Don’t Put Your Eggs in One Basket

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!”

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You will hear this when someone is depending too much on one solution to a problem or they only have one option for a big life plan. It’s always a good idea to make other plans in case one doesn’t work out for you.

A: What are you doing today?

B: I’m looking for a new job. I really want this teaching job on campus! It sounds so cool.

A: That sounds great, but don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! You should look for other jobs just in case you don’t get that one.

Key words and phrases

Depend: to be controlled by or to rely on

Option: a thing that may be chosen

Just in case: if there happens to be a need

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Mother’s Day

The United States recognizes Mother’s Day in the beginning of May each year.  This year it is on May 8th.  Mother’s Day is for celebrating the mother of the family, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.  Many people buy a special gift like flowers or jewelry for their mothers or take them to a nice restaurant to eat.

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When does your home country celebrate mothers?  If you are celebrating on May 8th, don’t forget to get something special for your mom!  Go here for some fun gift ideas that you can order online.

key words and phrases

maternal bonds:  the relationship between a mother and her child

influence:  to have an effect on someone or something

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How to Find Housing in San Francisco

This post was written by one of our own students, Filipe Daltro Minho.  Read on to see his helpful suggestions for finding a place to live in San Francisco!

Finding a place to live is pretty hard, especially if you are looking to live in San Francisco.  The city is only about 46 square miles and there is NO space available, not even just to park your car.  Just after the .com boom, the “techies” invaded the city by the bay and pushed the rent up.  Nowadays you won’t be able to find anything below $ 1,100 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment.  But God gave me the opportunity to be a student for a couple of years, the ability to know where to start looking for a place to live, and, of course, I have been lucky (trust me, you will really need some luck).  Here I will try to help you find housing in San Francisco in just three simple steps.

Step 1

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You must tell everybody that you are looking for a place to live, and when I say everybody, I MEAN it.  Telling your friends, acquaintances, strangers, waiters, teachers, taxi cab drivers, your yoga teacher, and even your gym mate won’t be enough.  The power of spreading information through word-of-mouth is priceless.  Eventually you will be able to find something, maybe at least two or three places to visit.  I hope you can make the deal happen.  Do not forget to use social media.  Facebook is a great way to look for a connection.

Step 2

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Another good option is Craigslist (craigslist.org).  It is the most well-known website to find everything, including housing.  You also will be able to find room shares, home stays, (it is a good option if you are willing to live with a family.  This is also a good way to practice your English.  Personally I lived in a home stay for three years and it helped me a lot.) and so on.  Do not forget that you have to be careful when you are looking for something on Craigslist.  I recommend that you take a look at a place with a friend and never give your personal information to anyone by phone or email.  Unfortunately cases of housing scams have been found on this website.

Step 3

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Walking around is a great option too.  Some of the landlords do not post ads on Craigslist; instead, they just post them on their windows or on bulletin boards in local cafes.  This is also a good opportunity for you to explore the neighborhood and feel the energy of the place that you want to live in.

To sum it up, you definitely must think positively and don’t give up.  Some landlords do not want to rent out their properties to international students due to a lack of credit history.  But some of them will accept your I-20 and bank statement.  It is rare to find those good people, but it is not impossible.  I hope I was able to help you!  Happy apartment hunting!!  =)

useful links

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/

http://www.sfhomestay.com/

https://www.sanfranciscohomestay.org/

Airbnb

key words and phrases

.com boom:  when the Internet became very popular commercially

techie:  a person who knows a lot about technology or works with technology, such as computing

acquaintance:  a person you know a little, but not as a close friend

gym mate:  someone you go to the gym with, such as a friend or an acquaintance

word-of-mouth:  the passing of information from person to person through oral communication

scam:  a trick, usually involving someone trying to steal money from someone else by selling a fake item or service

credit history:  a record of a borrower’s responsible repayment of debts.  Many landlords ask for a copy of your credit history and credit score when you apply for an apartment

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Student Spotlight: Sunny

0412_4Name and place of origin:

My name is Siyun Huang and I’m from Guangzhou, China.

Why do you want to learn English?

Before I came here I knew that English is the language I have to learn.  When I was a child I had to start studying it when I was eight years old.  Now kids in China start learning it when they’re three years old.  After I was in the United States for a few months I just fell in love with English.  I love the accent so much.

Tell us a bit more about your home country and the culture there.

In Guangzhou, a city in South China, the culture there is so diverse and there’s lots of delicious food.  Everyone there knows the saying “eat in Guangzhou”.

What do you like to do for fun in the Bay Area?

