitives – Comparatives

Planned obsolescence – the desire on the part of a consumer to own something a little newer a little sooner than is necessary.

Did the consumer create the planned obsolescence or did the manufacturer create it?

Write your opinion in the comments section below.

Future Tense – Relative Clause – Present Perfect Tense – “When” Clause

This film will reveal how planned obsolescence has defined our lives ever since the nineteen twenties when manufacturers started shorten the lives of products to increase consumer demand.

Future “will” – Relative Clause – Passive Voice – Infinitive

We will find out how designers and engineers were made to adopt new values and objectives.

Present Perfect Tense

A new generation of consumers has started challenging manufacturers.


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The Great Man Has Crossed the River

Shortly after his 87th birthday, Gabo crossed the great river. We remember him and we miss him.

Listen to this short documentary about his beginning. He speaks in Spanish but the narrative is in English. The transcript is below:

Present Continuous Tense

Columbia. March the sixth. 1927. The rain is ashing down over the banana plantations around the little village of Aracataca in the Caribbean.

Is the rain “ashing down” or “crashing down”?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born beneath the sign of the tropics and the Atlantic Ocean. In 1982 the Nobel Prize committee paid tribute to the author of a worldwide masterpiece:

One Hundred years of Solitude

Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous like prehistoric eggs.

The world was so recent that many things lacked names and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point to them.

Past Tense with “would” plus verb for Past Routines

Every year during the month of March a family of ragged gypsies would set up their tents near the village, and with a great uproar of pipes and kettle drums they would display new inventions.

Relative Clause

This obstinate storyteller who will make any sacrifice so long as he can write created in “One Hundred Years of Solitude” a new vision of the world: Macondo a small Caribbean village is at the same time a whole continent.

But what was exactly the origin of the world?

A dreamlike but true to life novel, an un-frightening ghost story, enough to make a sorcerer out of a child.

The story begins with a grandfather: Nicholas Marquez, the colonel.
At the turn of the century this well-bred young man went off to the 1000 days civil war which was ravaging the country.

Past Simple Tense

The colonel had a very close friend: A brother in arms called Pacheko. They fought side by side and together lost the battles which were led by legendary generals.

Columbia was born in an orgy of fratricidal bloodletting.

One day in October 1908, Nicholas the Colonel and Pacheko fought a duel. It was a question of honour.

Passive Voice

The colonel killed Pacheko and it felt as if he had killed himself. He was overwhelmed with grief.

He left his hometown for a small and remote village far away beyond the Sierra Nevada.

Twenty years went by.The colonel had a daughter. She was deeply in love with Eligio the telegraph boy in the village.

But the colonel was firmly against her marrying beneath her station. The lovers swore to each other they would rather die than be separated.

They invented a thousand ploys to thwart the colonel and his wife Tranquilina.
The lovers eventually got married.

Louisa called her first born son “Gabriel”. As if she wanted to atone for the affront to her father she trusted him with her son.

Until he was eight years old Gabriel Garcia Marquez lived with his grandparents in Aracataca, cherished by Tranquilina the Galician and the Colonel.

Link to the History and Geography Page

They would both tell him about their own vision of the world.

Ornate Literary Style

When it was opened by the giant, the chest gave up a glacial exhalation. Inside there was only an enormous transparent block with infinite internal needles in which the light of the sunset was broken up into coloured stars.

Disconcerted, knowing the children were waiting for an immediate explanation, Jose Arcadio Buendia ventured a murmur.

“It is the largest diamond in the world.”

“No,” the gypsy countered. “It is ice.”

The child was torn away from the magic world of Aracataca, but he buried the faces the trees the smells and the stories deep in his memory. Garcia Marquez did not yet know that his nostalgia for this world would be the well-spring of his writing.

Past Perfect Tense

Many years would go by before he came back to Aracataca where in a dazzling and decisive instant he recovered the keys to a world he had believed forever lost.

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How do you say it in English?

How do you say it in English?

is one of the most important phrases for beginners.

Look at these two phrases:

How to say … ?
How do you say … ?

Many people use the top one but it is wrong. The bottom one is correct.

