An open and honest discussion

I shared a meme. It’s something many of us do, have done, and perhaps we’ll do it again. This meme was a reworking of a famous poem by German Pastor Martin Niemöller.

A message was then posted which questioned the post. I almost replied that the post was only shared, and not mine. That reply would have been disingenuous at best. I shared it because I agreed with the idea that we need to be both aware and caring. I have not identified the writer although I have put a part of his reply in quotes. I have left him anonymous, one because he’s a friend and this is not a personal issue. It’s a discussion. My second reason is that I hope that we can always approach things in a civil manner. If we lose the ability to communicate, we will eventually lose ourselves.

His reply was, “But what specific policy since Obama left has been anti-Jewish? What anti-Black? What anti-Muslim, all Muslims? What anti-all Mexicans? What anti-gay? Hoist on your own petard.”

I have not presented a petard to be hoisted upon. Trump’s campaign and his ongoing assault on propriety, common sense and your constitution are the problems before the world. What Trump will do to the world is the issue we will all face. Trump is like an elephant in musth. He seems to have little focus, no clear direction or objective. The ongoing blind destruction of policies and relationships, the trampling of enshrined rights, nor much else done by the newly minted president, don’t seem to be an issue for some Americans.

The first steps to repeal the Affordable care Act, to roll back hard-won advances for LGBT rights, to imperil women’s rights and health, to continue racial profiling, to deny climate change, to either defund or muzzle critical government services, to deny sanctuary to those in need, to violate treaty in order to violate both the environment and human dignity, and to smugly demand that UN member nations lock step with ill-considered and provocative statements. None of these things that have been put on paper, tweeted, broadcast, or signed as executive orders, should surprise anyone who has followed the campaign and has an inkling of the current administration. Governments disappoint us, but they usually parcel the pain out over an entire term.

Pastor Martin Niemöller’s original poem has been referenced, and to be fair trotted out, numerous times in response to a variety of issues both political and social. Is it apt here? It is pertinent only in as much as one chooses to look at the situation, and consider, “what next?”

As long as we keep the lines of communication open, we have a chance. My greatest fear is of extremists on both sides who use any excuse to further an agenda. They spend more time shutting down discussion than considering their, and other, opinions. Here in Indonesia, we have some fairly radical organizations that shut down discussion through intimidation and by using the political and legal clout of highly placed friends. A local governor has been charged with blasphemy and there have been a number of large protests against him. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/27/indonesia-court-blasphemy-trial-ahok-jakarta-governor

That the governor is Chinese and Christian does not sit well with the leaders of these groups. Their organizations are in turn being used to further the political ambitions of a few highly placed, and somewhat convenient, friends of more recent vintage.

If America does not reinvigorate and safeguard its freedoms, its media, and its education system, with open and honest discourse then the world stands to lose a powerful instrument for positive personal, national, and global rebirth and innovation. America has been called the most powerful nation on Earth. The American President is regarded as the leader of the free world. He must be tasked to do better, for America and for the world.

Leadership is a responsibility, not a perk. We must all demand more of our leaders. We must hold our leaders to a higher standard. Whether we are American, Canadian, Japanese, German, European, British or Indonesian we must live deliberately in this moment. When we allow ourselves to be divided along religious, racial, national, economic and ideological lines we hasten the moment when we can be drawn and quartered along more personal lines.

https://qz.com/702497/the-famous-poem-by-an-anti-nazi-pastor-rewritten-for-donald-trumps-america/

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007391

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392

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Seasons Greetings

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Changing the ticket

Changing the ticket … continued from ‘Passport in the Car’

 

CSR:               Good morning. Pay Now Fly Whenever Airlines

Customer:        Oh yes. Good morning.

CSR:               Can I help you?

Customer:        I’d like to …. I need to reschedule my flight.

CSR:               When is it?

Customer:        At 5:30.

CSR:               Where are you going?

Customer:        I’m going to Jamaica.

CSR:               What airline are you traveling with?

Customer:        Jamaica Air.

CSR:               When do you want to reschedule for?

Customer:        For later this afternoon, if that’s possible?

CSR:               Okay do you have your ticket?

Customer:        Yes, Ah here it is.

CSR:               Okay …. That’s Jamaica Air from New York. Uh oh …Okay. No flights this afternoon.

Customer:        No flights?

CSR:               Not until Tuesday.

Customer:        Tuesday!?!

CSR:                 Problem?

Customer:    My vacation isn’t that long.

CSR:             That’ll be two thousand, one hundred and thirty-four dollars.

Customer:        What?

CSR:   Two thousand, one hundred and thirty-four dollars for a return ticket.

Customer:        What. I only paid One thousand, four hundred for the package.

CSR:               Ah, you had a package.

Customer:        Yes.

CSR:               Well then …nothing I can do.

Customer:        What do you mean?

CSR:               You need to call your travel agent.

Customer:        Aren’t you a travel agent?

CSR:               We wholesale tickets. The agent is listed at the bottom of your ticket.

Customer:        Hmmm, yes. Now I see it. Dodgy Destinations. Wow … how did I not see that name?

