Saturday, March 28, 2015

and the power of
IN THE SPRING OF 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led an expedition up to the Missouri River and across the rocky Mountains. Their goal was to explore the newly purchased Louisiana Territory, a huge track of land stretching from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. The year before, President Thomas Jefferson had bought the land from France. The Louisiana Territory, which more than doubled the size of United States, was largely unknown. Jefferson organized the Lewis and Clark Expedition, as it came to be known, to seek a trail to the Pacific, discover and record new plants, and learn about the Indian tribes who lived there.
In late  1804 the expedition stopped to spend the winter at a Mandan Indian village in what is now North Dakota. There they arranged for the men , animals,and equipment they would need when they were ready to move west,as soon as the weather turned warm. But they also needed someone who knew the language of the Shoshone Indians , whose land they would cross on their way to the Pacific. That is how they came to employ an Indian woman named Sacagawea. The daughter of a Shoshone Indian chief, Sacagawea had been captured in a raid by Hidaitsa Indians. She had grown up among the Hidatsas and became the wife of Toussaint Charbonneau, a French-Canadian trapper. The two leaders discovered that the only person who could speak the language of the Shoshones was Sacagawea. So  they hired Charbonneau as an interpreter after he agreed to take Sacagawea along with him on their expedition into the new American frontier.Sacagawea was only about 16 years old though she had just given birth to her first baby, a boy named Jean Baptiste, she was happy to join the expedition.Lewis and Clark put all their trust in Sacagawea because they needed help from the Shoshone Indians.Without  horses from the Shoshones, they would have no way to carry their equipment and supplies across the Rocky Mountains. Very soon the two leaders learned they had trusted the right person. When a boat tipped over and filled with water, Sacagawea calmly and quickly saved almost all of the things that had fallen out of the boat, including the records of the expedition.
  As they moved west, Sacagawea began to recognize places she had seen as a child. Then one day a large group of Shoshone Indians came to where the expedition was camped. Sacagawea was home at last.
Sacagawea soon found her brother, who was now a chief. Her eyes filled with tears of happiness.
   With Sacagwea's help as translator, the expedition was able to get the horses it needed. Some of the Shoshone Indians were hired as guides.
Sacagawea carried her baby all the way west, and all the way back. She helped make the mission a success in many ways. She found wild food for the explorers to eat.
Many times they were treated as friends by the Indians simply because Sacagawea and her baby were traveling with them.

In every way, Sacagawea showed that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had placed their trust in the right person.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Will Rogers and the Power of  Laughter

WILL ROGERS WAS BORN about a hundred years ago on his family’s ranch near the city of Claremont, Oklahoma. In those days that part  of Oklahoma was known as Indian Territory. It had been settled by Cherokee  Indians, and Will’s mother  and father were part Cherokee Indian.

Will’s father , a hard working man, had one of the finest ranches in the territory. Many visitors stayed at the family’s beautiful and roomy house. Here young Will met many interesting people.

When Will was very young , he learned to use a lasso. The rope was tied so that it formed a loop at the end. He would twirl the loop around and than snap the rope so the loop flew out and settled around a fence post or tree  stump. When he pulled on the rope , the loop would tighten.
Soon he was catching, or ‘’roping’’ as cowboys  say, everything in sight , indoors and out. 

When he was five years old , he was given his first horse , and in no time he became an expert horseman. For young Will Rogers, happiness was a horse, a lasso, and the wide open range.

Then it came time for him to start school. He was never a good student. When he was older he was sorry he had not worked hard at getting  a good education. He did not like to study. Instead he liked to tell jokes and stories, dazzle people with his rope tricks , and make people laugh.

Finally he left school and became a cowboy in Texas. For a while  he worked as a cowboy in Argentina and South Africa.

Will Rogers liked being a cowboy, but his love of people and laughter led him finally to become an entertainer. The tricks he could do with the lasso got him jobs with shows in South Africa and Australia. Then he brought his act to New York city. Audiences liked his rope tricks and his wonderful way of telling jokes.
  In  a few years Will Rogers was appearing on Broadway, but his act had changed. He learned that people liked his sense of humor even more than rope tricks.
He talked about the events of the day, poking fun at just about everyone and everything in gentle, good-natured way.

 One time Will joked about doctors: “ Personally, I have always felt that  the best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter-he’s got to just know.

Another  time he joked about one of his favourite subjects, politics and politicians. “I could study all my life and not think  half amount of funny things they can think of in one session of Congress”.

People everywhere came to know Will Roberts as the Cowboy Philosopher. His funny remarks often seemed to reveal the truth about life. Even as he made Americans laugh, he got them to think.

 Once Will Rogers said:” I never met a man I didn’t like.” He never tried to hurt anyone for a laugh. He always treated laughter as a way to help people to understand one another better. He joked about president, politicians, and other important people. But very few became angry. In fact, almost everybody considered Will Rogers a friend.

 When the Great Depression came, millions of people lost their jobs. Life was hard for nearly everyone. but Will Rogers helped cheer Americans. The laughter he brought into their lives gave them courage to forget their troubles and keep working for a happier future.

