Showing posts from 2018

Europe has seen war and peace; Queen Elizabeth believes that respect for all people is the beginning of peace.

The message of peace and goodwill is universal. Here the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, muses on what's important in life from her vantage point of being 92 years old.

The real story behind the carol "Good King Wenceslas"

"Good King Wenceslas may be one of the most popular carols ever written – but the story behind it is bizarre and gruesome

The man we know as ‘Good King Wenceslas’ was actually Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia. He was also known as Vaclac the Good, or Svatý Václav in Czech and lived from c.907 to 28 September 935. And the reason we have his exact date of death is that he was assassinated – on the orders of his brother, appropriately named Boleslaus the Cruel."
After his death
Wenceslas was regarded as a martyr and saint almost immediately after his death...His remains are in St Vitus’ Cathedral in Prague and his Saint’s Day is a public holiday in the Czech Republic.
The carol So there’s something to think about next time you sing Good King Wenceslas....It’s become one of the best loved carols ever written – and was even performed by The Beatles.

Gearing up for Christmas: Prague's vanocnitrhy

Every year in November, Christmas markets, craft fairs, and festivals begin to appear all over the Czech Republic. 

Here are three big ones in Prague: Náměstí Republiky, Náměstí Míru, and Tylovo náměstí

Each market is open till Christmas and offers a welcoming atmosphere that puts you in the holiday mood!

You can buy hand-made crafts for gifts, food, and glühwein (roughly translated as "glowing-wine," from the temperature the wine is boiled to), a hot, spicy wine drink that will make you glow with Christmas cheer!

Here are some photos of Jarda, me, and friends at the Christmas markets:

For detailed information, click this link:

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street, But not to call me back or say good-bye; And further still at an unearthly height, One luminary clock against the sky Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right I have been one acquainted with the night.

Prague wakes up!

My first trip to Prague was at Christmas in 1990. The Velvet Revolution had happened only a year earlier, and the city was awakening after its Nazi and Communist slumbers. I fell in love with its streets and buildings, its river and bridges, and its sturdy, down-to-earth people.

A bit of 20th-century history
As the 1900s began, Prague was just another provincial city of the Hapsburg empire. It slumbered in relative peace, far from political storms and ambitions.

But soon it was swept into WWI, its citizens conscripted to fight for the Emperor in a complicated war that punctured the European status quo and remade the map. After the war ended, Czechoslovakia emerged as an independent country and prospered as a liberal democracy.

Until 1938, when Hitler's Nazi troops took over the city as WWII gathered steam. Till 1945, the people of Prague kept their heads down and waited for liberation.

From 1945-1948, the country was free again. But the 1948 elections brought Communists into power,…

Read all about the wonders and treasures of the Golden City--Prague!

We've made it free! The ebook version of Prague for Beginners will be free for you from June 11-15. All you have to do is visit the page and download your own free copy.

If you don't have an e-reader, you can download the free app at the same time. Then you can read it on your smart phone, your tablet, or your computer--all for free.

Here's the link to get your free copy:

The Star in Prague 6---Hvězda park and palace

From Wikipedia: "Letohrádek Hvězda(Czech pronunciation:[ˈlɛtoˌɦraːdɛk ˈɦvjɛzda], translating into English as "Star Villa" or "Star Summer Palace") is aRenaissancevilla situated in agame reserveof the same name (Obora Hvězda) inLiboc,Prague 6, 7 kilometres west ofPraguecity centre.
The surrounding game reserve was founded in 1530 by King Ferdinand I. Twenty-five years later he commissioned his younger son Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria, to build the villa. The foundations were laid on 27 June 1555 by the Archduke alone, and construction of the villa was completed three years later. The villa is shaped as a six-pointed star, from which it and the game reserve acquire their shared name. In 1962 the villa was listed as a national cultural monument, which it remains today. An exhibition relating to theBattle of White Mountain, which took place nearby, is now on permanent display inside the publicly accessible villa."…

The National Theatre is 100 years old!

"The construction of the Czech National Theatre took 13 years and was partly covered by funds raised from a massive public collection. The building was completed in 1881 but only two months after its opening it was destroyed by fire."

"The National Theatre reopened on 18 November, 1883 with the performance of Bedřich Smetana’s opera Libuše, which was performed under the famous slogan Národ sobě – a nation unto itself."

Open House for architectural delights in Prague

"The Open House Praha festival this year will see 65 buildings open to the public on May 19 and 20. The buildings include new examples of modern office architecture, 20th-century landmarks and historical palaces. Twenty-four buildings are new to the program this year.

This year it will be possible to visit a newly renovated apartment building by the architect Kamil Roškot, a completely new development in the form of the Drn palace in Národní třída, the modern office building Greenline, the Brussels pavilion Expo 58 or original Zátka soda factory, now the headquarters of the advertising agency.

Clam-Gallasův palác, photo by ŠJů(cs:ŠJů)
“From historic buildings, visitors should not miss Clam-Gallasův palác or neo-Renaissance Schebkův palác. From the buildings of the 20th century, Kramářova vila, Hotel International Prague in the style of socialist realism, or the distinctive CETIN building from the 1970s are worth mentioning,” festival director Andrea Šenkyříková said."

Learning Czech for non-natives--young learners learn by immersion

"Half of the children in the private kindergarten and nursery school Bambino in Prague are from Czech families, one third are from bilingual families, mostly American-Italian or English-Czech, and the parents of the rest are expatriates, Bambino's head Tomas Trnka said.

"We have kids of about ten nationalities," he said, adding that American, French, Italian, Vietnamese, German, Slovak and Israeli children were most common. "We have children of diplomats who spend a limited time here, usually two or four years. It is their priority that their child has social contacts rather than learns to speak Czech well," Trnka said, adding that foreign employees of world corporations have a similar strategy. But if the foreign parents decide to stay in the country, they want their child to leave kindergarten with a very good command of Czech, he said."

In Brno--support local growers and fair trade

"Brno will join more than 100 other towns and citiesacross the Czech Republic in holding “Fair Breakfast” events on Saturday morning, May 12.

This will be the eighth time that this event, which is always held onWorld Fair Trade Day, has taken place in Brno.

This time, picnickers will meet on the lawn around the Environmental Education Centre Hlídka (“Středisko ekologické výchovy Hlídka”, map) at Špilberk. In case of rain, the breakfast will be moved inside."

Take a walk through 16th-century Prague

"Prague has a new virtual reality tourist attraction. Visitors to the city center can walk through 16th century Prague and meet the legendary Golem."

Symbols of Czechoslovakia for the 100th anniversary of its founding

"The particular exhibition sections focus on various state symbols and their changes in time, including the Czech (Czechoslovak) flag, state anthem and the developments of the country's coat of arms.

Though the exhibition is inspired by the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918, some exhibits are much older. The double-tailed lion, the land's symbol, from St Vitus Cathedral at the Castle dates back to the 14 century and another one from Zvikov Castle, south Bohemia, is from the 13th century, exhibition author Michal Burian said."

For Teacher Appreciation Week, May, 2018

Teachers are my role models. 

Some memorable teachers in my life: Mrs. Thompson (1st grd), Mrs. Coley (3rd grd), Mrs. Carlyle (5th grd), Mr. Cannon (6th grd), Sara Merrill (7th grd humanities), Mrs Fouchee (Spanish), Mr. West (US History), Raleigh Porter (English), Frances Gibson (choir), Janet Harrod (English and newspaper), Dr. Patrick Turbett (Sociology), Dr. Art Johnson (NYS History), Dr. Stan Nadel (Native American History), Dr. Charlie Pregger-Roman (Latin American history). 

My own teaching career has spanned my entire life, from tutoring a classmate on how to read in 1st grade in KY through teaching pre-schoolers in Prague, middle-schoolers and high-schoolers in a Florida private school, students in private universities in New York &Tennessee and in a Florida community college, and Central Europeans ages 16-76 in my business, the International Leadership Institute, in Prague, Florida, and Tennessee. 

I often feel that teaching is way too much work (mentally, emotionally, phys…

The Czech experience from communism to open markets and democracy after 1989: Leaders to Follow

Our business, the International Leadership Institute, had the rare and unique privilege of working with high-level business and government executives from Czechoslovakia in the 1990s as they made the tremendous leap from a state-planned communist economy to a free market economy operating in a liberal democracy.

Our Business Leadership Forum: USA programs brought eligible executives to the US for intensive executive education programs offering internships and university study in crucial business areas including marketing, accounting, logistics, and selling. We developed strategic partnerships with the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, MORA/Moravia's Olomouc Training Centre, the University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, and a host of American-based businesses to deliver the BLF: USA programs from 1991--1996. After 1996, we delivered similar programs in conjunction with the the US Department of State to executives from Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Slovakia,…