Here’s a list of resources compiled by Jeanne Finley in November and December 2017 and shared, not just with her permission, but with her encouragement.

The terminology used here: ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages); ESL (English as a Second Language). Very recently, the term ENL, for English as a New Language, has been used, primarily because some English language learners (ELLs) are picking up a third or fourth language.

Please comment regarding updates, changes or corrections.

*Some classes may require registration in advance. Call for details.

Classes: Albany area/Albany County

– Albany: Adults
Albany Public Library, Washington Avenue branch, 161 Washington Avenue
Sponsored by Literacy NY Greater Capital Region, (518) 452-3381,
Christina Darling, Program Coordinator, (518) 631-2926.
ESOL, beginning, intermediate. Free.

– Albany: Adults
Albany Public Library, Pine Hills branch, 517 Western Avenue
Sponsored by Literacy NY Greater Capital Region, (518) 452-3381, and Capital Region BOCES, (518) 862-4707,
ESOL, intermediate, multi-level. Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m.–12 noon. Must register for orientation session. Free.

– Albany: Adults
Albany Public Library, Delaware Avenue branch, 331 Delaware Avenue
Sponsored by Literacy NY Greater Capital Region, (518) 452-3381,
(518) 463-0254 (ESL),
ESOL, beginning, intermediate. Tuesday and Thursday, mornings and afternoons. Call to register. Free.

– Albany: Adults
Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical School, Building A, 1015 Watervliet-Shaker Road
Sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, (518) 862-4707,
ESOL, multi-level. Monday and Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Must register for orientation session. Free.

– Albany: Adults
Albany Medical Center, 22 New Scotland Avenue
Sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, (518) 862-4707,
ESOL, multi-level. Tuesday through Thursday, 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Must register for orientation session. Free.

– Albany: Adults
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 57 Hurlbut Street
Sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, (518) 862-4707,
ESOL, multi-level. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Must register for orientation session. Free.

– Albany: Adults
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 475 State Street
Sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, (518) 862-4707,
ESOL, multi-level. Mondays and Wednesdays, 5 p.m.–8 p.m. Must register for orientation session. Free.

– Albany: Adults
Albany Literacy Zone, Trinity Alliance, Capital South Campus Center, 20 Warren Street
(518) 449-5155,
Sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, (518) 862-4707,
Shannon Cornwall, (518) 694-4533 or Maria Huntington, (518) 694-4567.
ESL classes ongoing. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9 a.m.–12 noon. Must register for orientation session. Free.

– Albany: Adults
Trinity Alliance, 15 Trinity Place
Sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, (518) 862-4707,
ESL classes ongoing. Mondays through Wednesdays, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Must register for orientation session. Free.

– Albany: Adults and children ages 5-13
RISSE (Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus), 240 West Lawrence Street
(518) 621-1041, (518) 567-4354, (518) 505-1737
Adults: ESL Group Instruction, September–June: Monday–Friday, 12 p.m.– 6 p.m.
July & August: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Levels 1, 2, and 3. Must register for orientation session. Free.
Children ages 5-13: New York State Licensed ESL After-School program, September–June: 2:30 p.m.–6 p.m.
Call for appointment.
Children ages 5-13: New York State Licensed ESL Summer School Program, July & August, 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Call for appointment.

– Albany: Adults
USCRI (United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants), 991 Broadway, Suite 223
Martha Butler, Program Coordinator, Office for New Americans, (518) 459-1790 (extension 8008),
Beginner classes. Next enrollment period December 18, 2017 – January 10, 2018, for classes starting week of January 8. Classes 3-4 days per week, 4 p.m. –7 p.m.
Pre-test required; call for appointment. Free.

– Albany: Children pre-Kindergarten–Grade 5 in Albany City School District
Delaware Community School, 43 Bertha Street
(518) 475-6750,
Dual Language Program, Spanish-English only. Child must be registered in district.

