Being a Community Tutor in English on iTalki

Click on video to experience the digital transformation.

Since late February 2021 I’ve been a Community Teacher on an online platform called iTalki, a Chinese company headquartered in Shanghai. You can visit my profile page by clicking on the following link: [CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY iTALKI PROFILE PAGE]

To date (4/14/21) I’ve completed around 75 online lessons with approximately 35 students. It’s conversation-based learning, so I target students who can already speak English at intermediate and advanced levels of proficiency. Each “lesson” is about an hour. I currently charge $10 per lesson, although I may increase that once I reach 100 completed lessons. Some students purchase packages of 5 lessons at a slight discount.

The conversation topics are completely open ended. Occasionally, I pause the dialogue to provide feedback on pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and expressive, interactive style. So far I’ve had students from Russia, Estonia, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Peru, China, and the list is growing. It’s a remarkably eye-opening and rewarding experience.

If you know anyone who might benefit from such a learning experience, please help them book their first iTalki lesson with me or any number of other qualified teachers. Thank you.

One of our juiciest investments

Several days ago someone dropped off about a dozen freshly picked lemons. Today I made a batch of lemon sorbet using the 3 cups of juice they rendered and some zest. I used the juicer Annyth and I bought a couple of months after moving here to Merced in California’s Central Valley in 2014. I’ve used it to squeeze grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes, and even pomegranates. Thank you for your service.

Done on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil using Sketch Club and then iColorama.

Juanjo Domínguez (1951-2019)

If you’re not familiar with Juanjo Domíguez, Argentine guitarist, then check him out. Below the digital painting I did of Maestro Juanjo on an iPad using Sketch Club, I’ve inserted a YouTube video of him accompanying Diego el Cigala and Andrés Calamaro performing Los Hermanos by Atahualpa Yupanqi. Enjoy!
I’m adding another YouTube link that perhaps better illustrates Maestro Juanjo’s playing (along side one of my favorite singers, Diego el Cigala): click here to watch Soledad.

Click on image to enlarge.

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Mom Heading to Isaly’s

Here’s my rendition of one of my favorite family photos. My dad took this extraordinary photo of my mom several months before they got married in 1943, probably just before he enlisted in the army. My mom worked at this Isaly’s in Canonsburg, PA at the time. There she is crossing Pike St. and walking over the trolly tracks on what looks like a sunny Sunday afternoon. One way or another, my dad probably ordered a White House ice cream cone, his favorite.

 

 

Flamenco Guitar

I was listening to Antonio Muñoz Fernández before hitting the sack a few nights ago and thought I’d render right along on my iPad in Sketch Club with a tweak or two in iColorama.

Click on link below to take in a beautiful performance.

Intra-independence

I was in a slump and felt overwhelmed by all the revelations that politics as usual is all about acquiring and retaining power. It happens on both sides of the aisle, but Republicans, I’m convinced – because they’re wealthier and have more to lose – are better at it. And that was before RBG died (see an RBG post from 2014 with video), prompting Republicans to activate their pituitary glands once again for the world to see! So, I sketched out one of my stock, bald-headed “establishment” guys in Sketch Club on my iPad. I copied it, flipped it, added some more details, tweaked it a little in iColorama while recording the “movement,” and then finally editing the video with a soundtrack in Videoshop. As I did this, I realized I was working through an insight, or at least a suspicion, that we attach ourselves to mental constructs, even our sense of self, with whom we dance and dance and dance, as reality goes on in the overlooked background. It’s so hard to detach or let go, but very little acceptance can occur until we do.