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Books, grammar, and the future

What a week this has been, huh? Let’s talk about books for a minute.

2021 Reading Goals

One of my resolutions in 2020 was to get back in the habit of reading regularly. Here at home, I have a bookshelf full of books that I genuinely want to dive into. Literally everything on there is something I bought because it sounded interesting. But it was hard to find the time to read. Well, that’s not actually true… Rather, I hadn’t put any effort into finding the time to read.

As I like to tell my students, “We all make time for things we have to do, but you also have to make time for the things you want to do.” When I say this I usually mean studying or practicing, but the rule applies everywhere. Actually sitting down and scheduling out your time may seem like a chore, but when we don’t we often end up wasting time without realizing it. (I’m looking at you, phone.)

And, thinking back over the last decade, I realized that although I was reading less and less, I wasn’t really filling that time with anything valuable. I wasn’t trading my reading time for something worth doing, I was just spending it refreshing reddit or surfing YouTube instead. Don’t get me wrong, both of those can be great sources of inspiration and information, but honestly, they usually aren’t. More importantly, they weren’t what I WANTED to be spending my time on. They weren’t what I had intended to be doing.

So what’s the goal then?

So, I decided to set the goal of reading 12 books in 2020, and once I’d written it into my daily schedule it was an easy thing to fit them all in. This year my goal is to continue that reading streak. And I even made it a little bit more ambitious. 20 books in 2021. I may have cheated a little bit by starting a 13th book at the end of last year, which I just finished and am counting as book #1 this year. But, my goal, my rules.

To make it a bit more fun I created an account over on goodreads, if you’ve never used that site, it’s a super fun book website…I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but you can check out my “bookshelf” here to see what I’m reading, what I’ve read, and even give me recommendations! If you’re already on the site let me know and I’ll ‘friend’ you? maybe? if that’s how the site works? Or you can let me know what I should read in the comments below!

An historic moment

Last week I was watching live coverage of the election on YouTube from all the different news outlets. Super fun ceremony! The event was live at 2am here in Sapporo so I was in my jammies. My girlfriend was amazed to see Gaga singing at such a big event. They don’t do pop singers for political events here so much. I was just amazed that she got Cinna to do her outfit.

However, there was one thing that really stood out to me as an English teacher while watching these newscasters try to emphasize the importance of the day to their viewers: historic and historical. Half the channels I watched got the words mixed up, and I know, I know, their meaning is clear. But I thought I’d just clarify the grammar for my own sanity. I hope it will help anyone who might be studying English or just isn’t quite sure of the proper usage.

There are two phrases:

 “a historic event” and “a historical event”

They have different meanings:

Historic means ‘famous or important in history’, as in a historic occasion, whereas historical means ‘concerning history or historical events’, as in historical evidence; thus a historic event is one that was very important, whereas a historical event is something that happened in the past.

So, to all the newscasters I heard say “This is such a historical event.” Nope. It wasn’t. But now it is.

(That link for the grammar rule also has a super fun video on the historical use of ‘an’ in this context. Check it out!)

Coming in February

I also wanted to let all of you who have read this far know that I’m releasing a new album next month! I’ve got all the tracks down and I’m currently in the editing/perfecting phase. So expect some more fun info on that in a couple weeks! But as a present for reading, here’s a little sample of one of the songs. Enjoy:

Feb21 Album Sample

And with that, January blogs have come to an end. One of my other goals for this year is to keep up the weekly blogging, and I’m liking it so far! I hope you are too. I’ll be trying out a new format next week, something more informational and formal. Until then have a wonderful end of the month.

Stay creative, EB

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