– Albany: Children grades 6–12, refugees and immigrants in Albany City School District
Albany International Center, North Albany Academy, 570 North Pearl Street
(518) 475-6900,
Rachel Stead, Principal,
Lily Htoo, Home School Coordinator,
Serves about 175 refugee and immigrant students from throughout the City School District of Albany who are in the early stages of learning English and will benefit from targeted instruction and support in all subjects. Students spend an average of two years in the program before returning to their middle school or Albany High School. Child must be registered in district.

– Albany: Adults and children
Empire State English, 24 Aviation Road, Suite 100
(518) 729-5407,
English language programs for adults: Kim Andersen, President, Eileen Lee, Academic Director
English language programs for children: Elizabeth Suparmanto, Registrar
ESL and part-time classes. COST: see website
Sister program, Capital Region Language Center, offers English language instruction for children,
Troy location coming January 2018

– Albany: Adults
Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) of Hudson Valley Community College, 30 North Russell Road, 2nd Floor, Albany
(518) 273-1900,
ESL, three levels. The ESL programs allow students with limited English proficiency the opportunity to master speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in English.
Apply online:
Must complete assessment. Free to qualified applicants.
ALSO LOCATED IN TROY at 431 River Street.

– Albany: Adults
Masjid As-Salam, 276 Central Avenue
(518) 463-6275,
English class, Saturday, 10 a.m.–12 noon
Classes held at 280 Central Avenue. Call first. Free.

– Guilderland: Adults
Guilderland Public Library, 2228 Western Avenue
Sponsored by Literacy NY Greater Capital Region, (518) 452-3381,
ESOL, advanced. Free.

– Latham: Adults
Al-Hidaya Center, 322 Troy Schenectady Road
(518) 608-1255,
English class, Monday–Friday, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Call first. Free.

– Watervliet: Adults
Watervliet Library, 1501 Broadway, #1
Sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, (518) 862-4707,
ESOL, multi-level. Tuesday and Thursday, 12 noon–3 p.m. Must register for orientation session. Free.
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Rebecca Jade [the niece], Ashling Cole, Sheila E., Lynn Mabry before taking the stage at the Paramount Theatre of the Arts in Oakland, CA during 60th birthday month of Sheila E., Dec 2017

How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met

“Apocalyptic” Melting Transpires in Antarctica as Earth Wraps Up a Scorching Year

The Environmental Protection Agency wipes climate change from its website

Huge Bubble of Hot Rock May Be Rising Under New England

Atheists are nicer to Christians compared to the other way around

The Jerusalem Issue, Explained

Joe Biden to Anita Hill: “I Owe Her an Apology”

Arthur voted for John Anderson

Inspirational news stories that are anything but

With 2020 Census Looming, Worries About Fairness and Accuracy

American prisons end face-to-face visits – and families suffer

Why Verizon’s insurance plan covers… nothing

Congratulations, Australia!

Racism, Fundamentalism, Fear and Propaganda

Americans receive ‘threatening’ automated calls telling them to stop criticising Trump

SATIRE! Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico and World to recognize Moscow as capital of the United States

A president… unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes

Former ‘Son of Sam’ at Albany Med for heart ailment

On SNL, Santa’s Tricky Moment With Savvy Kids

Derivative Sport: The Journalistic Legacy of David Foster Wallace

Colonoscopy… such a lonely word – as I heard a comedian say recently, life is like a colonoscopy prep

Once in a while the pessimist is wrong

Why we need art

in praise of second fiddle

Levidrome – a series of letters that yields up a word in one direction and a wholly different word in the other

Mark Evanier’s blog post #25,000

The Complicated Legacy Of A Panda Who Was Really Good At Sex

Now I Know: The Largest Man-Made Accidental Explosion and What Do You Do With 10,000 Pounds of Spoiled Mayo? and How NASA (Almost) Got Its Rock Bag Back and The Problem With Five-Cent Hot Dogs and The Surprising Way to Get Rejected

Talking about Kevin


Que je t’aime – Johnny Hallyday; and A million take to Paris streets for his funeral

Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of The Smithereens died at age 62

Happy Harry Chapin Day and Coverville 1196: Cover Stories for Billy Bragg and Harry Chapin

Trump vs Talking Heads – Swedemason

Coverville 1195: The Jimi Hendrix Cover Story IV

The Alan Parsons Project: If you believe in the power of magic…

More of the Whitney Avalon Show!

