Author Archives: Robin Bernstein

It’s National Arts & Humanities Month

Every October, millions of Americans are given the opportunity to explore the importance of the arts and humanities in our lives and communities.  As we embark upon “National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM), cities and towns are organizing innovative activities and events celebrating the impact the arts.  One such campaign is via Instagram requiring people to #showYourArt2018 by posting daily themes. Today’s theme (October 3rd) is to post the word “art,” which the Bellevue University Library has done.  Other suggestions can be found at https://www.americansforthearts.org/sites/default/files/images/2018/by-program/NAHMShowYourArt2018.jpg. Continue reading

Feeling Bored?

Tired of the same old dull routine?  Well, you are in luck!!!  July is “Anti-Boredom Month.”  How this came to be is unknown; however, it is believed to have derived from a spoof organization which satirized the media with their annual list of the most boring films of the year.  Nevertheless, boredom is a real condition that can strike at any time.  There are many misconceptions related to boredom; such as, boredom is multi-faceted, boredom can be alarming, boredom is a stress state, and boredom is a relatively new concept.  What people do not realize is that every one of us has a natural weapon at their disposal—creativity.  We all have the ability to turn new and imaginative ideas into reality.  Research shows that you will be less likely to feel bored when you are active; therefore, here are a few suggestions to make the month less boring:

  • Try a new hobby – scrapbooking, sewing, woodworking, knitting
  • Physical action – kickboxing, indoor rock climbing, yoga, or hiking.
  • Discover the outdoors – camping, boating, nature walks
  • Explore your community – farmer’s market, festivals, volunteer work, visit your local library
  • Learn something new – career skill, new sport, reading
  • Family time – classic board games, vacation

If you are feeling inspired and would like to explore more ways to fight the boredom blues, check out these resources — there’s something for everyone:

Bellevue University eCatalog

Cool Websites to Look at When You’re Bored

Top 100 Greatest Movies of All Time

Fun Inexpensive Hobbies to Try

Boredom Buster Pinterest Board

The goal is to remain entertained.  George Harrison once quoted “The Beatles saved the world from boredom.”  Whether that is true or not, the Beatles certainly made the 60’s more lively.  So find something today to liven up your day.

We Salute You!

May is “National Military Appreciation Month,” dedicated to those who are currently serving and veterans of the United States Armed Forces.  Throughout the month there are celebrations to acknowledge the contributions of all those who served.  This event was introduced into legislation by Senator John McCain and Representative Duncan Hunter in 1999, and both Senate and House called upon the president to issue a proclamation for observance, which is renewed annually.  Continue reading

Ellis Island Family History Day

Ellis Island is an immigration station that opened in 1892, and located between New York and New Jersey, served as the location for millions of newly arriving immigrants for more than 60 years. Today, April 17th is “Ellis Island Family History Day” designated by an official proclamation of the nation’s governors under the auspices of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., and the National Geological Society.  This day recognizes the achievements and contributions made to America by the people, their families, and their family’s family who began their life through Ellis Island.  On this day in 1907, 11,747 immigrants were processed–more than on any other day; hence, the reason April 17th was chosen in 2001 to be observed annually. Continue reading

“To Be, or Not to Be, That is the Question”

What do you think of when you hear that question?  Could it be Shakespeare?  Then you are correct.  William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in 1602, and this is the opening phrase spoken by Prince Hamlet (Act III, Scene I) and perhaps the best known line from all drama or literature.

This week is about Shakespeare and is a national annual celebration dedicated to one of the world’s most famous playwrights.  The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is an independent charity that promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life, and times all over the world and sponsors this event.  Over 12,000 primary schools in the UK are planning events and engaging in activities such as performances and crafts to commemorate Shakespeare’s legacy.  Although, it is not widely recognized in the United States this week, there is a “National Talk Like Shakespeare Day” on April 23rd, which observes Shakespeare’s birthday.

When to celebrate Shakespeare is inconsequential.  The important thing is to encourage people to appreciate his work, legacy, and motivate and inspire teachers to open up the world of Shakespeare to their classes.  The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust believes that Shakespeare is not only for all time, but for everyone.

