Monday, May 9, 2011

Things We Don’t Want to See on Facebook

According to, there are currently over 500 million active facebook users and 50% of those people log onto the site every day. The average user has about 130 friends and people spend an average of 700 billion minutes on the site every month, according to the site’s press page. Wow. Those are some very big numbers. Although I was not one of the first people to join the ever so popular site, I ultimately joined when I learned that some of my old friends from Spain were members. I was excited to reconnect with them. Facebook allows people to really stay connected in the face of the fast paced, busy world we live in, where it is easy to lose touch with people. Unlike many, who seem somewhat addicted to it, I am not on the site every day; I check it out every few days. In many ways, it seems as though it has taken over some people’s lives. And, despite all the hype about being careful on the Internet these days, it appears that many people feel safe enough to expose the intimate details of their daily lives. There are certain pieces of information that just don’t need to be made public. I have compiled a list of some of the common items and things people do not need to share with the rest of the world. See if you agree and if there are any you can add!

  • Depression: Life is hard enough for everyone. I’m sorry you are not thrilled with life right now, but please don’t bring me down with you!

  • How wonderful your significant other or children are: While I think it’s ok to mention something kind about these important people in your life, once in awhile, I don’t need to read it every time I pull up my facebook page. I mean really, are all of these people that perfect?

  • Couple fights: People are at their worst when they are fighting. Why do you have to give 500 people (literally) tickets for a front row seat at your verbal boxing match? What happens between you and your significant other should stay between you and them.

  • Farmville, Mafia Wars and Pokes: What is that? Do people really have that much time on their hands that they have nothing better to do than annoy friends by filling up their inboxes with these weird games? And why is it so hard to just send a message that says hello to the person rather than sending them an absurd message that tells them they’ve been poked?

  • Tagging people in a horrible picture: Why would you post a bad picture of someone and let the whole world see it? Well, I guess it can be funny to onlookers, but it’s embarrassing when you see people making fools of themselves in pictures. Posting it for the whole world to see is just mean.  

  • Status updates that provide information on where you are every moment of the day: You are probably not a celebrity and we are not the paparazzi, so why do we care where you are?

  • Annoying people from the past friend you: While it’s nice to reconnect with people, there are others you no longer know because it’s better that way. So why would you want to be their friend on facebook? Some things are better left in the past.

  • People leaving obscene status updates for you: Don’t leave your computer screen logged onto facebook so co-workers or significant others can post some embarrassing updates about you. I don’t mind reading them because they are usually funny, but you might not think it’s so hilarious.


Currently (adverb) – at the present time

Popular (adjective) – regarded with favor, approval or affection

Reconnect (verb) – to become connected, joined or united

Addicted (verb) – to cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on

Hype (noun) exaggerated publicity; hoopla

Intimate (adjective) – associated in close personal relations

Absurd (adjective) – utterly or obviously senseless, illogical or untrue; contrary to all reasonor common sense

Hilarious (adjective) – arousing great merriment; extremely funny

Fill in the Blank

  1. We are ______in the month of May.
  2. Justin Beber is ________ among young girls.
  3. She went to the reunion to _______with old friends.
  4. He is _______ to his new video game.
  5. The movie did not live up to all of the _______.
  6. We did not need to know all of the _______details of the couple’s argument.
  7. The assignment for the class was completely _________ and pointless.
  8. The show made us laugh all night because it was __________.

