Lee’s Blog

Blog 1 – Genesis of This Website

Welcome to my first blog, the topic of which will be the genesis of this website. There were two main drivers that led to the creation of this website.

The first driver was that I teach conversation classes on italki.com, and I needed a place to serve as a central repository of all my training materials that I might need for my classes.

The second driver was that I used to teach on a website called LEWWWP, Learn English with a World-Wide Perspective, founded by Holly Dilatush. Due to unfortunate circumstances, that website had to shut down at the end of 2016, so I encouraged former LEWWWP members to consider using this website as their new haunt as they continue their journey down the long, dusty, winding road of learning English.

I also invite any other students out there on the Internet to become a member and learn English here using my materials. If you wish to take some conversation lessons with me, please visit me on italki.com. I think you will find my teaching style unique compared to anything you have experienced before.

Lee’s website philosophy: This is an educational website. Everything we do here should be done for the purpose of improving students’ English skills in some way. Please keep this focus in mind with everything you do here.

CAVEAT: This website is brand new and is a “living document“, which means it is changing on a daily basis. It is only minimally functional at the moment but will be evolving daily to add more features, so please “pardon our dust” while we renovate, and be patient with any glitches you encounter. For chatting purposes, Ivan has a TED Talks group on Facebook and a chat network set up on an application called Telegram. Contact Ivan for more information in these areas.

Click here to

Blog 2 – Blogging Requirements

Until I learn more, I would like to invite members to title their first post as [MemberName]’s Blog. For example, Ivan‘s Blog. Use this as your running blog — just like mine that you are reading now — a continuous blog for the sharing of your thoughts — a diary of sorts to describe your experiences and lessons learned throughout your entire time on this website. You can just edit this blog as needed to add sequentially numbered blogs with the blog title in HEADING 1 font, please. Use HEADING 2 and smaller for any subheadings within a single blog entry. Once you create this blog, you may create separate POSTS for other topics.

Rules for Your Blog

  1. Every member must create one and only one post to serve as your member blog. (New > Post)  This blog will serve as your public face to other members. (Your other posts will be on other topics but will not be labeled or called blogs.)
  2. Always create at least one tag that is your user name. This allows for finding your blog and posts more easily. For example, tag = Ivan. I will use T.Lee as my user tag.
  3. Mark your BLOG post as Category = Blogs.

  4. Number your blog entries in this single post sequentially, as I have done in my blog that you are reading now.
  5. Consider using the Blog #1 entry as a collection point to later add links to your major posts. That way, anyone coming to your blog can easily find your key posts without needing to search much.
  6. Access member blogs from the Main Menu > Blogs > Member Blogs.

Blog 3 – Category Rules

I have created a fixed set of categories. You must use categories diligently to categorize your posts for easy search capability using the search functions available on this site. If you need a new category, please ask me to approve it first. I want to avoid too many categories because they will become unmanageable if we have too many.

Blog 4 – Search Tips

There are several to search. (1) The Search Box in the upper right corner will search this entire website. (2) Hitting Ctrl-f will search only the current web page. (3) The Tag Cloud in the right sidebar. (4) The Most Recent Categories in the right sidebar next to the Tag Cloud. These instructions below will walk you through how to use these features.

Using the Search Box

  1. In the upper right of the screen, you will see a Search Box.
  2. Do this test of the Search Box function:

    1. Type in take 10 and examine the results. You will get anything than contains “take” or “10”. This is too many hits to be useful.
    2. Type in “take 10” (includes double quotes) and examine the results. You will now get ONLY hits that contain the phrase “take 10” exactly as it appears. This is a much more useful search.
  3. The lesson to be learned is to use double quotes for your searches when possible to narrow down the number of hits. Remember the importance of well-crafted tags!

Searching the Current Web Page (Ctrl-f)

  1. When viewing any post or page (even this blog page you are reading), hit Ctrl-f on the keyboard. Do it now.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, you will see that a “search line” has appeared. In the search box at the lower left, enter tag.
  3. Look at the right side of that line to see the total number of occurrences of “tag” on the web page you are looking at. (at least 8 matches)
  4. Next to the search field you’ll see an up-arrow (previous match) and a down-arrow (next match). Click the down-arrow to step through all matches of “tag” on this web page.
  5. Now click the “Highlight All” button at the bottom. Scan this page from top to bottom and observe that all occurrences of “tag” are highlighted.
  6. What if I wanted to find only TAG but not tag or Tag? Enter TAG in the search field and then click the Match Case button. Note that it will now only match the two words in this item number.
  7. What if I wanted to find bot but not bottom? Enter bot in the search field and then step through all the hits using the arrow keys. Now click the Whole Words button and step through the hits using the arrow keys. See the difference in your search results?
  8. Now go out there and search in confidence!

