I have an online Turkish lesson this morning so I’m a little pressed for time, and thefore plan to cheat by stealing other people’s words!
Claire’s, for instance, as she has a problem signing up to receive our thrice-weekly Easy Italian News broadcasts FREE via email.
I would be very happy to donate for the Italian Easy News, if I could get it! I have sent several requests, got one reply and clicked where it said, but I only ever get it on your Monday/Wednesday/Friday emails.I have checked my junk mail many times, and I used my iCloud address instead of Bigpond, which you said can be a problem. if you can fix this I will be happy to donate.
This type of customer service issue takes time (and sometimes patience) to resolve, so I figured I might as well get as much return as possible on the ten minutes I spent answering Claire over my breakfast coffee this morning. Who knows? Perhaps others are having the same problem.
Ciao Claire,I’d be happy to help you, donation or not, and will always try. However, from your description, it does really sound like you’re doing something obvious wrong.1. You carefully type your email in the box in the sidebar of https://easyitaliannews.
com/ where it says ‘il tuo indirizzo email’2. You press the black ‘Si grazie’ buttton3. You check your email account a few minutes letter for an email with the subject line ‘Confirm your subscription for EasyItalianNews.com’4. If you don’t immediately see it, wait a few minutes, then use your email’s search option to search for that subject line, or from the sender address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org – unless you mistyped your email, it WILL be there!5. IN the email, assuming you’ve found it, you click the blue button with ‘Confirm follow’ written on it.And that’s it. You’ll receive future editions via email. N.b. if you don’t see them, check your spam and other folders.Assuming none of this works, and bearing in mind that over a thousand people have managed it without issues, then it is almost certain that you’re missing something.Do walk through the steps I’ve outline above one more time. It’ll take you less time than it took me to write.A presto,Daniel
So that was Claire. Yesterday I had a long-ish email from Leslie, who lives in Switzerland, I think, and wrote that “I figure you were absolutely INSISTING I send you my thoughts” .
I honestly wasn’t, Leslie, but I know you were joking, and as you see I’ll put your words to good use by sharing them here.
By way of introduction, Claire was responding to Wednesday’s article ‘How to use the ‘dead time’ in your day to boost your Italian‘:
Actually, there were a couple of things that came to mind from both of your memos. The first is something one of my former colleagues explained to us in a staff meeting after returning from a time-management seminar. She actually demonstrated it, and the premise is absolutely on-target. You have a bucket to fill with a bunch of rocks of various sizes. If you put them in willy-nilly, there won’t be room for them all. Similarly, if you put the small ones in first, the large ones won’t fit. Ah, but if you put the large ones in first, the little ones find their way into the nooks and crannies and . . voilà . . everything goes in nicely. I tend to think of the parts to learning Italian in terms of their “rock sizes.” The things I am weakest in (listening comprehension and speaking, in my case) are the biggies for me and would, if left to my preferences, be given the lowest priority and be pushed into the bucket at the last minute (if at all). I must, with intent, make myself put these into the bucket first before enjoying the writing and reading parts which I find much easier and more fun. So, to your weekly planning exercise, you might remind your students and readers, that the discipline of studying must incorporate giving priority to the parts we dislike the most. Otherwise, to which I give testament in my expensive and fruitless years of studying German, you come out speaking nothing. I suspect everyone following your blog would say their objective is to be able to converse in Italian, but it isn’t going to come by working on everything other than what gets us to this goal.
Since I may have your attention still, I’ll add that being retired isn’t at all easier in terms of slotting in study time. Remember the old saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person?” I honestly don’t know how I did so much when I was gainfully employed, but because I had rather strict time obligations each day, getting in the extras required concentrated use of the little free time available. Now that I am un-gainfully retired, my day isn’t nearly as structured. I have 3 hours of online classes a week (2 just for talking), and 2 dogs that need walking, feeding and enjoying, and laundry, and going with my also retired husband when he (always) wants company to run errands. The days fly by and if I haven’t made a point of doing some meaningful studying, I won’t have felt I’d made any progress by the end of the week. So after the big rocks (classes), I listen to your medium rock newscasts (excellent in terms of speed, content and length, by the way), find something to listen to on a subject of more personal interest (medium-large rocks, but sans stress because of the personalized choice in content), study a bit of the new grammar (smaller still), work on vocabulary (somewhat the same size as the grammar) and read something slightly more advanced than where I am (a small rock for me, but a piece of chocolate reward for sticking with my objective to get all the rocks into the bucket each week.
Finally, I can’t believe I’ve taken such advantage of your free resources without offering to subsidize your efforts. And I will, although preferably as another anonymous soul. Getting our names in print shouldn’t be the purpose in giving, so I hope you’ll sometime soon stop giving people their 15 seconds of fame for something benefitting us all greatly. I said it before and it bears repeating – you’re doing a great job and it’s most appreciated.
My reply, if anyone’s interested, was:
It’s always nice to hear from you, Leslie, though you’ll excuse me if I don’t reply at length. I’m haing a fairly frantic day!
The problem with the rock analogy, of course, it’s that the size of the rock is symbolic of what, precisely? Urgency? Importance? Do-ability? Task-type?
I find I make decisions based on my different factors. When I have problems making the ‘right’ choice, it’s usually because it’s not so obvious which of the thousand priorities should be dealt with first.
Sometimes what works is making time to ‘play’ for example, which leads on to other productive things later. But it could be the other way round – get the bigger, boring jobs done so as to have them out of the way.
Probably I work first on the basis of routines and regular commitments, then fill the gaps with the things that interest me or that I’m in the mood for. But who’s to say that which are the bigger rocks?
With the easynews thing, I’m really pushing the habit side of it, because I know it has worked well for me. So it needs to be easy and fast, entertaining enough not to be boring, and regular. And I need to keep at people, until it becomes automatic!
So that was Claire and Leslie. I get lots of emails each week, and try to reply to all of them if I can. If you’ve written and didn’t get an answer, it was likely an oversight. As I mentioned to Leslie, things can get quite chaotic around here, especially now I’m teaching again.
So what else?
Mille grazie to the many people who have helped with the costs of the easy news site.
There are twenty-four names so far listed at the bottom of the ‘Donate’ page, plus probably as many again who chose to remain anonymous.
If you’d also like to help… ‘Donate’ page
OK, and finally, there’s Yue, sad Japanese girl, just arrived in Bologna, can’t make head or tail of Italian and hasn’t yet made any friends to drown her sorrows with.
How could you abandon her? Stuck at the beginning of Chapter 2, all lonely and homesick?
SURELY you can find £5.99 and an hour or so to take her by the hand and walk her through the story towards the inevitably uplifting ending?
If so, here are the details again…
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- 8 very short chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at elementary level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
- Your e-book will be emailed to you within 24 hours of your purchase
Take a look at the free sample chapter (.pdf) to check the level of the material and to verify that it will work with the device you plan to use it on.
This week ONLY get ‘Yue a Bologna’ for just £5.99, rather than the usual ebook easy reader price of £7.99 (that’s 25% off!)
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