Grammar Point
I have used a variety of sentence types in this blog. Write a paragraph about an activity that you like using at least two simple sentences, two compound sentences, two complex sentences and one compound complex sentence?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. I remember making cards and little presents for my mother every year when I was little. I was so excited to give them to her, and she always loved whatever I gave her. Now, as a mother of three young boys, I appreciate my mother in a whole new way, and I love the gifts my children shower me with, especially the ones they make. My mother has been an inspiration, a mentor, a friend, and someone who is always there to offer words of advice and encouragement. I can only aspire to be as great of a mother as she has been to me.  
In my house, Mother’s Day and birthdays are an event. My kids love these days, and I treasure their excitement. This past week, my seven year old had a timeline project for school. He had to mark the special events in his life that have happened each year from the first year he was born, through the present. Looking through all of the old photos served as a reality that my children are growing up fast. I remember the first time I held each of them in my arms and now, I am in awe of the things they do and the things they say. Raising them, working part time and going to school is a recipe for chaos. Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate all of their energy and youthfulness because it is so crazy. And I know, that one day I will look back and miss the little things, like the hugs and kisses they will one day be too cool to spoil me with, the way they pretend they are super heroes, the way they try to surprise us by making breakfast and even the occasions where my children were acting out in public and I was “that mother.” Each one of them adds something very unique to my life, and so on this Mother’s Day, I simply want to enjoy them, treasure them, and love them. I am truly blessed! Happy Mother’s Day to all you!


Excited (adjective) - stirred emotionally

Appreciate (verb) - to be grateful or thankful for

Mentor (noun) - a wise trusted counselro or teacher

Encouragement (noun) - praise, support, boost, lift, endorsement

Aspire (verb) - to long, aim or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, especially for something of great or high value

Awe (verb) - an overwhelming feeiling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc.  produced by that which is grand, sublime

Chaos (noun) - a state of utter confusion or disorder

Fill in the Blank

1.      They are _____for the party tonight.

2.      I _______my children.

3.      My mother is my ________.

4.      My husband gives me a great deal of ___________.

5.      He _______ to be a lawyer.

6.      We were in ________ of her amazing voice.

7.      After the game, there was complete _______ in the parking lot.

Grammar Point

I have used the past and the future tense in this story.  Can you write a story about something you will do in the future. Be sure to use as many adjectives as possible.


I have a story that seems to follow me everywhere I go. I wasn’t planning to blog about it, but then the circumstances changed this week. In a previous blog, I mentioned that my husband and I will be married ten years on September 8, of this year. It was such a beautiful wedding. On the night of the tenth, we flew into Aruba to start our honeymoon. It was dark when we landed, but when we woke up the next morning, we were so excited to see such a beautiful white sandy beach right out our door. In that moment, it really was “the happiest place on earth,” as the saying goes, and we were anxious to start our day. As we started to get ready, we turned on the television and saw what I initially thought was the movie, “Armageddon,” but quickly learned it was the scary reality of the twin towers collapsing. We were instantly overcome with terror. Both of our fathers, my brother-in-law, my aunts and uncles and almost our entire bridal party worked in Manhattan. As we struggled to snap out of shock, all we could see was people running for their lives. Sadly, we found out later that my father-in-law, Jim Corrigan, was killed on that day and we were suddenly stuck in the “happiest place on earth,” for five full days, since all of the American airports were closed. Our wedding was the last time we saw him.
My father-in-law was a retired Captain of the New York City Fire Department, and worked as the head of fire and life services for the twin towers. He died a hero that day, rescuing an entire day care center before he died. We now have three children, who never got to know their grandfather personally and every milestone in their lives, and every anniversary we celebrate is tainted bitter sweet as a result of 9/11. This week, when I heard the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead, I was happy. Justice has finally been served, but that won’t bring him back. There is still a gaping hole in our hearts and a feeling that he should be here with us and his grandchildren. I have to say, the unity among Americans in recent weeks is reminiscent of the weeks that followed 9/11, and it is inspiring. In some ways, it eases the sadness. I can only hope and pray that Jim is resting a little more peacefully now that his murderer has a hot seat in hell right next to the devil.

