Years ago, I bought a small, run-down house in the country.  The plan was simple.  I was going to fix the place up and we were going to move into it.

But, I was a house-buying rookie.  And, I made a rookie mistake.  The seller lied about the septic tank.  He said it worked and would pass the county inspection.  It didn’t.

I ended up with a worthless house.  It was a dead end.  The county told me to board up the house and they wouldn’t bother me unless a neighbor complained.   Since there were no neighbors, no one complained.

As a school teacher, I couldn’t afford to buy another house. We moved into a two-bedroom condo and stayed there for over seven years.

Now, well over ten years later, the area around our run-down house has become popular.  The inevitable happened.  A neighbor moved onto the adjacent piece of land, built a house, and started complaining to the county about mine.

The county told me that I had to tear the place down.  This happened in August, right before school started.  These days, when I finish my classes, I change into torn up jeans, load up my tools, and head out to the old house.  It’s all lying on the ground now.  I’ve been going out there every day for weeks now.  By my own unskilled estimates, I figure I’ve got a few more weeks to go.  I hope to have the site cleaned by the end of September.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Here’s why (and here comes the tip of the week).

If you have a quiet, or solo job to do, don’t whistle while you work… listen while you work.

You can learn so much these days if you listen while you work.

In the ’80’s, when I was a kid living in Germany, I taught myself German via an old cassette series.  I listened to those tapes until the tapes wore out.  That’s all I had.  Those tapes and local German kids.

These days, if I wanted to re-learn German, using resources online, I could listen to podcasts, audio courses, audio books, radio shows, and who knows what else.  There is so much available.

While tearing down my old house, I have listened to a life of Cicero, the orations of Cicerothe history of the Jugurthine warMere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile, and The Jewish War by Josephus.  I’ve also listened to quite a bit of Coffee Break Italian.

The point is if you have a quiet job to do that doesn’t require a lot of thought, don’t let the hours just slip by.   You can really learn so much if you listen to something while you work.


Classes are in full swing now.  I am uploading 28 new videos every week.  If you find yourself stuck in a Latin class and need help, you can still join.  I have built my site in such a way that you can join anytime.  You don’t have to wait until the beginning of a school year.

Just go here: 

I hope you had a very happy Saturday!