I really love the nice weather in the Bay Area and there’s lots of nice food here.  Hiking is the most wonderful activity I love here because the view is stunning.

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What are some differences you notice between San Francisco and your home country?

San Francisco and Guangzhou are two big cities.  Both have lots of companies, shopping malls, restaurants, and opportunities.  I thought that life would be easier here because the government and environment is different from China’s, but, for example, if you want to go to the hospital to see a doctor it is a slow process.

What is your favorite English word/phrase you’ve learned thus far?

My favorite English word is  wedding.  To me a wedding means something that will last forever.  Marriage does not mean the end in a couple’s life.  So beautiful.  I also like the saying “down-to-earth”.

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key words and phrases

accent:  pronunciation of a language

saying:  an expression that is easy to remember because of its meaning

stunning:  very amazing or attractive

opportunity:  a chance

process:  a series of actions taken in order to achieve an end

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Staff Spotlight: IIC’s artists

Did you know that some of the staff at IIC are also artists?  Read below to find out more about what they do!

Jeannine Toussaint

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What art mediums do you work with?

I use multiple media, from oils to acrylic to watercolor to, currently, the humble pencil.

How long have you been creating art?

I’ve been creating art all of my life, since I first picked up a pencil.  It’s fun, freeing, and exhilarating to return to a medium that requires little conscious effort.

Have you received any schooling for your art, or are you self-taught?

I have an undergraduate degree in art and I am self-taught.

What are some of your favorite artists and art styles?

I’m drawn to a broad variety of art and artists, and I visit museums and galleries frequently.

What do you enjoy the most about being an artist?

I love being an artist.  I love the fun, the courage, the lifelong habit of sitting down with paper, canvas, and implements and realizing and image.

You can see more of Jeannine’s artwork at shows she sometimes has in San Francisco!

Tory Snyder

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What art mediums do you work with?

Right now I’m working with pens, markers, and watercolors.  I also like using colored pencils and acrylics.

How long have you been creating art?

I’ve always liked being creative, but I didn’t start practicing art regularly until I was in Junior High School.

Have you received any schooling for your art, or are you self-taught?

I took art classes in High School and I studied drawing and painting for one year in college.

What are some of your favorite artists and art styles?

I like lots of different artists and styles, but some of my favorite styles include Impressionism and Art Nouveau.

What do you enjoy the most about being an artist?

I love the freedom it gives me and I enjoy the diversity of art.  It’s a nice opportunity for me to go into my own quiet space for a while and relax.

 For more examples of Tory’s work you can go here.

Key words and phrases

medium:  the supplies or materials an artist uses to create a work of art (example:  paint, colored pencil, pen, etc.)

humble:  respectful or modest

exhilarating:  making one feel very happy

frequently:  a lot or often

implement:  a tool or piece of equipment

diversity:  a variety of different things

Out and About: Hiking in the Bay Area

The Bay Area is home to many beautiful hiking areas, and springtime is a great time to think about where you want to explore outdoors.  Here are my top 5 hiking spots:

1.  Tilden Regional Park

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If you’re in the Berkeley area be sure to check out this treasured park.  With over 2,000 acres, it offers something for everyone.  If you aren’t in the mood for a hike, you can take a stroll around Lake Anza or say hello to cows, goats, and other animals at the Little Farm.

2. Redwood Regional Park

redwood regional park

Want to see redwood trees but don’t have the time to drive up North?  You can see some right in the Oakland Hills!  Redwood Regional Park has 150 foot coast redwoods and about 40 miles of trails for hiking, jogging, and horseback riding.

3. Land’s End

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Located in San Francisco, Land’s End has many trails that go around the coast and offers beautiful glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It is also home to the Sutro Baths, ruins from a swimming pool that burnt down in 1967.

4. Muir Woods

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You’ll need a car to easily get to Muir Woods, but it is worth the effort!  With 240 acres of old growth redwood trees, it is one of the last remaining forests of such trees in the San Francisco Bay Area.

5.  Mount Diablo State Park

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photo taken by Tory Snyder

Mount Diablo was once considered the point of creation according to some Native American mythologies and is still thought to be a very sacred place.  You will need a car to get to this park, and if you choose to climb up by foot it will take you about 7-8 hours.  But it offers breathtaking views of the Bay Area and has a lot of interesting history (you can also drive to the top to enjoy the sights).

key words and phrases

treasured:  something that is valued a lot

acres:  a common measure of area in the United States

stroll:  to walk for enjoyment

ruins:  a destroyed building

mythologies:  a collection of stories, traditions, or beliefs associated with a particular group

sacred:  holy

breathtaking:  wonderful or awesome

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