Previous (adjective) - coming or occurring before something else; prior
Mention (verb) - to refer briefly to; name, specify, or speak of
Honeymoon (noun) - a vacation or trip taken by a newly married couple
Anxious (adjective) - earnestly desirous; eager
Collapsing (verb) - to fall or cave in; crumble suddenly

Reminiscent (adjective) - awakening memories of something similar
Overcome (verb) - to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind
Fill in the Blank
1. We needed to fix up the house because the  ___________owner had not done any work in years.
2. She did not _________ the time of the show.
3. The new couple went to Hawaii for their _________.
4. After all the stress of planning a wedding, they were ________ to go on vacation.
5. The buildings were ________ because they were old and not well kept.
6. She was _______with sadness at the death of her friend.
7. The wedding was _______of the 1940s.
Grammar Point
This blog is written in the past tense. Many verbs in the past tense end in –ed, however their endings may sound different. Words that end in –ed can have an ending sound of “d,” “ t,” or “id.” Write down these past tense ending sounds in three sections at the top of your paper. Find all of the words that end in –ed from this blog and write them in the column that matches their ending sound.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weddings Galore

Fun! That’s what this wedding video looks like, and that’s what weddings are supposed to be. This coming September my husband and I will be married ten years. I can’t believe it has been that long already. Although we didn’t dance down the aisle, we still had a great deal of fun. We were the first of all of our friends and cousins to walk down the aisle. However, a few years later we were inundated with weddings. Then, there was a long break without any weddings, maybe one here or there, but very few overall. Now, for whatever reason, we seem to be overloaded with them again. We have one wedding next weekend, two in June, one in September, one in November and one in December. Adding to the chaos of all of the weddings and the bridal showers that go along with them, is the commitments that come along with being a part of the bridal party. This year, I am a bridal party member for two of the upcoming weddings. My little sister is getting married in December and my entire family is included in the bridal party. I love weddings. I enjoy seeing people happy and being part of such a memorable moment in a person’s life. This coming weekend, my cousin is marrying a man from China. During the wedding, my husband and I will be participating in a tea ceremony. My sister is having a New York City wedding at a venue that used to be a bank. She will have a photo booth and rather than being driven by a limo throughout the day, she will be riding in a vintage New York taxi cab. Another wedding we are attending in June will be a vineyard wedding. It’s amazing how many options people have when planning a wedding. There is so much planning that goes into the one day event and stress levels run high. I always try to tell my friends that inevitably something will not go according to your plans on that day, and that’s ok. You just have to sit back and enjoy the entire day no matter what, because all that really matters is that you are still going to be married to the love of your life at the end of the day. These days, with the popularity of reality television, weddings seem to provide a good source of entertainment. There are currently 18 TV shows pertaining to weddings. Some of the most well known shows include, Say Yes to the Dress, Bridezillas and My Big Redneck Wedding. In addition to the television shows, there are also tons of wedding bloopers on the Internet. I personally have two favorites. I feel terrible for the brides in these clips, however what happens to them is so unbelieveable, I just had to share.
The first one:
The second one:

For a complete list of wedding shows, check out:

Aisle (noun) - a walkway between a section of seats
Inundated (verb) - to overwhelm
Commitments (noun) - a pledge or promise, an obligation
Chaos (noun) - a state of utter confusion or disorder
Memorable (adjective) - noteable, worth remembering
Vintage (adjective) - representing the high quality of a past time
Inevitably (adjective) - unable to be avoided, evaded or escaped
Fill in the Blank
1. The movie theatre has a long dark _________.
2. The actress was _______ with fan mail after the movie premier.
3. She was unable to make the party because she had too many _________.
4. In the middle of all the ________, and loud noise he did not hear his phone ring.
5. My wedding was a very _______ day.
6. He enjoys fixing _____ cars.
7. She will ________ see him at the meeting.
Grammar Point
I have used quite a few adjectives in my blog. Write about a memorable experience you have had, using as many adjectives as you can.