Learning language – Starting to Learn a Language

When you start to learn a language, you should start to use it use it straightaway. You will often say “How do you say … ?” because because you need to know how to say many things. Look at the video. It is a video of a guy learning Hebrew. Note how often he says:

How do you say … ?

Guy: Ok We are in Jaffa. I am going to have a Hebrew lesson today with …

Woman: Mayan.

Guy: With Mayan. Mayan is Iraqi.

Woman: (laughs)

Guy: Ok so. Shalom. What does “shalom” mean?

Woman: It means “hello”.

Guy: How do you say “how are you?”?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: So if a guy is asking a girl, how do you say it?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: Alright. How do you say “you are beautiful”.

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: No .. that’s not .. So if you ever see her on the street, you say (Hebrew).

Woman: Yes.

Guy: Alright. What does “zababa” mean?

Woman: It means “Chill out!”Everything is cool.

Guy: Challack?! That is not a word in English.

Woman: Yeah, it is. Chill out!

Guy: How do you say “what is your name?“?

Woman: When you say it to a boy, you say: (Hebrew). When you say it to a girl, you say: (Hebrew).

Guy: Yeah. I am never going to learn that. OK. How do you say “good morning”?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: How do you say “good night”?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: How do you say “thank you”?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: How do you say “thank you very much?”?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: How do you say “how much?”?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: How do you say “good evening”?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: How do you ask somebody “Are you single?”?

Woman: (Hebrew)

Guy: Say it again.

Woman: (Hebrew)

A Third Person: Are you free?

Guy: What does does (Hebrew) mean?

Woman:It means you are really beautiful.

Guy: OK that is my lesson ion Hebrew. Stay tuned.


Link to Easy English Audio phrases

Link to a Hebrew lesson

Link to a Conversation with an Israeli Guy

Link to Tips for Learning Languages

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What is life about?

Listen to this amazing story:

Opportunity – Opportunities

Life is about opportunities; creating them and embracing them and for me that was the Olympic dream. That’s what defined me. That was my bliss.

A Training Bike Ride

As a cross country skier and member of the Australian ski team headed towards the Winter Olympics, I was on a training bike ride with my fellow team-mates.

The Perfect Autumn Day

As we made our way up the spectacular Blue Mountains west of Sydney, it was the perfect Autumn day. Sunshine, the smell of eucalypts and a dream. Life was good.

The Part that I Loved

We had been on our bikes for around five and a half hours when we got to the part that I loved and that was the hills because I love the hills and I got off the seat of my bike and I started pumping my legs and as I sucked in the cold mountain air, I could feel it burning my lungs. And I looked up to see the sun shining in my face.

Black – Blackness

And then everything went black. Where was I? What was happening? My body was consumed by pain.

Past Perfect Tense – Passive Voice

I had been hit by a speeding utility truck with only ten minutes to go on the bike ride.

A Rescue Helicopter – Passive Voice

I was air-lifted from the scene of the accident by a rescue helicopter to a large spinal unit in Sydney.

Extensive Injuries – Life-threatening Injuries

I had extensive and life threatening injuries. I had broken my neck and my back in six places. I broke five ribs on my left side. I broke my right arm. I broke my collar bone. I broke some bones in my feet. My whole right side was ripped open and filled with gravel.

My head was cut open across the front and lifted back exposing the skull underneath.

I had head injuries. I had internal injuries. I had massive blood loss. In fact I lost about five litres of blood which is all someone my size would actually hold.

A Really Bad Day

By the time the helicopter arrived at Prince Henry Hospital in Sydney, my blood pressure was forty over nothing. I was having a really bad day.

Two Dimensions

For over ten days I drifted between two dimensions. I had an awareness of being in my body but also being out of my body somewhere else watching from above as if it was happening to somebody else. Why would I want to go back to a body that was so broken?

A Voice

But this voice kept calling me.
Come on stay with me.
It’s too hard.
Come on, this is our opportunity.
No. That body is broken. It can no longer serve me.
Come on. Stay with me. We can do it. We can do it together.

A Crossroads – A Metaphor

I was at a crossroads I knew if I didn’t return to my body I would have to leave this world forever. It was the fight of my life. After ten days I made the decision to return to my body and the internal bleeding stopped.

