Category Archives: Tip of the Week

Attention! Classes begin tomorrow. Please read!

It’s Labor day here in the United States.  We celebrate by not working.  Heh.

I don’t celebrate Federal holidays.  Federal holidays are great days to catch up.

Today, I will be catching up.  If you are waiting for an email from me, you should get a response today.

And, now… the point.

If you are enrolled in one of my classes, classes begin tomorrow.

I really need you to listen closely.  If you have not done so already, go register for the live class you joined.  Do this today.

When you first joined, you should have received a PDF file with instructions.  In the instructions, you were told to register using the links to the live classes.  Those links are contained in the file. Register for any class you like.

Yes… you can join any class I teach.  Remember, I only charge per family.

A subscription grants access to every live class I teach. It also grants access to every previous class on my site.

I have at least one student who has joined every class I teach.  I guess she likes my voice.

If you remain confused, I will be hosting another free orientation class tomorrow night.  To join, simply click here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6416932763790514946

As much as I hate to say this, if you did not receive the file containing the links to class, email me at dwane@visuallatin.com.  After verifying your account, I will get the links to you.

You should get a response from me today.  It’s Labor Day.  I will be here working all day.

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Have a Happy Labor Day, everyone.
Dwane

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Do this.

August is a crazy busy month of the year for me.

Last Saturday, I didn’t send a tip of the week.  This Saturday, I am too tired to spend much time typing.

A writer I follow once sent out a reminder that I have never forgotten.  I read this from time to time.  You may need this reminder, too.

“Sadly my favorite activity — spending time with my kids — is now denied me. Alex and Stephen are 24 and 21, busy with their own lives, and too old to hang out with mom and dad; Stephen is away at school in Pittsburgh. When they were young and the kids wanted to be with us was the happiest time of my life. If you are a parent, spend time with your kids now while they still want you. This is the most important piece of advice I can give you.”

– Bob Bly

He’s right.  We all know he is.  Do what he says.  Turn the distractions off for a bit.

Spend some time with your kids.

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Have a Happy Sunday, everyone.
Dwane

Every Saturday, I send out a tip of the week.  I also include announcements, upcoming classes, and so on.  If you would like to hear from me every weekend, sign up for my weekly updates here:

Heal your brain.

Now and then, I simply borrow someone else’s tip of the week.

Since it is 11:45 and I am still up answering emails, I am going to do just that.

This tip comes from Bill Myers.  I am doing exactly what he recommends at the moment.  I am listening to soothing music on You Tube.  I’ve got to get back to work, so here’s Bill:

Bill Myers Tip of the Week – August 12, 2017

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Heal Your Brain?

They say that ‘Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast’.

I don’t know if that holds true in every case, but I do know that in our house when my wife tunes our XM radio to the Spa channel (music you can relax to), our normally rambunctious two-year-old male cat, will settle down in front of the speakers and nod off to sleep.

Me, I prefer the soothing strains of Pink Floyd. Especially when I drive.

But a lot of people, millions it seems, like to listen to what’s being called ‘mind wave’. Music that is supposed to heal the brain, relieve stress and soothe nerves.

You can see evidence of this on YouTube, where videos with titles like ‘Heal your brain fast’, get tens of millions of views.

Whether these videos with their mind wave audio tracks can actually heal your brain is debatable. What isn’t debatable though, is the number of views they get. Some have close to a hundred million.

The thing is, these mind wave videos are easy to create – no video camera or special equipment needed. In fact, it took me less than ten minutes to create one of my own.

If you want to see what mind wave videos are and how to create them, check out the short video I posted on my site. I’m not promising what you see and hear will ‘heal your brain’, but it might.

You can watch it at

https://www.bmyers.com/public/Brain-Wave-videos.cfm

Bill Myers

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Have a Happy Sunday, everyone.

Dwane

How to learn all the vocabulary…

Estimates vary… but, it seems you need at least a few thousand words in your head to be able to speak fluently in another language.

Since there is no way to nail down an exact number, I am going with 2,000.

If you learn just 50 words a week, you would possess those 2,000 words in just 40 weeks.   40 weeks = one school year.

Great.  But, how are you going to learn those 2,000 words?  Do you really want to sit down and create 2,000
flash cards?  How many trees must die so that you can order a Margherita Pizza in Italian?

Fortunately, one of my students reminded me of a digital flash card site.  And in doing so, she potentially increased the world’s cognitive surplus and simultaneously saved the planet.  Pretty impressive, Amie.

Here is her note to me:

I have been working through your Lingua Latina classes for the past two months. Great class! Thanks for making it affordable!

Right around lesson10, I realized that the vocabulary was getting to be a bit much for me. I just wanted to share that I found a great resource for learning the vocabulary for Lingua Latina. I have been using Memrise for the last two weeks and it is making this much much easier. It is free. Well, they try to sell me a subscription when I use my iPhone but I have since downloaded the app on my Kindle and it is totally free!”

Somehow, I had forgotten about Memrise.  I spent some time on the site this morning.

She is right.  Memrise is an impressive flash card site.  There are numerous courses, languages, and subjects.  You can even set challenges for yourself and you can follow friends who also use Memrise.

If you, like Amie, are having trouble with the more than 1,800 words in Lingua Latina, then use this link:
https://www.memrise.com/course/252632/lingua-latina-pars-i-familia-romana/

If you are having trouble with the 497 words in First Year Latin by Robert Henle, then use this link: 
https://www.memrise.com/course/198250/henle-first-year-latin/

Of course, there is much more than Latin on the site.  If you are plodding through a course and you need to learn a pile of new words, check out Memrise!

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

P.S. This Thursday (July 27, 2017) at 7 PM central time, I am going to be testing out a live Q and A.  If you are confused about the classes I am offering, Visual Latin, or just Latin in general, feel free to stop by!

Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7024812059890156289

Every Saturday, I send out a tip of the week.  I also include announcements, upcoming classes, and so on.  If you would like to hear from me every weekend, sign up for my weekly updates here:

How to track what you are reading.

Last week, I blogged about a simple way to stand out in your chosen field of expertise.

Simply read more than everyone else.

If you read a book a week for twenty years, that adds up to 1,040 books!

20 years is going to pass anyway.  You might as well have something to show for it.

By the way, we have the time.  How many hours are spent each week watching football, baseball, or hockey games?  The same math applies. Just one game a week for twenty years adds up to 1,040 games.

After I sent the tip of the week last Saturday, I received this email from a friend.  Not only does she have 8 kids, she has already read 50 books this year.

After punching a hole in the sheetrock, and after crying on the floor for a while, I emailed her back and asked how in the world she does it.  In her response, she reminded me of a site I used to know about but had long since forgotten.

“I know people never understand how I can read that much, so I always tell them 10 minutes at a time.  I never feel like I have to have huge chunks of time to read, but sitting down for even 10 minutes with a book a couple times a day adds up.   Have you heard of the website Good Reads?  I find that is a helpful way to keep track of the books I read every year, as well as read reviews on books, etc.  I am “friends” with just a few other people of whom I respect their reading choices, so it is also fun to see what they are reading.  It perpetually keeps me adding to my “want to read” shelf!  (Good Reads has “shelves” where you organize your books, i.e. Books Currently Reading, Books read in 2017, Family Read Alouds, etc.)  Anyway, you might find you like it!”

Actually, I thought all of you might like it.   If you want to track what you are reading, or if you need new ideas, or if you want to nose through your friends’ personal library without actually nosing around in their library, then check out Goodreads.com.

Have a happy Saturday (What’s left of it, anyway)!
Dwane Thomas

How to stand out.

In one of my favorite books, The Pledge, by Michael Masterson, the author reports that the average American reads one book per year.

It may not be that bad.  According to the Pew Research Center, the average American in 2013 read a book a month.

What about “above average Americans”?  According to the site, Rich Habits, the average millionaire reads a couple of books a month, or 24 books a year.

Author Brendon Burchard claims to have read a book a week for the last 20 years.

Using the sources above and using Brendon Burchard’s 20-year benchmark, here is how the numbers stack up.

  • 20 years = 20 books (The Pledge)
  • 20 years = 240 books (The Pew Research Center)
  • 20 years = 480 books (Rich Habits)
  • 20 years = 1,040 books (Brendon Burchard)

Want to stand out in your chosen field of expertise?  It’s a simple numbers game.

If the average person in your chosen field of expertise reads a book a year, or a book a month, and you read a book a week… who is eventually going to stand out?

It’s simple math.  You are.

Devote an hour each day to learning by reading and you are going to set yourself apart.

In time (and it may be sooner than you think) you will move into the top half of your field.

Keep reading.  You will move into the top 20% of your field.  You will stand out.

Keep reading.  Eventually, you will move into the top 20% of the top 20%.  In other words, you will move into the top 4% of your field.  You will very likely be recognized as an expert.

Perhaps you are thinking… 20 years?  That’s a long time!

So, what?  20 years is going to pass whether you want it to pass, or not.  You might as well have something to show for it.

As Tony Robbins says, “Most people overestimate what they can do in a year, and underestimate what they can do in two or three decades.”

By the way, I also recommend you write about what you are reading.  In this way, you also develop your writing skills.

I read a lot.  But, for some dumb reason, I have not been blogging about the books I read.  Until recently.  I am a slow learner, I suppose.

Anyway, I am now reviewing books on my site and will continue to do so.  I recommend you do the same.

You can check out my reviews here: https://dwanethomas.com/bookreviews/

So, turn the T.V. off.  Turn Netflix off.  You can always watch “Some Dumb Movie 3” later.

Stand out.  Grab a book instead.

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

Protect yourself before you go.

One of the great inventions of the modern world is insurance.  (I know.  I know.  It’s also one of the great nuisances of the modern world.)  But, think about it.  By pooling your resources with others, you can protect yourself from massive financial setbacks.

By now, all of you know that my son was in an accident in Colorado.  His accident brought my family back from Athens, Greece.  I had gone there to study Greek intensively.

When we heard of the accident, I immediately went online and bought a ticket for my wife.  She was on a plane for Colorado eight, or so, hours later.

My girls and I stayed in Athens.  We waited for more news.  How serious was the accident?  How badly was my son injured?

As news slowly filtered in, we realized the situation was, indeed, quite serious.  We settled all of our affairs in Athens and boarded a plane 24 hours behind my wife.

Last minute flights for myself, my wife, and my girls cost roughly $2,000 each.  So… $12,000.  With airport taxes and such, it was actually a bit higher than that.

Before our trip, my wife had purchased travel insurance for the family.  It cost $158.

This week, Allianz Global Assistance refunded the entire amount.  They deposited a little more than $12,000 directly into our checking account.

I am a bit of a complainer when it comes to taxes and insurance.  I shouldn’t complain, I know.  But… it feels so good.

Maybe I will stop complaining now.  Those $158 dollars my wife spent now numbers among our top 10 purchases for $158.

If you are traveling alone, you could possibly justify the risk of going without travel insurance.

But, if you are traveling with a family, do it.

And, if you are going to purchase travel insurance, consider Allianz Global Assistance.  They were easy to work with, and they upheld their end of the bargain.

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

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