BBC: Perfect Day and God Only Knows

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2018 inductees. Performer Category: Bon Jovi (inevitable), The Cars (voted for), Dire Straits (would have voted for if there weren’t 19 candidates for five slots), The Moody Blues (my pick), Nina Simone (worthy but hardly rock – see Baez, Joan). Award for Early Influence: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (should never have been on the competitive ballot; just put her in!)

After twenty first-graders and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, gun control advocates felt that it was the perfect time to get something done on that front. If Congress won’t respond to the deaths of six- and seven-year-olds, what WILL change them?

But nothing much happened. Professor Charles Collier wrote: “In other words, less gun violence proves that gun control is not needed; more gun violence proves that gun control is not working. In either case, the proper response remains laissez-faire.”

In fact, there is a bill with broad support in the US House of Representatives, tacking on a poison pill to the ‘Fix NICS’ Act, designed to “improve the gun-sale background check system simply by helping ensure that the staffs of federal agencies and states complete a couple more keystrokes and mouse clicks every day and submit more records into the system” The addition is dreadful:

“‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity’ would force states to allow people to carry concealed guns in public even if they are domestic abusers, have other dangerous histories, or lack even the most basic safety training to carry concealed guns in public. [It] would leave local police powerless to stop people with dangerous histories from carrying guns.

“‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity’ would gut our gun laws because it would force each state to accept the concealed carry standards of every other state — even states that have weaker standards, or worse, no standards at all. And it would not establish a national standard for who is allowed to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public.”

I can easily imagine even a supposed “good guy with a gun” getting shot and killed by law enforcement in the midst of an act of violence.

This I understand: List of mass shootings placed inside nativity scene at Dedham [MA] church. “Pastor Stephen Josoma said the goal is to get people talking about what more can be done to bring peace on earth.”

There is a Sandy Hook Promise channel on YouTube that might provide ideas on addressing the apparently intractable debate over gun violence and gun control.

When I’m weary, I take a list, in this case, Rotten Tomatoes’ 50 BEST COMPUTER-ANIMATED MOVIES. Not incidentally, many of the ones I saw, I viewed BEFORE I had a child. Links to my reviews in this blog.

50. HAPPY FEET (2006)
49. THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (2011) -I’ve read some of the books
48. ICE AGE (2002)
47. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (2016) – The Daughter expressed interest in seeing this, but it just didn’t happen.
46. SURF’S UP (2007) – I don’t even remember the existence of this film

*44. DR. SEUSS’ HORTON HEARS A WHO! (2008) – saw this first on commercial TV, i.e., with commercials, which diminishes its impact
42. MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (2014) – I SO loved these characters as a child that I actively avoided this
*41. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (2013) – saw this with a bunch of elementary school children, which made it occasionally difficult to hear

40. KUNG FU PANDA 2 (2011)
39. THE BOOK OF LIFE (2014) – I don’t remember the ads
*38. BRAVE (2012) – I think I liked this more than most because Merida didn’t look like every other Disney princess
37. DESPICABLE ME (2010) – my late friend Norman had gotten free passes to see this at the evil Crossgates mall, so the Daughter and I went there. But the movie made her nervous, and we left about a half hour in. Specifically, after one of the girls goes into an iron maiden and her juice box gets punctured. the Daughter has seen the whole film subsequently, and I’ve seen the ending, but not the middle.
36. PUSS IN BOOTS (2011) – I’ve seen bits and pieces, but not the whole thing

35. SAUSAGE PARTY (2016) – it looked rather stupid in the ads
*34. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (2009) – saw this at an elementary school. I somewhat related to the main character
33. CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE (CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS) (2017) – my niece in Charlotte was a big fan of the books when she was young
*32. WRECK-IT RALPH (2012) – I loved the references that the Daughter could not have gotten
31. KUNG FU PANDA 3 (2016)

30. RANGO (2011) it was nominated for an Oscar, and I had meant to see it
29. KUNG FU PANDA (2008) – I guess I should see these
28. THE PEANUTS MOVIE (2015) – I saw this heavily advertised, but my affection for the early TV specials kept me away, I suppose
*27. SHREK (2001) – I enjoyed its mildly anti-Disney message
*26. SHREK 2 (2004)