Paralysis – Being Paralysed

The next concern was whether I would walk again because I was paralysed from the waist down.

The Rest of the Talk

Can you get the rest? It doesn’t matter if you miss some. Just focus on what you can understand.


Make a list of body parts and anatomical terms. It is better to learn anatomical terms in the context of a narrative than to learn them as a list.

Link to An Anatomy Lesson

Link to a Career in Medical Research

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Why do people go to prison?


Presenter: Our final TED speaker is Michael Santos.

He spent 26 years incarcerated in the federal prison system for cocaine trafficking.

He spent 26 years in jail.
He was in prison for 26 years.

While he was in prison, he earned an undergraduate degree then he earned a graduate degree.

He earned a degree.
He got a degree.
He got a university degree.
He did a degree in prison.

He became a published author, including books, numerous journal articles.

He wrote a book and he got it published.

Since leaving prison last year, he became an outspoken activist for penal reform and new approaches to the American scandal known as recidivism. Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Santos.

a recidivist is a repeat offendor
a recidivist is a person who offends again
a recidivist is a person who breaks the law again
a recidivist is a person whop breaks the law multiple times.
a recidivist is person who breaks the law more than once.


The Main Speaker

Michael Santos: Thank you very much, Russ. (I) appreciate it.Thank you.

Do I have the slides? Thank you guys so much for giving me this opportunity to share my story.

thank you for the chance to share
thank you for the opportunity to share

It may be a little bit unusual to be in an extraordinary audience like this of business leaders, community innovators, people who make society grow, to listen to a man who just got out of prison.

A Scale

a little bit unusual
quite unusual
very unusual
extremely unusual
downright weird

But today is an extraordinary day for me because it is actually six months to the day that I finished 26 years in federal prison.

an extraordinary day
a very special day
a very unusual day

And that is the reason that I have this huge commitment to working to end our nation’s commitment to mass incarceration.

Imprisonment – Being in Prison

mass incarceration
mass imprisonment
incarceration on a large scale
imprisonment on a large scale

The earlier speakers today gave some very profound insight into why we as a nation need to understand how those who live on the fringes, those who live on the margins, think.


the fringes of society
the edges of society
the margins of society
outside the mainstream

That is the reason that I care so much about mass incarceration.

I care so much about it.
I am so concerned about it.

I want to take you back to the beginning and let you know what led me into that system.

back to the start
back to the beginning

A Popular Movie

Back in the mid-nineteen eighties
, a popular movie came out. That movie influenced me much as popular culture influences people who do not respond well to traditional educational systems.

It influenced me
It had a big influence on me

For me in my life it was Tony Montana who influenced me and as a consequence of being influenced by those bad decisions, I made every bad decision a young man can make.

Tony Montana influenced me.
I was influenced by Tony Montana.

Bad Decisions

And as a consequence of those bad decisions, for trafficking in cocaine, I was arrested, I was indicted. I was sentenced to serve forty-five years in federal prison.

I was arrested.
I was taken in.

I was charged.
I was indicted.

I was sentenced to prison.
I was sent to prison.

Bad Influences

So bad influences started my life and my journey but it was later good influences that helped to change my life. Because while I was sitting inside of a jail cell during that awkward phase between the time that I was arrested and the time that I was convicted and the time that I was sentenced, I happened to recognise what a horrific decision I had made as a young man.

Link to Meanings of “Cell”

a terrible decision
a horrible decision
a horrific decision

Passive Voice and Active Voice

So I am sitting in jail feeling the walls closing in on me, the life being sucked out of me.

the life is being sucked out of me
prison is sucking the life out of me

I start turning anywhere for guidance and for prayer I am led to the work of Socrates.

The Work of Socrates – The Writings of Socrates

The work of Socrates inspires me because Socrates at that time is also facing the rest of his life in a prison cell before he is about to be executed.

It inspires me
I am inspired by it

And he is given this opportunity to leave that prison cell and to live in civilisation in exile.

He chooses instead to have his sentence carried out.

For the first time I am reading about philosophy. For the first time I am reading about Socrates.