 In 1935 Will Rogers was killed while flying to Alaska with his friend Wiley Post. People everywhere were sad about the loss of the man who brought so much laughter in the world.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Haym Salomon
and the Power of

ONE OF THE GREAT HEROES of the American Revolution never fired a shot and never led soldiers into battle.Yet without his help, America might not have gained its independence. Our nation's history would have been quite different.
Born in Poland, this generous man's name was Haym Salomon. His parents taught him to value education, to be proud of his Jewish heritage,and to love his country. Haym Salomon traveled through Europe when he was a young man. During his travels he learned several languages and met many people. He returned home with valuable experience,new ideas, and a desire to help his country.
At that time,Poland was under  the control of Russia,its powerful neighbor. Haym Salomon joined a group pf Polish patriots who wanted to make Poland truly independent.But when the Russians crushed the independence movement,Salomon had to flee Poland for his life.He came to New York City where he became a merchant. His business abilities, his understanding of people, and his knowledge of many languages helped him to succeed.
He became an important financier, supplying money to help start new business and make old business grow. He was so good at his job that he soon became wealthy.
 But Haym Salomon could see that the spirit of independence was alive in the America colonies, just as it had been alive in Poland. So he joined the Sons of Liberty and became a supporter of America independence.
  When the American Revolution broke out, Salomon continued to work for the patriotic cause even though the  British occupied New York City. He supplied information to the patriots and helped captured American soldiers to escape from the city. When the British learned of his activities, he was arrested and thrown in prison.
After a time the British released him from prison and put him to work as a translator for a Hessian general. The Hessians were hired soldiers from Germany who were fighting for the British. Salomon used his new job to encourage many Hessian soldiers to resign from the army or to join the patriots.
Haym Salomon was again arrested. This time he was condemned to death. But he was able to bribe his jailer and escape to Philadelphia. He offered his services to the Continental Congress, but they were not accepted. Salmon was not discouraged. He went into business again. In a short time he was one of the busiest financiers in Philadelphia. The French government selected him to handle all its financial affairs with the United States. For his generous services, Salomon charged nothing. That was his way of helping the  patriotic cause.

   Many times during the Revolution, the Continental Congress found itself in need of money. Haym Salomon was always ready to help. His generosity knew no limits. He lent the government large sums of money. He paid to equip many patriotic soldiers and made personal loans to officials so they could continue to work in the government. He lent money to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and others, at no profit to himself. He also helped feed the poor of Philadelphia during the darkest days of the war.  Haym Salomon's generosity helped the Americans pay for the war, keep the patriots' army in field, secure the aid of the French, and gain American independence. Haym Salomon was truly one of the great heroes of the American Revolution.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hi everyone!

Hope and wish you are enjoying the best of your time with your leaning of English.
I would like you to read and learn a few things about American history. In the following days I would like to share with you some certain easy stories.
Enjoy reading.


                        Early American History


Image America without big towns or cities without cars, trucks or buses  without movies, radios or T.V. Imagine America as a land full of woods and wild animals. Imagine small groups  of people living here and there-hunting , fishing, gathering seeds, growing food, and making everything  else they needed. This was the America of long, long ago. This was the land of the Indians.  About 500 years ago, new people began to come to the land of the Indians. They came on sailing ships from far across the sea.

               Christopher Columbus and Other Explorers

About  500  years ago , India and China were the richest countries  in the world. They were rich in gold , silk and  spices . The kings and queens of many countries had their eyes on the those riches . They sent traders to buy things from India  and China .  The traders had to cross high mountains and deserts .  Many were robbed and killed  along the way.
The kings and queens hired explorers  to look for ways  to get to India  and China  by boat.  One of these explorers was in Italian sailor named Christopher  Columbus.  He told the Queen of Spain that her traders  could  sail west across the ocean instead of going  east  across the land to get to India .  He believed  that to earth  was round and that  India was on the other side of the ocean from Spain.
The Queen decided to give him the money  for the  journey.  With the money  , he bought  three  ships the Nina , the Pinta  and the  Santa Maria  .  After thirty – six days at sea , the sailors saw land.  After they rowed ashore,  the people who lived there cane to greet  called the people Indians .  We still call those people  Indians  today.
The land Columbus found on October 12, 1492 was not India.  It was an island  off the place we now call America .  India was still very far away .  When the queen of Spain  learned that  Columbus had found a new land , she and other kings  and queens from the Old World sent  explorers to the new World in search  of gold . Balboa   and Colorado were two other explorers  sent by the queen of Spain  Neither of then found any gold.
People  eventually  became interested in the new World  as a place to live.   Explorers started looking for places  that very good for farming  and hunting .  Father Marquette  was a French explorer  who traveled down the Mississippi River .  He wanted  to find good places  for French  to come to live .  He made maps  of the long river  which were very helpful  to people who later came  to live along the Mississippi River.
   The Early Setters

When the explorers returned home , they told exciting  stories about life in the New World .  They told people  about  the rich forests  , animals  , wild plants , and the fish in the many lakes and rivers.  They told  then how helpful and friendly  the Indians  were and how they grey  vegetables that were never seen in the Old World – such as corn , potatoes and tomatoes .
Many people in the Old World  were having  a hard time making a living.  They decided to go to the New  World to hunt or farm.  Other people   in the Old World  could not have their own church and  pray the way they wanted to.  They decided  to go to the New World , too. Some people  just wanted to get rich and went there in search of the gold that no one  else had found  .  At first , most of the settlers  came from England and Spain.  They later came from France , Holland and other countries.

                        The First Town

Captain John Smith and his men came from England .  They named their town Jamestown , after Kings James of England.  They hoped to find gold and an easy life , but there was no gold. There was little food  and the first winter was very hard . Smith went to the Indians for help.  They gave him food, but their chief became angry with Smith. He wanted to kill Smith , but the chiefs daughter, Pocahontas ,told her father to let  the man live.  Smith sent some men to live with the Indians so that  they could learn how to grow corn and other vegetables . The men  protested and did not  want to be farmers . Smith told them to farm or starve .  Soon  all the men were working .  The Indians showed the  settlers how to grow tobacco.  It grew  very well there .  The settlers starting selling shiploads of tobacco the people  back  in England.  The settlers needed  more workers and bought slaves from Africa to do the work.
The  planters became rich and built big houses .  They filled then with beautiful things from England and other Old World  countries. These rich settlers  started  a new government.  Instead  of having one person rule like a king  or queen , they chose a group of people to rule .  Other English people came  and set up  other towns near Jamestown.  Later on, all the towns formed  one big colony called Virginia.  A colony is a group of people  who settle  in a new land, but keep their ties with the country they came from.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

TOEFL tests / incomplete sentences / Advanced level # 21
Popular Idioms

Q1      Lightning never strikes in the same place……
           (a) before                      (b) twice                        (c) secondly                       (d) thrice 
Q2      If you watch a kettle, it never……
           (a) cooks                       (b) stew                         (c) boils                             (d) heats

Q3      Look before you…….
           (a) leap                          (b) strike                       (c) rush                              (d) go

Q4      Don’t count your chickens before they are…….
           (a) born                         (b) fed                           (c) hatched                         (d) stolen

Q5      It’s all right to tell a………lie.
           (a) red                           (b) white                       (c) blue                               (d) black

Q6      There’s no fool like an…….fool.
           (a) aged                         (b) ancient                    (c) elderly                           (d) old

Q7      Let……. dogs lie.
           (a) sleeping                    (b) snoozing                 (c) dreaming                       (d) barking

Q8      Strike while the iron is……..
           (a) heating                      (b) heated                     (c) hot                                 (d) soft

Q9      Politeness costs………
           (a) a lot                           (b) a little                     (c) much                             (d) nothing

Q10    Never look a gift horse in the………
           (a) mouth                        (b) eye                          (c) nose                              (d) teeth

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Concentrate on little things

I like the people around me.
I like the joy, and this way joy comes back to me.
I like friendship, and this way my life is blessed,
And my days are full of smiles.
I don’t have to possess a thing to enjoy it all.
There is so much to gain
If I concentrate on little things,
And on  ordinary little people.

There are so many surprises
And so many wonders to be discovered.
In all things there is a memory of lost joy.
Being able to see this is the art of living.

I know, for sure, that it is impossible
If heaven has not come to me first.
Heaven must start on earth wherever people are friends
And where kindness is passed on with joy,
Form hand to hand.
But, of course, every sky has its clouds.
I am not always in the best of moods
And friendships becomes like dried prunes.
Still, that is not a problem to feel sad about.

Life is a compulsive adventure, with God and people,
In a world of give and take.
I want to be neither a hero nor a martyr.
But a funny little man, who gathers the forgotten flowers
And laughs at the big people of this world
Who sit on power and riches.
I like the people around me.
I like the joy, and this way my life is blessed,
and my days are full of smiles.

Friday, January 30, 2015

TOEFL tests/ Incomplete Sentences/ Advanced level #  20


Q1 I told them I ….. just going out for a short walk.

(a) would                     (b) am                        (c) was                            (d) will

Q2 He asked me what I ……. with the paint brush.

(a) did do                       (b) had done                          (c) will do                       (d) have done

Q3 She told me …… carefully on the icy roads.

(a) to be driven                                 (b) to have driven                       (c) to drive             (d) to be driven

Q4 I wonder what ….. happened while I was away.

(a) will have                        (b) has                           (c) was                         (d) had

Q5 She wonders why I never ……. abroad by plane.

(a) travel          (b) have been travelling            (c) has travelled                 (d) will have travelled

Q6 Quite honestly all I was doing was simply …… polite conversation.

(a) made                         (b) making                        (c) having made                    (d) makes

Q7 He was wondering what …… promoted him to take no notice at all.

(a) has                           (b) have                             (c) had                         (d) having

Q8 I was asking myself what in all honesty she …… do next.

(a) will                            (b) would                    (c) shall                          (d) had   

Q9 He actually denied ….. anything of the sort.

(a) to do                         (b) done                         (c) did                        (d) doing

Q10 He came into the room and demanded …. what was happening.

(a) to know                         (b) knowing                      (c) know                        (d) having known