*25. TANGLED (2010) – I loved the look
24. BOLT (2008)
23. THE LITTLE PRINCE (2016) – I’ll have to look for this
22. ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (2011) – the Daughter watched the series on PBS religiously for a time, and i grew fond of it; I may have to seek this out
*21. A BUG’S LIFE (1998) in the one trivia contest I’ve participated in, in 2017, one of the questions was the type of insect John Ratzenberger, who’s in EVERY Pixar film, played. I had no idea. (He voiced P.T. Flea )

*20. BIG HERO 6 (2014) – the Daughter declared that this movie, which the family saw together, is one of her favorite films
*19. FROZEN (2013) – I MAY have ODed on this film
*17. ANTZ (1998) – I saw this at almost the same time as A Bug’s Life, and I think they blur together in the mind
*16. MONSTERS, INC. (2001) – I saw this in an elementary school, well after its release

15. THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2017) – I may may yet see this
*14. THE INCREDIBLES (2004) – I love this movie, especially the office drone parts
*12. RATATOUILLE (2007) – once I got over the idea of a rat preparing food…
*11. MOANA (2016) – this IS a lovely film, and I was probably too harsh in seeing it as another Disney formula film

*10. FINDING DORY (2016) – there are parts of this film near the end I find surprisingly moving
*9. THE LEGO MOVIE (2014) – I saw this movie on my birthday for free – I liked this a lot
*8. WALL-E (2008) – I grew to like it
*7. TOY STORY (1995) – at the time, I was just awestruck by the Pixar method
*6. FINDING NEMO (2003) – I still remember the Daughter watching this upstairs at a Christmas party with other kids, and how upset she was when Nemo was trying to escape the dentist’s aquarium

*5. UP (2009) – that first 10 minutes of flashback is incredibly affecting
*4. ZOOTOPIA (2016) – I loved this, a lot; much more complex than I would expected
*3. TOY STORY 2 (1999) – When Somebody Loved Me STILL makes me cry
*2. TOY STORY 3 (2010) – seeing the incinerator scene in the theater was quite intense
*1. INSIDE OUT (2015) – another moving story

26 out of 50, but 17 out of the top 20, and all of the top 12.

JOSHUA JOHNSON of NPR, ‘This Week’ Transcript, 12-10-17

JOHNSON: I feel like the evangelical Christians who are supporting [Republican US Senate candidate for Alabama] Roy Moore have a very strong impetus to show up because of the platform that he’s put forth. I’m almost more interested to see what happens with evangelical Christians, particularly with all the issues important to evangelicals that have come up in 2017, and whether this affects the way they view themselves not only as voters but as Christians.

This Week co-anchor MARTHA RADDATZ:… What is your general feeling about it?

JOHNSON:… I can’t stop thinking about this verse from the book of Mark chapter 8, [verse] 36. “What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul.” There have been a lot of issues important to evangelicals this year from the naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or the Johnson amendment or Roy Moore’s candidacy, or Joel Osteen in Houston not opening Lakewood Church to victims of Hurricane Harvey that a painting a picture of evangelicals as a key of President Trump’s base.

And I wonder at what point a reckoning comes, if any, where evangelical Christians say, we may be getting what we want in Congress, but is God pleased with our sacrifice? Is this who we want to be as a community of Americans whose primary purpose is to make more Christians. Is this who we are?
From Jim Reisner, former pastor of Westminster Pres in Albany, now in Maryland:

Has the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel the teachable moment for the church to make the distinction between Christians and Dispensationalists; between the followers of Jesus, and the followers of John Nelson Darby; between those who take the lessons of Jesus seriously, and those who dismiss what Jesus said as moral lessons intended for another era than our own?

And in this season of Advent, can we make a distinction between Christians who are waiting for Jesus to enter into the world and Darbyists who are waiting for him to destroy it?
For my non-religious friends, I want to let you know that we Christians aren’t all [guano] crazy.

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