And when he chooses to stay in a jail cell, he gives a reason.

The Law and Our Rights

He says that in a democracy we have the right to work towards changing laws but we do not have the right to break laws.

the right to break laws
the right to break the law

I remember putting that book on my chest and I started thinking: what can I do?

Is there anything I can do while I move through this sentence, that could keep me in prison for the rest of my life?

the rest of my life
the remainder of my life

Is there anything I can do to reconcile with society?
And so I start thinking. I start thinking about many of you. The leaders in this room. I said: What would you expect?

Is there anything that a man can do to transform his life?

Is there anything that I can do that would help you the members of this audience to see me as something more than a coke dealer.

a coke dealer
a drug dealer
an amphetamine dealer
a heroin dealer

And I decided, yes, there probably is, but what is it? Because I don’t get that message inside the criminal justice system.

We may call it a system of correction but in reality it is a system that warehouses humanity.

An Analogy to Smoking Cigarettes and Cigarette Companies

And to believe that the system has an effort in preparing people inside to return to society as a law-abiding contributing citizen is equivalent to believing that Phillip Morris really wants people to stop smoking.

This is a system that measures justice by the turning of calendar pages.

It is a fundamentally flawed system. It is a fundamentally flawed system because it is fundamentally different from what makes Silicon Valley great.

a flawed system
a faulty system
an imperfect system
a system that does not work

A community of innovators. Disruptive thinkers. You look at failure and you figure out a better way of doing it.

a better way of doing it
a worse way of doing it
a faster way of doing it
a quicker way of doing it
a cheaper way of doing it
an easier way of doing it

That is what I learned from reading better influences in my life.

And so when I thought about each of you twenty-six years ago. I thought:

Great Expectations – Big Dreams

What would you expect me to do?
You would expect me to work to educate myself.

You would expect me to work for contributing to society in a meaningful, measurable way.
You would expect me to build a support network.

That was all. That’s what guided me through the journey.

I strove to become the change that I wanted to see in the world.

Link to The Big Dream


I was inspired by people like Ghandi and by people like Mandala.

By people who faced struggle whether it was prisoners of World War Two or prisoners of today.

Anybody who could overcome it. That became my inspiration. Because I had a vision. And that vision. I would like to say. Was my idea.

But like Steve Jobs says: “A good leader copies ideas. A great leader steals ideas.” And all i did was steal ideas from every individual who is sitting in this room tonight. You achieve high levels of success because you pursue excellence. And you reward others when they pursue excellence.

How do we measure justice?

But in America’s prison we measure justice in a fundamentally different way. We measure justice by enough calendar pages turned. And we have seen the result of that approach.

We need to change that approach.

Visualize! Plan! Execute!

We need that will people inside to pursue that same path

That is what makes Silicon Valley great but it doesn’t exist for 2.3 million people who are serving time.

I had a vision.

How did I want to be able to return to society? … to be able to put on a suit and tie and have nobody know that I have served a day in prison unless I told them?

What can we do for people who are living on the margin?

When you don’t feel you have a path, you are in trouble.

We all have a role in ending mass incarceration.

Mass incarceration is new.

It started in the sixites.

Link to videos about the sixties.

We lead the world not only in innovative technology and medicine but also in prison population.

Link to conversation about medicine and medical research


Can you get the rest of the text? practise listening. Can you get it? It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand a hundred per cent.

A Clip from the Movie that he Mentioned


Look at these questions:

What do you think about prison?
Is prison a place of punishment or a place of rehabilitation?
Is it a place to rehabilitate or a place to punish?
Can it be both?
Is it true that most people are in prison for drug offenses?
Is drug abuse a medical problem or a medical problem?
Is drug abuse a law enforcement problem?
Is prison failing?
Do you believe in punishment or forgiveness?

The Role of Christianity

Jesus taught forgiveness. Do you believe in forgiveness or punishment?


The Old Testament is about punishment
The New Testament is about forgiveness

People say they are christian but if you believe in punishment then you are old testament right?

These are complex and difficult questions. Do you have any suggestions? Do you have any ideas? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Link to a conversation from a prison cell.

Power Words: Cell

Share your thoughts...