Re-experience Shakespeare today by checking out these resources… After all, “Nothing Can Come of Nothing” (King Lear, Act 1.1).

Bellevue University E-Catalog

Shakespeare Week

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Teaching Shakespeare Around the World

Shakespeare Pinterest Page

The Day the Music Died

February 3, 1959, a snowy day in Clear Lake, Iowa, was the site of a terrible plane crash that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, along with the inexperienced pilot who was hired to fly the single-engine plane.  This day has been immortalized through the 1971 hit song, “American Pie” by Don McLean, with lyrics such as “February made me shiver, with every paper I’d deliver, bad news on the doorstep…when I read about his widowed bride…the day the music died.”  In 2017, the original version was selected by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”

Why is this day recognized as significant?  Could it be the popularity of Don McLean’s song?  Could it be because all three artists on the plane were up and coming rock stars?  Could it be the circumstances surrounding the tragedy?  We may never know the answers to these questions; however, we do know that Buddy Holly was 22–at the peak of his career; Ritchie Valens, was 17–just beginning his career; and The Big Bopper was 28—a talented, early rock star; were all too young to die.

Since that disastrous day, much has been written and memorialized through song, books, films, television, and museums.  One such tribute is the actual crash site located in Clear Lake, Iowa.  It is small and easily missed, but well worth the trip.  You know you will have arrived at the entrance when you see his infamous trademarked glasses.  From there it is about ½ mile walk to the actual location of the crash where one will find memorabilia left by fans along with a guitar/record monument.  For a more formal exhibit, the Surf Ballroom, where they had their last performance, is not too far away.

If you’re interested in learning more about this day in history, or about any of the artists, here are some resources you might find helpful:

Bellevue University Discovery Search

Biography:  The Day the Music Died:  Rock’s Great Tragedy

Buddy Holly Crash Site

Buddy Holly Story (1978)

The Day the Music Died Pinterest Page

La Bamba (1987)

National Thesaurus Day

Have you ever searched for a new word for an existing word? Or, wanted to expand your vocabulary? Or, improve your creative writing and/or written and spoken communication skills?  Chances are you probably have used “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases” at one time or another.  Today is in honor of Peter Mark Roget, the author of this book first published in 1852.  Today is National Thesaurus Day, observed on the day Roget was born in 1779.  Roget had a successful career in medicine prior to retiring; afterwards, he spent the rest of his life devoted to writing this book of synonyms.

 

Roget’s Thesaurus is one of the most widely used reference books in the English language.  The term thesaurus comes from the Greek word, thesaurus which means treasure or storehouse.  Originally published with 15,000 words, it was arranged into six primary categories:  Existence, relation, quantity, number, and time.  It continues to be published and now features over 230,000 still organized by ideas and concepts

Expanding your vocabulary can have positive health effects as it can help you get ahead in your life and career.  Students and writers who want to improve the quality of their work and avoid repetition should pick one up and take the time to thumb through it.  A quick search of the word “thesaurus” yielded “lexicon,” “vocabulary,” “glossary,” “phrasebook,” “wordlist,” and “dictionary,” just to name a few.

Remember, language is the key to knowledge, and knowledge is power.  Here are some resources you can use to start impressing your family and friends with big, complicated, and fancy sounding words…

Thesaurus.com

Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases by Peter Mark Roget

Bellevue University E-Catalog

National Thesaurus Day Pinterest Page

Start Your Business Plan Today

Have you ever wanted to start a business but never had time, or, did not know where to start? Well, it’s never too early or too late to start a business plan. Did you know it was “National Write a Business Plan Month?” Why do we have a month to celebrate this? Well, no one really knows for sure, but one thing is for certain…there is a national something every day and every month, sometimes multiple occasions can occur on the same day and month. Maybe December was chosen for this occasion to get a jump start on New Year’s Resolutions or for last minute tax benefits. Regardless of the reason, now is the time to act.

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