I think I am losing my mind. For the past two years and a half years, I have been striving towards obtaining my master’s degree, working part-time and raising three children. Thank God I have a supportive husband who has been tremendously helpful. For the first two years, all of the juggling somehow felt manageable. However, this semester, which is my last semester, has been very overwhelming. It all seems to be unraveling. I started the semester with the flu, which led to an upper respiratory infection, which led to strep throat. Now, approaching the end of the semester, I believe I have finally reached my breaking point. Two weeks ago, I was working in the computer lab and I left my flash drive in the computer, which contained all of my upcoming work. Security was a life saver and retrieved it for me. If that wasn’t bad enough, a week later I stopped into the same computer lab for about ten minutes and left without my laptop. I did not even realize it was missing until hours later. Unfortunately, when security went into the lab at 11:30 at night looking for the computer, it was gone. I spent the entire night awake and nervous. I raced over to the lab first thing the next morning and discovered that a Good Samaritan had locked it up safely for me. I am eternally grateful. Forgetting these things, having no recollection of conversations or things that happen is not normal for me. I believe that it must be the result of excessive stress. Everyone has stress and it is amazing to learn what stress can do to a person. Stress can cause headaches, illness, high blood pressure, memory loss, heart disease, depression and dental problems, just to name a few of the side effects. According to a survey conducted in August 2010 by the American Psychological Association (APA) the majority of Americans are living with moderate to high levels of stress and doing very little to change their situation as a result of being too busy. According to Web MD, making lifestyle changes that ease daily pressures, eating healthy, getting organized and maintaining adequate sleep are some of the ways in which stress levels can be reduced. I think I will start taking steps to resolve my stress levels in about two weeks, when I am done with school. Until then, I will just have to take comfort in the fact that my head is attached to my body and I can’t possibly leave it anywhere!
For more information on this study go to:                                                                         
To discover your own stress level visit:
For steps to reduce your stress check out:

Striving (verb) - to exert oneself vigorously; try hard
Tremendously (adjective) - extraordinarily great in size, amount or intensity
Overwhelming (adjective) - overpowering
Stress (noun) - the physical, mental or emotional strain or tension
Good Samaritan (noun) - a person who gratuitously gives help or sympathy to those in distress
Adequate (adjective) - as much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose
Resolve (verb) - to deal with or to settle

Fill in the Blank:
1. He is ________ to get a 100% on his test.
2. She was ___________ helpful with the project.
3. All of the work has become _________.
4. Almost everyone suffers from ___________.
5. The ______ ________ returned the lost dog to the proper owner.
6. She gained ten points on her essay because her response was __________.
7. The boys were able to calmly  ________ their differences.
Grammar Point
In this blog, I have used a great deal of -ing words. The -ing form of a word can be used like a noun, a verb or an adjective. Write a list all of the -ing words in this blog and indicate whether it is a noun, a verb or an adjective.

A Disney Surprise

Disney is such a magical place. It's a place where children can relish in the things that make being a child so much fun and where adults can freely express their own inner child. My children are seven, five and two. My mother-in-law is a Disney Vacation Club member and we usually go every year. However, we were unable to go last year. For my oldest, it seemed like an eternity since we had been there and while my five year old had a vague recollection of our last trip; my two year old did not remember anything since he was an infant at that time. Over the holidays this year, my husband and I fell in love with this commercial where the parents are videotaping their kids while they ask them if they want to go to Disney in a few hours and the kids start jumping up and down, and running around the house yelling with excitement. That commercial inspired us to do the same thing to our three boys a couple of weeks ago.  I'm not sure who had more fun with the surprise, my husband and I or our kids. We went all the way through airport security and got to the gate and they still had no clue. They thought we were there to pick up a friend. They were so fascinated by the planes that it was somewhat difficult to get them to turn away and look at me so I could tell them why we were really at the airport. At first, they thought I was joking. Then, they were very matter of fact. My oldest said, "Well, if we are going to Disney I think we forgot some very important stuff." Like what? I asked. "Like my autograph book (A book that kids bring to the Disney parks and the characters sign)," he responded. It took a few minutes to really sink in, but when it did, they were jumping up and down and yelling with excitement. Seeing your children so full of joy is priceless. We had a great time and now, every time we get in the car, they ask if we are going to Disney. The weather was perfect, and after the rough winter months, it was just what we needed. However, it has been pretty depressing coming back to the cold and rain. I feel like an impatient toddler waiting for the summer weather to come. I was not built for the cold weather! 
Disney Surprise Commercial


Relish (verb) - to take pleasure in

Eternity (noun) - infinite time, duration without beginning or end

Vague (adjective) - not clear or distinct to the site or any other senses

Recollection (noun)  - the act of recalling something from memory

Fascinate (verb) - to attract and hold attentively by a unique power

Autograph (noun) - a person's own signature

Impatient (adjective) - restless in desire or expectation

Depressing (adjective) - inducing a state of sadness or gloom

Fill in the Blank:

1. It seemed like we waited for an ________ for the train.

2. The students did not understand what they needed to do because the instructions were _________.

3. I have no ________ as to where I left my keys.

4. The airplanes ________ my children.

5. The girls waited on line for hours to get an ________ from Justin Bieber.

6. When my two year old wants a drink, he is very __________.

7. The _________ movie made her cry.

8. When I am done with school, I am going to _______ in relaxation and free time.

Grammar Point:
In this blog, I have used many expressions, like pick up a friend, matter of fact and had no clue. Can you find any others? Explain what these expressions mean and use them in a sentence.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I am almost as Irish as an American Irish person can be. All of my ancestors, with the exception of one who came from England, came over from Ireland during the potato famine. I was born Colleen Garry and I married a man who is less Irish than me, but carries a more obvious Irish name, Corrigan. When we got married my brother told me that my new name, Colleen Corrigan, sounded like the name of a leprechaun. St. Patrick’s Day, which is this Thursday, is a day that I look forward to every year. I’m not quite sure what it is that I like so much about St. Patty’s Day. I’m not exactly a big fan of parades; I find them to be just okay. However, there are certain parts of the St. Patrick’s Day parade that I do enjoy, like the step dancers and the bag pipers. We actually had a bag piper play outside of the church on the day we were married. And, when I was little I used to be an Irish step dancer and dance in the annual parade on Staten Island. My husband is currently a New York City fireman and unless he has to work, he usually marches in the parade in Manhattan every year. Before my kids were in school, it was fun to take them into the city to watch him march. When I was growing up, St. Patrick’s Day was the one day of the year when Irish music and the smell of corned beef and cabbage swarmed the house and now, I enjoy carrying on the tradition for my children every year. I love to bake and March is the one month when I make several loaves of Irish soda bread. I actually made five loaves on Sunday and I will probably make a few more before Thursday. I love listening to the Irish music, the warmth of an Irish knit sweater, the little kids all dressed in green and how everyone is just a little Irish on that day. It’s also a reminder that spring is just around the corner. It’s a fun day and I’m looking forward to celebrating it again this Thursday. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!!


Ancestors (noun) – a person from one whom one is descended

Leprechaun (noun) - a literary figure found in Irish folklore represented as a little old man who will reveal the location of a hidden crock of gold to anyone who catches him 

Exception (preposition) – exclusion of

Parade (noun) – A large public procession, usually including a marching band and often of a festive nature, held in honor of an anniversary, person, event etc…

Bag Pipe (noun) - an instrument consisting of a melody pipe and one or more accompanying drone pipes protruding from a windbag into which the air is blown by the mouth or bellows

Bag Piper (noun) – A person who plays a bag pipe

Corned Beef (noun) – beef cured or pickled in brine

Cabbage (noun) – the head or leaves of a plant, eaten cooked or raw

Potato Famine (noun) – a historical event between 1846 and 1849 a fungus infected the potato crops in Ireland, causing massive death and emigration throughout the nation.

Practice: Fill in the blanks with the vocabulary words from the list above.
  1. Her _________ came from Germany. 
  2. With the __________ of his aunt, the entire family went to the wedding. 
  3. The school band marches in the _____________ every year. 
  4. The ________is a difficult instrument to play. 
  5. The __________played a beautiful song during the ceremony. 
  6. He cooks the _____________ in a slow cooker. 
  7. I like to eat corned beef and ___________.
  8. My children believe that if they are ever lucky enough to see a ________ he will lead them to a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
  9. The ________  _________was a difficult and tragic time for the Irish people.
Grammar Point:
Verbs are action words needed to make sentences. Can you list all of the verbs I have used in my blog? Think of a holiday in your culture and write five sentences about it using at least five of the verbs I have used in my blog.