Category Archives: Tip of the Week

Affordable Medical Insurance that is actually affordable.

Dwane Thomas’ Tip of the Week – November 18, 2017
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As most of you know, my son almost died in a car accident last April.  My family and I were living in Athens, Greece at the time.  I had gone there to study Greek.

We received the call no parent wants to receive.

Within hours, my wife was on a plane bound for Aurora, Colorado.

Before she landed, my girls and I were on another plane bound for Aurora.

Instead of studying in Athens for several months, we ended up living in a hotel (for several weeks) across the street from Aurora medical center.  Eventually, with help from our friends and with help from our church, we rented a home.  We ended up living in Colorado for almost 2 months.

As most of you know, medical insurance is no longer as affordable as it was before the “Affordable” Care Act went into effect.

Fortunately, The “Affordable” Care Act did not make insurance unaffordable for my family.

The reason is simple.  We are members of a medi-share organization called Samaritan Ministries.

Most of you are probably familiar with this organization.  If you are not, I recommend you check them out.

During our awful ordeal in Colorado, we had plenty to worry about.  We did not have to worry about medical bills.

The help from Samaritans Ministries was phenomenal.

While I continued to work from Colorado, my wife managed the medical bills.  From time to time, when I would ask her how things were going, she would report to me that working with Samaritan’s ministries was very easy.

What a relief.  With everything else we were going through, medical bills were a major concern.  It turns out, we didn’t have to worry.  Samaritans Ministries had us covered.

It’s been over six months now since the accident.  My son continues to improve every day.  He is back to work.  Back to filming, and back to photography.  We are very grateful.

And, I am happy to report that Samaritans Ministries stepped in to cover all of my son’s medical expenses.  The medical bills did not bankrupt us, and I can keep on working.

If you are looking for an affordable shelter to protect you from the “Affordable” Care Act, then please check out Samaritans Ministries.

And if you don’t mind, when they ask how you heard about them, mention me.

I hope you all have an excellent Thanksgiving celebration!
Dwane
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I am currently working on another book.  I hope to have it available in a few weeks.  Meanwhile, here’s the book I wrote in 2013.  For the most part, it’s about learning Latin.  The tips and tricks I share, however, do apply to other subjects.  Check it out here:
https://dwanethomas.com/downloads/via-latin-lost/
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Is it too late to join one of my online classes?  No.  You can join anytime.  Simply click here:
https://dwanethomas.com/subscribe/
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Would you like to be able to read the New Testament in Greek?  I can take you there.  It’s not going to be easy, but I can take you there  Join the class here:
https://dwanethomas.com/subscribe/
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Almost 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 many pages did you write?

Dwane Thomas’ Tip of the Week – November 4, 2017
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Are you a writer?  Do you sometimes wonder how much you are writing?

Maybe that’s a strange question.  Let me explain.  Every week Grammarly sends me a report like this one:

Generally, I ignore the reports.  But, this report stunned me.   373,000 words?  What does that even mean?  I needed the information in pages.  Number of words?  That just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I feel the same when talking to teenagers about cell phones.  Gigabytes?  Megabytes?  Kilobytes?  Oreo bites?  What are we talking about?  I need the information presented to me in a different format.  How many audiobooks can my phone hold?  THAT Is a measurement I can understand.

I could go on.   In fact, I think I will.

How old am I?  I have been alive 533 months, or just over 11 Olympiads.

How tall am I? 69 inches.

How much do I weigh?  Hey.  That’s none of your business.

Soooo… 373,000 words?  What does THAT mean?  Obviously, It means that my family was busy, and I was terribly bored.  But, what does it mean in pages?  Fortunately, there’s a way to find out.  Simply go to this site: http://www.netbookasus.com/wordstopages/.

Make a few adjustments.  For example, I switched the font to Times New Roman, switched the size to 12 point font, and switched the spacing to single.  (Be careful with the last one.  If you have multiple tabs open on your computer, you might accidentally switch your relationship status to single.  That could get you into trouble.  Seriously, be careful.)

After plugging in the information you will know the number of pages you wrote.  During my very long week of boredom, it turns out, I wrote 914 pages.  If you’re wondering where those pages are, they’re on my site.  I was transferring student answers over to the members’ section that week.

Incidentally, that week inspired me to try it again.  I haven’t written a book since 2013.  I don’t know why I stopped.  I’ve been waiting around for permission to write another book.  Or, maybe I’ve just been waiting around for the extra time.   Or, maybe I just found it easier to make excuses.

I needed a jolt.  About a week ago, I read a book by Bob Bly on Writing E-books.  Inspired, I decided to go for it again.  In fact, I decided to follow his instructions in painstaking detail.  Not only that, I challenged myself to complete the book in one month.  If I can write 914 pages in a week, then maybe I can write, edit, self-publish and sell another ebook in a month.  I’m about 40 pages into it already.  My goal is to have the book available November 30.  We will see.

If you’re a writer, you now know how to count those pages.