Using the Tag Cloud to Find Posts

  1. Select any tag in the Tag Cloud to see only posts having that tag (e.g., Take 10). Well-thought-out tags are very important to finding posts of interest!

Using the Categories Pull-Down Box to Find Posts

  1. Select a category in Categories pull-down box to see only posts assigned to that category.
  2. Note that on the Main Menu pull-down menus, if it says “Browse All”, this is a category search on that menu item’s applicable category.
  3. Thus, ensure you assign all applicable categories so users can find your posts where they would expect to.  See Help > Video > Video Tutorials (How to Add Audio and Video to a Blog) to learn more.

Blog 5 – Adding an Audio to your Blog or Post

  1. If you have an audioBoom account, you can use audioBoom.  New accounts can only listen. You have to get a paid account to record now, I believe.
  2. Select Tools > Recorders – Audio.  The Apowersoft recorder will record audio to a file on your computer, which you add then add to a post.

Blog 6 – Using Links and Anchors

Links or Hyperlinks

  1. To add a link in a post, copy the destination page’s URL address from the address bar to the clipboard (Ctrl-c). Then in your post, (a) highlight the text you want to act as the link, then click the Insert/Edit Link tool (looks like a chain) and paste the link in the pop-up box OR (b) highlight the text then hit Ctrl-k, then hit Ctrl-v, then hit Enter key.


What if I want to link to Blog 4 in my running blog? How can I jump to a point inside a page? That’s where anchors come in.

  1. Place your cursor at the destination point inside your destination post. (In my example, I’ll make it Blog 4 of this post.)
  2. Click the Anchor button and enter a name for the anchor. (In my example, I’ll enter Blog4 as the anchor name.)
  3. Now make your link to the destination location as follows:
    URL + #AnchorName => URL/#=Blog4 => http://www.themadrook.com/lees-blog/#Blog4
  4. Click here to go to Blog 4 of this post, where I placed my anchor. In this case, I put the anchor before the blog title, not after it.

Blog 7 – Site Update

We have an Event Calendar, and I have a MailChimp account so I can now send out periodic newsletters to inform members of site updates and also to give members learning plans (“homework assignments”) to nudge you to continue your English learning or at least to practice it.

I am still waiting for all members to create their blog posts for introductory and experience-tracking purposes. I can also use these to make grammar corrections to improve your writing skills. However, if you don’t write anything, I can’t help you.

End of Lee’s Blog


    1. I sometimes underline words for emphasis.  But most of the time I underline word groupings that are often used together (collocations).  For example, living document has a special meaning when these two words are used together.  A diary of sorts… “Of sorts” is a phrase you will see often.  These underlined phrases are phrases you should learn the meaning of and learn how to use.

  1. At the bottom of Blog 1, try clicking on the “Click here to read more” link to open it and show all my remaining blogs. Maybe that has to be open for the search to find Blog 4. Worst case, just scroll down to it.

    I am using FireFox browser, and Ctrl-f works in that browser.  I can’t be sure about other browsers.

  2. What about the expression/phrase, I couldn’t decide which one is more correct, “out there”? Why didn’t you simply use “there”? Does it mean that “out” is an emphasizer?

    Your sentence: “I also invite any other students out there on the Internet to become a member and learn English here using my materials.”

  3. “there” = “in that place”.  “There” is specific.  Go there.  It is located there on the map.  See it?  Where is it?  There it is.

    “Out there” is non-specific and means “anywhere away from where I am”.  On a stage, if a speaker says “Any questions out there?”, then “out there” is anywhere in the audience.  If I point to a desert and say “out there”, this means anywhere in that desert.  If I point to the sky and say “out there”, it means anywhere in outer space or in the whole universe.

    There is a song called “Somewhere Out There” (underneath this great big sky).  Here “out there” means somewhere out in the whole wide world but not where I am.


    (there are a few errors in the lyrics onscreen for the song)


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