Which Way Should we Go?

Practice listening.

Mark the phrase you hear:


We will go away.
We will stay here.

With Someone else

We will leave some day.
We will stay here forever.

With friends

Your hand in my hand.
Holding hands


We are going to make a plan.
We will make our plan.

In the company of others

We will fly so high.
We will feel so good.

In a group

Say ‘goodbye’ to our friends
Tell our friends ‘goodbye’.

As a group

We will start life new.
We will begin a new life


This is what we are going to do.
This is what we will do.

Go east
Go west

Life is easy there.
Life is hard there.

Go east
Go west

Lots of open air.
Not much open air

Go west
Go south

To begin life again
To begin life new.

Go North
Go west

I think we should do this
This is what we will do.

Go home
Go west

Standing up with our friends
Standing with the times.

Go west
Go to work

We will be OK
We will do just fine.

Go west
Go home

Where the skies are blue.
Where the skies are grey

Go north
Go west

Shall we do this?
This is what we will do.

As a team

We will enjoy the ocean
We will love the beach.

With others

We will study and grow.
We will learn and teach.

By ourselves

Find a slower pace of life
Change our pace of life.

With no help

We will work and play
We will work and die.

I love everybody
I love you

I know you love everybody
I know you love me.

You want me
I want you

In the end be free
At the end be free.

So that’s the reason why
So that’s why I have no regrets (?)

When he says he wants to go west
when you say, you want to go west.

Go east
Go west

The people are peaceful
Life is peaceful there.

Go away
Go west

Lots of fresh air
Lots of open air.

Go west
Go away

To begin life new.
To start again

Go west
Go traveling

This is what we should do
This is what we will do.

Go west
Go to sea

Is it high tide?
Turning with the tide.

Go west
Go westwards

We will do just fine.
The weather will be fine

Go away
Go west

Where are the skies blue?
Where the skies are blue.

Go west

This is what we will do.
We will definitely do this

I know that
I am sure that

You there is a way
There are many ways

To survive there
To live there

In all kinds of weather
In the sun or shade

As a couple

We will find a house
We will find a place

To settle
to settle down

in and live with grace
Down and live with space

Without the
With no

hectic pace of life
Busy pace that feeds

The hustling
The hassles and problems

moving of the feet
Rustling of the feet

I am sure I am
I know I’m

ready to go soon
ready to leave too

So that’s it
So that is really

where we are going to go
What we are going to do

Go west

Life is more peaceful there
Life is peaceful there

Go west
Go out

Lots of open air
Breathe the fresh air

Go west
Travel west

To begin life new
to start again

Go west
Move west

We should do this
This is what we will do

Head west
Go west

Like a ship sailing on the tide
Standing with the tide

Go off
Go west

We will go very far
We will go this far

Go west
Move on

To a place with more opportunity
Where the skies are blue

Move house
Go west

This is necessary
This is what we will do

As a team

We shall go on our way
We will go on our way

Always together

We will depart immediately
We will leave here today

Here is another version of the same song.

Which version do you prefer?

Language Notes

Future Tenses

We will go away.
we are going to go away.

We are going to leave some day.
We will leave some day.

Body Part idioms

Holding hands
Your hand in my hand.

Do people hold hands in your culture?

Do men hand hold hands with men?
Do women hold hands with women?
Do women hold hands with men?

The Future

We are going to make a plan.
We will make our plan.

What are you going to do in the future?

Write your answer in the comments section.

Saying Goodbye

How do you say goodbye in your language?


Is Life easy where you live?

Fresh Air

Is there a lot of fresh air where you live?

The Beach

Is there a beach near where you live?

Learning and Teaching

Are you a student?


Are you in love?

Do you love your family?

Link to the story of two lovers in Japan.

Settling Down

Do you want to travel around the world and then settle down in the best country?

What is the best country to live in?

The Pace of Life

Is the pace of modern life too fast for you?

Are you worried about money?

The Sky

What colour is the sky?

The West – Discussion

What does the west represent to you?

Is the Ukraine in the west?

Should Ukraine join Russia or join the west?

Americans from the east coast went to the west to start a new life. The west was developed as a part of the USA after the east.

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