Unfortunately, I can’t explain gigabytes to you.  Go find a teenager.  Those guys can help.

Have a great weekend!
Dwane

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Here’s the book I wrote in 2013.  For the most part, it’s about learning Latin.  The tips and tricks I share, however, do apply to other subjects.  Check it out here:
https://dwanethomas.com/downloads/via-latin-lost/

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Behind in Latin?  Need help with Henle Latin?  You can join one of my classes anytime.  Help is here:
https://dwanethomas.com/subscribe/

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How would you like to be able to read the New Testament in Greek?  I can take you there.  It’s not going to be easy, but I can take you there  Join the class here:
https://dwanethomas.com/subscribe/

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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:

Safe You Tube

YouTube is an incredible place.  I am convinced you could use it to learn almost anything.

Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous place.  It is easy for kids to run across what they should not see.

But, using safeyoutube.net, students can harness the power of YouTube while avoiding the dangers of YouTube.

If you want to share a YouTube link with your kids, or with your students, you can safely do so by first plugging the YouTube link into safeyoutube.net.

For example, here is a video I thought you might enjoy.  I created a link for you in safeyoutube.net.  Here it is: http://safeyoutube.net/w/hVcc.

Just like that, you can harness the power of YouTube and you can help your kids or students avoid the pitfalls of YouTube.

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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:

What to pack

Traveling can actually be quite a hassle.  Or, it can be a forced rest.  Sometimes, sitting on a plane with nothing to do sounds nice.

Every time I travel, I am always envious of the the cool, carefree travelers with one backpack.  I am not envious when I watch the travelers who couldn’t decide what to pack… and, so they decided to bring it all.

Have you ever found yourself wondering exactly what you should bring on a trip?

Now, you no longer have to wonder.

Bookmark this page: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light/ricks-packing-list.  Next time you travel, you will be glad you did.

My family and I have used Rick Steves packing checklist for years.  Keeps us from bringing too much.  It also keeps us from forgetting important essentials.

Here is the checklist itself: https://d3dqioy2sca31t.cloudfront.net/Projects/cms/production/000/014/077/original/586156d1a1849a3cb0a2bc1b10693ba1/RickStevesPackingList.pdf

As Rick Steves says, “Remember to pack light to enjoy the sweet freedom of true mobility. Happy travels!”

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Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane

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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:

I’m back.

I took the last three weeks off.  Well… from writing a tip of the week.  Just couldn’t find the time.

August is the busiest month of the year for me.   I spend most of my time getting ready for the upcoming courses, answering questions, registering students, and answering questions.  Lots and lots of questions.  Also, I spend a lot of time answering questions.

Then, in September, classes begin.  The craziness stops.  My site stats drop from thousands of hits a day to hundreds of hits a day.

Back to writing the “Tip of the Week”.

This one is more of a reminder, actually.

Lately, my 14-year-old daughter and I have been having conversations in German.  I did not teach her German.  To my own shame, I admit that I have not had the time.

She taught herself.  We have enrolled her in no classes.  We have never taken her to Germany.  And, there are no German foreign exchange students in our house.

So, how did she do it?

DuoLingo.

My 16-year-old daughter watches movies from time to time in French.  Same story.  She taught herself.  How?

DuoLingo.

Incidentally, neither of them are all that interested in Latin.  “I’ll show you, Dad.  I am going to teach myself a modern language!”  Rebellious teenagers.

I am teaching myself Italian and modern Greek.  I am using DuoLingo.  It’s working.

My students are used to hearing me talk about DuoLingo.

Parents aren’t.  Learning a foreign language just can’t be that simple.  There must be a course.  There must be a syllabus.   There must be a course description.  There must be high-school credit.  There must be grades.

Guess what?  Schools provide all of that.  Syllabi.  Course descriptions.  Credits.  Grades.  Schools provide it all.  Only one thing is missing.  The ability to speak the language.

I don’t speak French, so I really do not know how my 16-year-old daughter is doing in French.  But, my German-speaking daughter is doing well and she is getting better.  Conversations are becoming more and more fun.  No syllabus.  No course description.  No credits.  No grades.  Just the ability to switch into German with me when she doesn’t want other members of the family to understand.

DuoLingo is the most powerful language learning tool I have encountered in the last ten years.  It feels like a game.  It looks like you are playing on your smartphone.  It looks childish.

Don’t be fooled.

DuoLingo. is a serious language learning system.  Use it.

I even have a couple of classrooms I manage on DuoLingo.  You can join.

Greek: https://www.duolingo.com/o/pdhxqm
Italian: http://duolingo.com/o/uftpsz

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Have a Saturday, everyone!
Dwane

P. S.  There is a big music festival going on in my town (Franklin, Tennessee) this weekend.  If you are coming, please behave yourself.  Don’t trash the place.  We like it here.  And, if you are from New England, don’t honk at all of us on the street.  We just don’t do that around here.  Thanks.

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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:

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: