Was It Worth the Wait?

An article ‘Your Life in Numbers’ recently caught my attention.  Apparently, an average human, who lives for 80 years, will spend 26 years sleeping plus an additional 7 years trying to sleep.  We spend 13 years working (not including overtime) and women spend 136 days getting ready as opposed to men who spend a measly 46 days doing the same! This led me to wonder how much time we spend – just waiting; at the doctor’s office, at MacDonalds and for friends who seem to have lost all concept of time.  How many years of our life have we spent (or should I say ‘lost’) waiting for something or someone ...
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Extra, Extra …….. Write All About It – Part II

The travel season is upon us, and we would still love to hear from our readers about any future travel plans. You can also tell us about your favourite holiday destination or an anecdote from your travels. Please click on the comment button below and share the highlights with us in 4-5 sentences. We will feature it in our blog posts during the month of June ...
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Extra, Extra…Write All About it!

The travel season is upon us and we would love to hear from our readers about any travel plans. You can also tell us about your favourite holiday destination or an anecdote from your travels. Please click on the comment button below and share the highlights with us in 4-5 sentences. We will feature it in our blog posts during the month of June ...
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The Love of Reading

“I do not want to just read books; I want to crawl inside them and live there.” (Anonymous) Books have a way of transporting us, the words hidden within their covers have the power to steal time as we become immersed in their stories.  Reading can be an escape from the strife in the world, a way to grapple with grief or tragedy but also it can bring great joy and enlightenment ...
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Wake Up, Rip Van Winkle

Some mornings I really wish I could do a Rip Van Winkle.  The mornings when you open the newspaper (oops! I’ve dated myself) and all you read about is wars, murders, the effects of climate change, unrest in far flung corners of the world and protests – some, right on your doorstep.  Those are the mornings when you want to crawl back under your blanket and not wake up until it all blows over ...
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Spring Brings Hope…….

Usually at this time of year, most Ontarians are weary of winter and looking forward to spring. March break is just around the corner and a great deal of people are excited to be taking a trip with their families especially since the pandemic has made travelling very difficult and sometimes impossible, in the past two years. However, most of us are looking east towards Ukraine. It seems ironic that this incursion continues in March since this month was named after the Roman God of War, Mars. All wars are devastating, destructive and seemingly senseless but this one feels personal, you see, I married into a Ukrainian family ...
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The Shortest Month of the Year

Most parents would balk at the suggestion that they had a favourite among their children.  What a preposterous suggestion!!! Parents love all their children equally.  However, if the months of the year were to be regarded as the dozen children in a family, February would be the one that got the short end of the stick ...
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More Conversations with…………….Dorte Deans

Who would have thought as this year unfolds, Zoom would still be a manner in which to stay connected?! But here we are, thankfully it does mean that we can have these conversations. It was such a treat to hear from one of our own Board members who has taken on several different roles in her life. Her story begins in Copenhagen, Denmark and quite by chance, her father decided to move the family and begin anew in Hamilton, Ontario ...
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Fear

Fear, whether big or small, is an integral part of our lives.  However, the manner in which we deal with our fears, will define the impact it will have on our quality of life ...
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New Year’s Resolutions

This New Year came in more with a limp than a bang – the current wave of the pandemic cast a shadow over curtailed celebrations and 2022 hasn’t been quite the fresh start we had hoped to see. We can however remain hopeful and excited about what is around the corner, in doing so, have you made a New Year’s resolution yet? ...
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Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the Best Medicine (Thank you Readers Digest for providing the title) The pandemic wreaked havoc around the globe. Some lost beloved family members and some people lost their jobs, but it also brought out the best in human nature.  Doctors, nurses and other front line workers battled tirelessly against overwhelming odds.  Covid-19 and its variants are still with us but we will overcome this problem and if we can find some humour in our present situation, we just might be able to deal better with this grim reality ...
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“An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”

Did you know that today is “National Eat a Red Apple Day?” Not only are apples a nutritious and delicious snack, but they also have a long association with teachers and have become symbolic as the perfect gift for them in some form. The image of apples often appears on mugs, journals, paperweights and awards, presented to teachers during or at the end of the school year. In fact, gaining favour with the teacher was the origin of Bing Crosby’s 1939 song “An apple for the teacher will always do the trick when you don’t know your arithmetic.” However, the subject of today’s blog is not about apples, although I could talk up their uses until the cows come home. It’s about teaching and in particular, introducing phrasal verbs and idioms to adult learners ...
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Lest We Forget

In Hamilton, a solemn ceremony marked Remembrance Day which commemorates the service men and women who have died since the onset of World War I ...
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Volunteering…………sign me up!

Like so many other not-for-profit organizations, volunteers are at the core of our success, angels working by our sides giving their time and energy and yet asking little in return. Without them, our literacy program would look quite different, and it would be challenging for us to provide customized, one-to-one tutoring for the adult learners in Hamilton and share so many success stories. But why do people volunteer and what are the benefits? ...
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Orange Shirt Day

September 30th marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which was created as a federal statutory holiday.  At the heart of this day was a chance to acknowledge, remember and engage in dialogues about the tragic legacy of the Residential schools.  Like many other organizations in the Province, the Hamilton Literacy Council staff were given the day off to observe, listen and reflect ...
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Part II

Today in Part II we look at some of the effects of FAS.  There is no cure for FAS but it can certainly be prevented.  We only need to remember one simple truth – A pregnant woman never drinks alone ...
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Part I

At the Hamilton Literacy Council, we often have students with Learning Difficulties.  On one occasion I did meet a young lady with FAS.  We had had a fair number of students with FAS but something about her struck a chord.  As a consequence, I wanted to learn as much as I could about FAS.  I have written, in this blog, some of the things that I learned.  It is not comprehensive, by any means, but it will shed some light on the subject ...
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Book Clubs

Reading is the lifeblood of the Hamilton Literacy Council.  It is also the same, in varying degrees, for many people in the community.  Helping to foster and nurture this love of reading are the many Book Clubs in the city.  In this context, we would like to make a special mention of the Knox Book Club in Waterdown for their support and generosity to the Hamilton Literacy Council over the years ...
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The Magic of Music and Math

During the pandemic, many people have been experiencing anxiety while trying to cope with being shuttered in their homes, without the usual outlets for socialization and entertainment.  Interestingly, another trigger for anxiety in a multitude of people is the subject of math.  There is a direct correlation between the two and yet music is magical, it is able to sooth our souls, bring wonder back into our life and help us create new memories ...
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What do you mean ‘Double Click’?

“If it is important to you, you will find a way.  If not, you will find an excuse”.  This quote seemed to speak directly to me and my reluctance to fully accept the digital world.  However, computers are here to stay.  So, for anyone, like me, still wary of computers – it is time to discard those excuses and find a way ...
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