CSR:               Call them and they should be able to reschedule things.

Create a dialogue between the traveler and the travel agent

At the Mechanic

At the mechanic

Customer:   Will this take long?

Mechanic:   It’s going to take as long as it takes.

Customer:   May I ask you a question?

Mechanic:   Sure.

Customer:   Is this going to cost a lot?

Mechanic:   How much do you have?

Customer:   What?

Mechanic:   Have you brought a lot of money?

Customer:   Have you lost your mind?

Mechanic:   It’s a joke. Can I ask you something?

Customer:   Okay.

Mechanic:   Do you like slamming on the brakes?

Customer:   Why do you ask?

Mechanic:   The brake pads are in horrible shape. I’ll have to replace them.

Customer:   I don’t want you to replace anything.

Mechanic:   Maybe you’d enjoy crashing.

Customer:   I’m not going to crash.

Mechanic:   Have you ever been in an accident?

Customer:   No.

Mechanic:   You’re going to be in an accident if these brakes fail.

Customer:   Okay. What else is wrong?

Mechanic:   Have you hit something?

Customer:   Maybe.

Mechanic:   Your radiator is leaking.

Customer:   You’re going to replace it?

Mechanic:   No. It’s a small hole. I’m going to fix it.

Customer:   Good. I don’t like paying for extra work.

Mechanic:   It’s okay for me too. I don’t enjoy doing extra work.

Customer:   It’s hot in here. May I turn on a fan?

Mechanic:   Have I ever visited your office?

Customer:   No.

Mechanic:   Have I ever eaten your cooking?

Customer:   I don’t think so.

Mechanic:   Have I ever slept in your bed?

Customer:   I hope not.

Mechanic:   Good. Don’t touch my fan.

Customer:   It’s so hot in here. Have you ever noticed that?

Mechanic:   Why don’t you take a walk?

 

Note: This is an exercise to illustrate the use of the present perfect simple in statements and questions. It could also be used for pair or group practice of emphatic statements and responses.

 

At the Dentist … appointment and aftermath

Dialogue

Making appointments

Receptionist:    Hello. Dr. Spock’s office. How can I help you?

Kirk:                  Hi. I’d like to see the dentist.

Receptionist:    Okay. Can you tell me what’s wrong?

Kirk:                  I broke a tooth. It really hurts.

Receptionist:    You’d better get here soon. Can you make it tonight?

Kirk:                  No. I’m out of town.

Receptionist:    How is tomorrow for you?

Kirk:                 That would be great. What time is available?

Receptionist:    Is 7:30 okay for you?

Kirk:                 That’s a little late.

Receptionist:    No. 7:30 in the morning.

Kirk:                  7:30 am? You’re open that early?

Receptionist:    Yes. That will be okay, won’t it?

Kirk:                  That’d be great.

Receptionist:    Can I get your name?

Kirk:                 It’s Jim. Jim Kirk. K-I-R-K.

Receptionist:    Okay Mr. Kirk. We’ll see you tomorrow.

Kirk:                  I’ll see you bright and early. Bye.

At the dentist

Dr. Spock:        Hello, How are you feeling?

Kirk:                Okay. It really hurts though.

Dr. Spock:        Well, it’s broken almost in half.

Kirk:                Can you save the tooth?

Dr. Spock:        I’m not sure. I’ll have to look at the x-ray. Oh oh.

Kirk:                 Is it really that bad?

Dr. Spock:        I’m sorry, but I’ll have to remove the tooth.

Kirk:                 Is there no way to save it?

Dr. Spock:        No. You’d be in constant pain.

Kirk: Okay.       How much will it cost?

Dr. Spock:        About 200 dollars. Do you have insurance?

Kirk:                No, I just changed jobs so I’m not covered yet.

Dr. Spock:        Sorry. I’ll give you a shot to freeze you. It may hurt.

Kirk:                 Ow, ow, ow!!! That really hurts!

Dr. Spock:        I haven’t given you the shot yet.

Kirk:                 You’re standing on my foot.

Dr. Spock:        Oh, sorry.

Kirk:                 Me too.

An overdue post, and an unexpected smile

It has been a long time since I wrote anything new, at least that wasn’t lesson related. I sat down to write but was almost immediately distracted by our cleaning lady’s youngest. The little girl is three years old and there is no one home to look after her so she tags along with mom. Her older sister, the grade three student, is still at school.

The littlest one, whose name is unpronounceable, to nobody but me, is happily checking everything out, babbling pleasantly and occasionally popping over to see what the odd old man is doing. To be fair, I don’t know if I appear more odd or more old to her, but she seems happy either way.

The long and the short of it is I have no idea what to write so I’ll leave you with a short thought. Have a great day and enjoy the smiles that appear unexpectedly.

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas from Surabaya,Indonesia #merrychristmas #happynewyear #holiday #Family #seasonsgreetings #teflindo #teflindonesia #cecsurabaya #surabaya #eastjava #indonesia #wayneduplessis #emilytjandra #nettypoernomo #ellyhunara (at Surabaya, Indonesia)